The story I am about to tell is not political, but it was politically motivated and it reached a fitting ending. I hope you get as much joy out of it as I did.
Somewhere between executive orders signed into action by a madman, I had day filled with several moments of reflection. It was a Friday seemingly like many other day this January. A typical day during atypical times. The first moments of the day driven by media, both social and news. Snippets of information fed to me by the machines I use on a regular basis. A day that surely started with a Facebook notification from Painsuit Nation linking me to yet another empowering story. Later on in the day, I got pop-up notifications on my phone about the latest headlines. (Side note: Can the word ‘tweet’ be banned from headlines? Twitter should not be a regular news-source, but that’s a rant for another time.) The wall order was just signed, but the travel ban was yet to be announced. We knew the wall was a top priority, but the extent of his xenophobic orders had only just begun. I was still feeling energized from the Women’s March, but starting to feel hopeless in this political climate. With dampened spirits, I put on my High Notes playlist to get me through the afternoon.
The strong female vocals ended the workweek on a high note. I acknowledge that this playlist also works well as a break-up mix-tape, but that is not why I made it. I made this playlist to have something to do on my long commute home from my old job. Its a collection of songs that I love to belt out to all alone in my car. The louder I play it, the better I sound, hence the name, High Notes. However, not always the greatest list of songs to listen to at work. I was lip-syncing so hard all afternoon. Probably even a few audible verses thanks to my noise canceling headphones. It just happens that women really find their voice when their heart is broken. It makes them write some really amazing music. Thanks to these ladies, I was ready to start my weekend, feeling good and ready to rock.
Fortunately, there was a goodbye happy hour at the pub across the street; I was ready to get my drink on. Unfortunately, the person who was leaving is one of my good work friends. So we toasted to his new job. Toasted the end of the week. And toasted ourselves. Just like any other Friday at my company’s favorite drinking establishment. Another great night with my co-workers. After a few hours of happiness later, I was sufficiently tipsy and ready to go home.
My bundle of unconditional love greeted me at the door when I got home. As Ginger-dog does every single day without fail, she wagged, jumped, and smiled with boundless excitement to see her master finally return. The best moment of my everyday. A reminder to live every day in the present, just like a her. All she asks for in return is a walk with me to the park, and a bowl of food when we get home. We head to the park with heightened spirits.
The park is ours, not a person in sight. Ginger pulling her leash from lamppost to lamppost, tree to tree. I get lost in my own thoughts on the day, motivated by my soundtrack of that afternoon. Thinking about the reality that this president has shown. Thinking of the solidarity I have seen for our neighbors. Thinking about what I can do to make a difference. So often the negative inner voice drowns out the my positive spirit, but not today. Not. Today. These thoughts become a self-motivational speech. An audible proclamation all the while my dog focuses on a single blade of grass. “Man, MP, you’re awesome,” no one is in this park, no one can hear you, say it loud, “You got this, Mair, you got this. We can do it, we’re gonna be ok. Let’s go!” If you know me, I am not one to talk, certainly not to out loud to myself in public. The only time I normally say, “Let’s go” in the park is when I’m trying to get Ginger to walk away from a smell. But this day. This. day. My optimistic voice was screaming at the top of her lungs.
So where does this sunny dirt road of optimistic thoughts lead me? To skipping, naturally. I take a look around the park to double check that I was still alone, and I said, “Yeah, let’s go for it, why not? Let’s go for a skip.” So I start a full-on, knees-to-chin, skip through the park. Over half a city block of skipping. Just me and my dog having a great moment. Ginger is loving it. Running and jumping along. I’m thinking, “Man this was a great idea, I don’t know why I don’t skip with my dog more often. What a great day!” And then I look up…Oh right… What do I see? A little white husky puppy, perfectly sitting next to a guy standing off to the side of the path. The place they were standing is a little grass/landscape island at a fork in the path. If you just felt like standing in the park with your dog, there are better spots to stand. No, this guy was actively walking his puppy when he saw me and my dog in a full-speed skip coming at him, and he was like, let me just step aside onto this patch of grass and let them pass. Ginger and I were both surprised to see someone else in the park.
That positive voice powered by good feelings and a joyful skip, quickly switch to an, “Oh fuck, we need to go.” I switch my skip to a run, not that I was fooling anyone. Who jogs in a fur pompom hat and jeans anyway? It was probably more instinct to get the hell out of that embarrassing situation, but I briefly convinced myself that maybe he thought I was out exercising with my dog at 10:15 on a Friday night. Ginger on the other hand does not like dogs, especially not when they appear out of no where. So she starts lunging and barking at the little puppy. Basically saying, “How dare you interrupt this perfect moment with my owner. BARK! We were out for a skip and you ruined it. GRR!! Its all I ask for, and you ruined it, puppy! Get the WOOF out of my park.” Meanwhile, I’m trying to get Ginger to go home. “Let’s go, Ginge, Let’s go!” A much different “let’s go” than moments earlier.
After we escaped the awkward situation, I had a moment to reflect, and naturally started cracking up. What a perfect ending to a day that started with dampened spirits. Raised by the sounds of female power ballads. Heightened with the help of liquid spirits. Hitting a crescendo with a decision to skip. And it all abruptly ended with some man zapping me back to reality. But, what the hell, just own the moment. I got home, looked in the mirror, and said “That was a great time, and I wouldn’t change a thing if I could. You got this, Mair, you got this.” I hope to see him again, so I can look him in the eye, and give him a wink and a skip, and continue along my way. Sometimes you have to just let go of yourself, and have a skip in a park.