Thursday, August 16, 2012

When Determination Meets Serendipity*

The following was originally posted on April 28, 2011. It is being re-posted as part of our CHICKS ROCK! Summer Retrospective:

CHICKS ROCK! is happy to welcome Karen as a first-time guest blogger this week.

Originally from the UK, Karen lives and works in NYC. She makes her living as an accountant but is also a collage artist.

What do you call those times when the entire universe seems to falls into place? When you feel there’s nowhere else you'd rather be and no one else you'd rather be with? Right here, right now. Atlas didn't shrug, he snuggled.

So here I am: intrepid solo traveller, nursing a broken ankle, drinking red wine in a seedy pub in Berlin in the early hours of a cold October morning. Since that horrible day three months earlier, when I hit the wet floor of the locker room at my gym and just knew it wasn't good, I’ve been working towards this moment.

My family and friends told me I'd be crazy to travel – my leg was encased in a big black boot, reliant on Percocet to get through the night – but my trip was booked and paid for. I resolved that nothing would stop me from going!

I surrendered a little of my independence by booking a wheelchair. At JFK airport I was cossetted and cared for. I swept through security like visiting royalty.

I was traveling to see a band, the Tiger Lillies, three middle-aged British guys I consider good friends. They’re spending a month in Berlin performing their "Freakshow" which has several circus acts. So there we were on my first evening in this amazing city: me, the band, three friends from London, and members of the cast. There are two little people (she's a dancer, he performs with Ringling Bros.), a snake lady who can contort herself into positions I never dreamed of, and a man who juggles hats and knives.

Surrounded by these amazing creative people, what did I feel? Freedom. Peace. Happiness! I don't care about my ankle or "Das Boot," as it came to be known. I wish I could bottle this moment and take it home. I know it's impossible to feel this way all the time, but it's good to remember that I helped to create that moment myself. Determination and a little serendipity came together at that moment, and it’s up to me to make it happen again.

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