If you are the woman at the corner table at Urth Café who stared brazenly at our group, you may have thought that I speak sign language fluently. Makes it hard to eavesdrop, no? But for all my fellow café eavesdroppers (for I am the queen of gathering other peoples' stories), I was practicing my ASL alphabet and learning a few phrases with new friends. One is completely deaf, so I didn't get too great a read on him, but M and Rhi were both able to hear some with aids and implants, and Rhi is a fluent lip-reader. It was great fun learning how to sign "Good to meet you," "How long have you been dating," and the important difference between the sign for "dating" and that for, shall we say "shagging." (Everything sounds better British.)
What a challenge to grow up deaf in a world of noise, where a premium is put on communication to identify who you are, what you think. I was so impressed by Rhi, who identifies herself immediately as an activist. I've been a long time embracing the activist within, finding that voice that doesn't worry about what others will think. Rhi's a recent college grad, and already knows what and who she wants to be, a visual anthropologist. "I'm an activist, so ..." was a normal part of her self-descriptive vocabulary.
I wish I'd known what I wanted, who I was in this world when I was 22 or 23. I felt a tinge of envy talking to Rhi, wishing I hadn't wasted so much time. But then a wiser, kinder voice interrupted. That was not my path. In a chapter in Daily OM titled "Where you need to be," Madisyn Taylor writes about our timing, the flow of our life within the flow of the universe. "When delays in our progress kindle pangs of disappointment within us or the pace of life seems overwhelming, peace can be found in the simple fact that we are exactly where we need to be at this moment."
Sometime it's not just that things are not moving fast enough, often I feel scared that I'm not enough when things seem to be happening too quickly.
"Every person fulfills their purpose when the time is right. ... The universe puts nothing in your path that you are incapable of handling, so you can rest assured that you are ready to grow into your new situation." (Daily OM)
And in this moment of under-employment, it strikes me often, and confuses my more typically ambitious friends, that I feel exactly where I am meant to be, in the flow of my life. Good, exciting and challenging opportunities are coming, but good things are already here.
(ASL letters courtesy enchantedlearning.com)