How appropriate that it was the one song I needed to hear to brighten my day. After a morning from hell, and to make things better in my head, I had to get away from it all and go somewhere, anywhere. With determination and purpose, I strode down the sidewalk on my way to the café only to be stopped in my tracks when this song caught me by surprise coming from a kiosk in the marketplace. "You are my sunshine, My only sunshine, You make me happy, When skies are gray." Stepping into the marketplace, I gathered a fresh, floral bundle of assorted spring beauties and it made me feel alive. Their captivating perfume fragrance gave me pause to enjoy life, right now, at this time. Then tears slid down my cheek. Okay, I am a human being and this was a moment not in the plan book. I'll take it. I am so glad my choice was flowers and not a cheap bottle of whiskey. Going down the rabbit hole was not where I wanted to find myself at this moment. They would not get the best of me and I was determined to be the better person. It will take a minute or two but I knew there was more to who I was than to be someone's door mat. Time to stand up, embrace the moment, and put on my real hat.
It began with a prickly vibe felt at the office and then morphed into more thorns deeply embedded than anyone could handle without proper tools. The work I was doing, apparently, wasn't good enough for some people. Yesterday, they showed me just how much I could not do right by insulting my upbringing, family, school choices, and the list went on. Who were these evil mongers? There was something brewing that I should have seen a while ago, but being the nice person, I let it go. Our staff meeting started with a bright and sunny casual morning, enjoying coffee and random chatter. The gavel came down at a moments notice as it was the tone of the manager who called the meeting to order with his stentorian voice. Were we in a courtroom?
We each found a seat of choice. I opted to be as far away from the Gatling gun as I could. The mood changed in short order and we were all stuck in place like glue. The look came to each of us in an icy stare. "I am sure many of you are well aware," it began with a loud ringing sound piercing my ears. The coercive, and oppressive cruel manner in which the manager now spoke to everyone, pushed some over and into his world. And before long, as we all listened to how we were not meeting company goals, more than half of the staff members in the room became his minions. They began pointing fingers, treating others with unkind words reflecting on bad decisions made by those individuals, which more than likely, in their opinion, caused sales to plummet. Hello! Are we not all part of the same team? I wanted to shout this out loud but refrained as that was not my nature. I needed to see how this all would play out. Apparently, when push came to shove, the manager knew all the right buttons to push. And soon enough, my time was here, as I suspected it would be, given the theme of the day.
The words of the manager to me began with, "Didn't I tell you to strictly follow my protocol?" The sneer was so distinct as he continued to add another round of crap, "But you decided to go above your pay grade. Wrong move." And then one by one, the pecking order circled around my head and belittled me into next week. Before it was over, and it was someone else's turn to burn at the stake, I quietly smiled and nodded to not let them get the best of me. With a casual glance around the table, I purposely took note of anyone that did not seem to be part of the game. Someone who sense of purposeful attention, yet one whom I had a feeling, was not going to be dragged into these shenanigans, caught my eye. He was attentive but held his own in the way he sat, subtly moved his hands, with added slight facial expressions. Many years ago, in my youthful days, working the casino card table, my sense of knowing the flip side of someone has never left. He was fairly new to the company and came highly recommended from outside the box, so we were told from a higher echelon group. He caught my eye and discretely gave me a sideways 'no'. I totally got it. Don't fall. Stand your ground quietly until the storm blew over.
"Any questions will be reviewed. Make them worthy of my time or do not send. Do I make myself clear?" The meeting came to an end and each left without looking at one another. We knew now who the manager held on his leash. For me, there was a lot to think about after this session. "What was I doing here?" was number one. Number two was, "Why am I putting up with all of this bull--?" Thank goodness it was lunchtime. I had to walk it off, all of it, the angry vibes that drenched my spirit, and my direction in life. Out the front door I charged and let it slam back on purpose, strode down the sidewalk straight-a-way to my favorite café. As the rumbling noises of doom and gloom kept playing in my head, a wave of a fresh scent suddenly made me look up and pause. Yes! Without hesitation I went into the marketplace. I was like a child in a candy store when the beautiful fragrance and aura of flowers beckoned me to come over. And now here I was with a beautiful bundle of bliss in hand, tears now dried. Determination was my new focus and with renewed energy I stepped back onto the sidewalk towards the café, only to trip and fall into someone next to me, going in the same direction. The flowers flew out of my arms as I fell headfirst towards the concrete. Quickly, they were caught by the person I fell into, and his extended arm stopped my plummet onto the ground.
Both of us were surprised as we knew each other just a few moments ago from the meeting. "I am so sorry!" How could I be so dumb? This was the guy who gave me a gracious look when it was all going south at the 'burn fest'. "I am sorry as well. We should stop meeting like this!" The moment caused both of us to laugh. Dusting myself off, he helped me gather myself together. I thanked him for saving my bundle, aka myself first and my flowers second. We introduced ourselves, since we never formally met at the office. "Hey!" Since this was nearly a planned fiasco, I surprised myself by inviting him to join me for lunch at the café. He agreed and we walked without further trouble on my part since he now acted as my escort, holding my hand, in the event of another drama scene to happen on the playlist.
The two of us chatted as if we had known each other for years. We enjoyed the warm atmosphere and perfect lunch before time was up. I looked at my watch, "We need to get back to the place where only fools rush in." I pondered a moment, paused, and said, "I am not one of those, are you?" His look said it all and we both agreed that there was more to life than to be humiliated beyond reasoning and that game was now over.
"I see a new road which may be somewhere that both of us can travel." I was curious as he seemed to sense I was not happy in the corporate world. We got to the door of the building and I hesitated. My calling told me to follow the sun. These lyrics spoke a thousand messages to me so I will follow my dreams and leave the nightmare in the building. The smile I gave to my friend radiated the new and determined person he saw.
He added his own vision by telling me, "GO - Don't look back and take this with you." It was a business card of a Sunflower Farm just outside the city. My jaw dropped when I saw the name, You Are My Sunshine. I was shocked, surprised and so happy!
"My family's farm needs people like you." My eyes teared up with this revelation and he only added, "I work the weekends and you're welcome to join me. You won't get lost!"