I don’t know how it happens but I’m always the girl at the party who’s hanging with the boys. It’s never something I intentionally seek, there’s just some sort of gravitational pull and that’s where I end up.
Maybe it’s the way I grew up, a daddy’s girl through and through, following my dad around whether he was working or building. I guess that’s why I’ve also preferred to work to and around males, sometimes ones that are 3 to 4 times my age. From all of that, I’ve always found men to be the easiest to talk to. Hours spent having conversations I thrive on – those full of stories, banter and peppered with life lessons without them being obviously so.
Today was no different. I took Bella to a school friend’s birthday party and after a quick chat with the mothers, I found myself talking about life to the grandfather. No need for small talk, just straight into stories and through them learning the principles he and his wife had always kept throughout the years.
In speaking of his battles with cancer last year, he reiterated the importance of the ‘just do it’ attitude rather than waiting for ‘the right moment’. He said he felt lucky to have made a full recovery and had no intentions of slowing down just because he had had cancer. Instead, he realised that now is the time to retire and is contemplating moving across the country for the hell of it. There was no time frame for when he and his wife might move, they just needed to work out which city they wanted to plant themselves in first. ‘Work hard to fund your life outside of work but always make sure there is a life outside of work to fund,’ he said.
When informing me of the trip his wife was about to take to hike up a mountain in Geneva, he demonstrated the importance of always maintaining your own hobbies and circle no matter what your marital status was. ‘In four days she’ll fly to Geneva and walk, run and camp up this mountain. She wanted to do it in a year or two but I told her not to wait. What if something happens and she never makes it? I said, ‘you go do your thing and I’ll do mine.”
He finished off reminding me to keep my dreams in sight – literally – to keep a picture close to remind myself of the direction I’m heading. ‘But always achieve them while maintaining grace and dignity. I once had a friend dying of prostate cancer and the last thing I ever said to him was that the way he treated his wife had shown how much of a prick he had turned into. Now the wife he tried to screw over while on his deathbed is driving around the Aston Martin he left behind.’
I’m a firm believer in fate. I think what you experience and who you come across happens for a reason and, in some cases, for many reasons. Maybe meeting this man was as simple as giving me a kick up the butt and reminding me that I have things I want to achieve in life, maybe the reason is bigger than that. Either way, there’s a picture of Paris right next to my bookcase and that’s where I’m heading.