This is a picture of "The Bar Bar" (Carioca Cafe-Bar Bar) where I met Brian almost 6 years ago pretty much right here:
Pretty glamorous, right?
Umm, no. No it's not...
But this picture from the list evokes strong emotions from me not only because this is where I met Brian, but because it was such an unlikely place for the beginning of a love story.
My friend Tina invited me to see a friend's band play and I really, really didn't want to go. It was a Friday night, I had to work the next day and frankly, I wasn't sure that going to a place called "The Bar Bar" was "me". The Bar Bar is the quintessential "hole in the wall" bar that isn't quite the girly downtown destination bar. It's, at best, a place to hear some live music IF you know the band...
But, I had just bought some new shoes and I wanted a place to wear them, so I decided to go. The rest of the story is vaguely typical. I'm sitting at the bar, Brian comes over to order another drink, he strikes up a conversation (with the help of Tina...) and pretty soon he's asking for my number.
After 7 days, (!!! I know, right???! 7 days???!!!!!) Brian called me. We decided to go brunch at Lucile's and, as they say, the rest is history.
I did not go to The Bar Bar that night expecting to meet my husband.
I went to support a friend and to wear a new pair of shoes...but fate had other plans.
But here's the deal. When I look at the picture of The Bar Bar, it certainly evokes strong emotions of Brian and my story, but it also reminds me that there is no blue print for how things should go in life.
This may be a "no duh" for most people, but it was new thinking for me. I grew up with the mindset that I had to do things certain ways to have certain outcomes. Life's curve balls were not necessarily accounted for--or if they were, they were justified in a way that somehow left me feeling guilty or hurt.
The Bar Bar encounter with Brian obviously changed my life. I wouldn't be living the life I am now if I hadn't gone with Tina that night.
But I feel like the night at the Bar Bar also taught me that fate is alive and well and it's okay to believe in something that might not make much sense, it's okay to trust an unplanned moment and it's okay to let myself embrace something that is new to me.
This has forever changed the way I approach my life. Before, I felt like I was living in such a constrained way. I had to do things certain ways for certain people. I did and didn't do certain things because of fear of the unknown. This Bar Bar experience taught me about balance. I learned to take risks and trust myself to be, well, to be myself and this felt really, really great.
So, I guess what I am saying is if a "Bar Bar" shows itself in your life, embrace it.
You never know what could happen.