That week I had spent time with a client of mine at the world's largest antique market in Round Top, Texas and watched thousands of people descend on a very small town with a very big open space to treasure hunt.
I was there as a manager trying to help develop a television series about the women who run Junk Gypsy. I had bought my own ticket to Austin since my company didn't want to actually pay to send me but I was determined these women were worth the trip! Inspiring, passionate and adventurous, the women from Junk Gypsy had their finger on the pulse of something amazing.
I had sat under the stars with new friends and too much diet coke and red wine, (yes that's a thing at the Warrenton Antiques Weekend) after a wild and silly Junk Gypsy Prom Night staring at the night sky thinking about the kinds of treasures I might want to hunt.
I knew things had to change. I knew I needed to quit my job. I was working for a company that made me pay for my own hotels on business trips. I knew I needed to redefine myself professionally. The last thing I had produced was a fitness DVD series for a less than savory magazine. I was ready for reinvention.
I just wasn't sure what it might look like.
Watching a couple of ducks treading water on the lake, I wondered what was next. All of the sudden a song I'd never heard before, a song I never downloaded, a song I didn't know came onto my iPod. The lyrics,
An unexpected anthem came melodically into my life. A song by a band from Richmond, Virginia called Carbon Leaf literally found me. Perhaps it was some sort of iTunes of the week download or a compilation of some kind, I'll never know but it invigorated my desire to start anew.
I realized that while I did not know what it might look like, my life was something that must be lived in an extraordinary way. I was going to seek out partners, collaborators and friends who also wanted the extraordinary. I was done accepting the ordinary.
The weekend I had just spent was simply extraordinary and that perch, that view, that song made it clear that it was the beginning of something different.
I pressed repeat twenty or so times before meeting up with a new friend who had offered to return me to the airport. My life has been on a new journey since and I am grateful.
Choosing the extraordinary has meant that certain things won't come easy, but the experiences I will have are unparalleled. I will go to Ethiopia, Italy, Mexico, China and Vietnam in a year. I will learn about Economics from Econ Gods while writing about dating for an online dating website and celebrity news for a new magazine. I will interview amazing filmmakers, philanthropists and business people, and I will be inspired.
Hmmm - maybe I'm taking this a bit too far... ;-)
So here's my advice to all of you. Take a moment to look around you and find the precious, the extraordinary, the meaningful and embrace it. Something about your life is far from ordinary.