Monday, March 28, 2011

Everything Old is New Again

It is no big secret that next month I hit a "milestone" birthday.  Although we (I) prefer not to discuss the number, my family and I are kind of excited for this one.

Perhaps it is the hype about turning 50 or my continuing challenge to find the right path on my journey of life, but every so often, there is something that just hits me funny about this time in my life.  For example, Bill and I went to the movies the other night...10:05 pm showing on a Friday night because we didn't want to sit in a theater with a bunch of noisy old farty is that...anyway, proud that we had the stamina to stay up this late to see the movie, we sat through the coming attractions and I just had to shake my head and chuckle...first up, this muscle-bound warrior with a leather strap around his head wielding a huge sword is fighting some evil foe...and as I lean over to Bill to say that guy looks like a Schwarzenegger wanna-be...the voice over announces that coming soon is "Conan the Barbarian".  I choked on a laugh...really...that's the movie you wanna remake?  It hit me that although I never saw  all of the original movie ( I lean more toward Kindergarten Cop ), how strange to choose this movie for a was only 1982 when the original came was almost 30 years ago!  Then a few moments later, there is Russell Brand wearing a top hat, marching down a crowded city sidewalk and being the quick minded movie buff that I am, I ascertained an Arthur remake is about to be released.  I loved the original 1981 movie starring Dudley Moore...he was okay.  Liza Minelli was okay too, but Sir John Gielgud was hysterical.  Bill and I still quote him  to each other when we are feeling particularly fresh...and that is all I will say about that.  I think Russell Brand is a bit too cheeky to match the drunken child-like innocence that Moore mastered, but Helen Mirren should be a real treat.

So here are two movies...iconic to the early '80s, perhaps, and it is time to remake them.  I doubt I will see the Conan remake, but I am interested in going to see Arthur with my daughters and hearing from them what they think about the story, the acting and so on.  Perhaps we'll watch the original on Netflix for comparison.

Another blast from the being Lent, of course it is time for the Cadbury Easter Bunny Try-out commercial . It came on the other night and I giggled at that bunny clucking like a I have for the past 29 years...yup, that silly rabbit has been clucking on stage for almost 30 years and it still makes me smile...Bill looked over at me and he said, "You laugh at that every year." Yes, I do. 

I watch The Wizard of Oz just about every year as well...but only the television version...I dunno why, but it seems wrong to put in the DVD.  I remember as a child waiting all year for the Wizard to show up in the TV guide schedule.  It was such a special treat to sit with the family and watch it together.  It was a treat worth waiting for.

But back to things from my youth reappearing as I embark on a new phase of my life...Palazzo pants, Maxi-dresses, peasant blouses and platform shoes are all coming back into style and are being marketed to the Class of '79 again.  Preppy is making a comeback too. I wistfully admit, I am happy to pop my collar again after years of having my girls fold it down time and again.   My daughter and I went shoe shopping while she was home for Spring Break and doesn't she convince me to buy a pair of plaid Sperry Topsiders instead of "boring old ballet flats".  Topsiders, how would I have gone around campus without those?  What's next Tretorn tennies?  Emily is all about Converse sneakers too...she had no idea that they were the original basketball sneaker from eons ago!

Fondue is chic again... yes we happily indulge in that bit of retro.  The first time I had fondue, was Valentine's Day, 1979.  Bill "cooked" for me and we had Fondue Bourguinon (beef cooked in hot oil), Cheese Fondue and strawberries dipped in it no wonder I married the guy?!  As a family, we had the exact same menu to bring in 2011.  We think it may be a new family tradition.

As I continue to explore the world of cuisine, I am finding that many food trends from the past are making a roaring comeback with some wonderfully modern twists...remember Crockpots?  Slow-cookers are the "in" thing now, with removable great an idea it took 25 years to realize it!  An exotic turn of the slow cooker is the Tajine, a Moroccan glazed pot and cover, which allows for wonderful, moist stews and couscous recipes to bloom slowly in your oven or on your grill. 

Bundt pans are all the rage again too...from Monkey Bread to coffee cakes, baking and sharing seem a little more special when your baked goodies emerge from a Bundt!  I own three Bundt pans and I keep having to remind myself that that is plenty...the designs are really interesting and I'm happy to say that the recipes are fun and increasingly healthier.

Yoghurt or yogurt is king in the dairy case these days with delightfully thick, tangy Greek yogurt leading the way.  I remember eating Columbo yogurt in my teens. I basically had two choices, lemon or plain.  When Dannon came out with fruit on the bottom...I became a yogurt fanatic.  Today, yogurt remains a staple in our fridge and I am researching how to make yogurt at home.  (I do have a birthday coming and a yogurt maker would make a nice gift...wink, wink).

The retro trend is touching the world of wine too...Rose' wine...not white coming back with a flourish.  Spring and early Summer are the perfect times to enjoy a lovely chilled Rose'.  Chablis, a Chardonnay varietal from northern Burgundy is seeing a resurrgence in France, so I think it will be a trend here in the not too distant future.  The Chablis coming from France, with the 2009 vintage being a particularly good year is a far cry from the Chablis of the '70s and '80s that our parents purchased in those big green jugs.  No, today's Chablis is crisp, clean, and a bit steely...not oaky like its sister Chardonnay from further south in the Burgundy region.  Chablis is the wine for Spritzers...another 70's throwback! 2 parts wine, one part seltzer or sparkling water, a wedge of lemon and lots of ice...Summer in a glass.  And although not a trend from the 70's, Merlot, which was much (yet deservedly) maligned in the movie Sideways, because it became mass produced for cheap, general consumption is now being restored to its lovely, dark berried, meduim to full bodied character.

Well, I don't know if it is my impending birthday, the economy, or Generation X's turn to manipulate the market and culture, but as I look around, I am seeing that everything old is new again. Families are playing board games and eating more meals at home. Libraries are gaining in popularity...huzzah!  Gardening is not just a hobby but a (re)-new(-ed) way of life.  Farmer's markets are no longer a trend but a move toward relocalization (thanks Alison for introducing me to that word). Classic is classic again.  From my pearls to the sterling silver earrings I got when I first pierced my jewelry box is a bastion of fashion accessories.  Here's hoping Bermuda Bags make a comeback...I still have mine tucked away in my hope chest!  I guess what I am realizing is that the traditions we shared in our youth, some spawned by trends, ebb and flow through the days of our lives.  True traditions never go out of style...watching the Sound of Music or The Wizard of matter how old we are, with our is not the movie but the emotion that strengthens the tradition. 

Everything old is new again.   I feel that way too...50 is a number...not who I am.  Am I happy to see things from my past, reinvented and renewed?  For the most part yes.  I am hoping that in seeing my future through this retrospective, I will be inspired to be youthful, to attempt to reawaken the dreams of my youth that time and circumstance put on hold.  And at 50, with lots of life experience, I hope to dream new dreams that in the next fifty years will become so many stories to share.

Who knows...maybe in 50 years I'll see the E*Trade baby commericals and shake my head, smiling...wondering if that kid has any grandkids.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Walk Away

All morning long, various media outlets have been focusing on a YouTube video of a bully and his victim.  The incident occurred in Australia and the two boys were suspended for their actions. 

This story has been niggling at me, mostly because people are cheering the victim who in defending himself, body slammed his attacker and broke the boy's ankle...thank goodness that is all that was broken. 

To set this up, after school, a 12 year old skinny-minny fishtail of a boy has been harassing a 15 year old boy, who in addition to being older is heavier than the bully.  The incident was videoed by cell phone as the 12 year old "picked on" the other boy, punching him in the face, head and stomach and verbally taunting him.  There were a number of other students witnessing the incident and not doing anything to stop the assault. The original victim finally took all the abuse he could and he retaliated, first wrestling the smaller boy and once he got the upper hand, he lifted the boy up over his head and slammed him to the ground.  The younger boy's ankle was broken when it hit a small retaining wall.  The older boy then backed off but was confronted by a larger friend of the injured boy, who ordered him to walk away.  The bullied boy held his ground for a moment and then proceeded to leave the area. When it appeared that the friend might go after the retreating boy, another student stepped in and stopped him.

The bullied boy, Casey, has been dubbed the unofficial PSA poster boy for anti-bullying.  Many people applaud the boy for fighting back, defending himself.  This concerns me.  Not knowing the whole story, I find it difficult to endorse his behavior.  My best advice to anyone being bullied is seek help...walk away, run is by the grace of God that the body slam resulted only in a broken or sprained ankle.  What would people be saying if the 15 year old, much larger boy tossed the bully on his head or broke his neck?  Would he still be a hero?  I hope that with all this attention, someone finds those boys and follows up on the incident...what did they learn? What do they plan to do in the future about bullying?

As a person who was bullied all through junior high until the day she graduated from high school, a small part of me understands how the victim felt, and why he reacted they way he did.  It doesn't mean it is right though.  When I was in high school, I had been the victim of physical and verbal abuse and teasing for four or five years.  I was taller, heavier and developed earlier than most of my peers...I also had a maiden name just begging to be teased...Rump.  I was called Plump Rump, Rumpie, Rump Roast and some more vulgar variations.  Most of the people who bullied me were girls.  I got pinched, shoved into walls, my hair pulled, things stolen from me, my locker and belongings vandalized.  Even in the days before social networking, there were mean rumors and lies spread.

Being painfully shy, I didn't make friends easily.  Some of my classmates took my shyness as my being stuck-up, another baseless reason to pick on me.  Being shy also meant that I didn't know what to do or have the courage to go find help.  For a long time...too long.. I took it.  Sometimes I would tell my mother I was sick so I could stay home from school and have a day without being abused. 

Eventually, I told my mother about the bullying.  She talked to the administration at school and my guidance counselor and for a short time the physical attacks stopped, but the verbal taunting became even more hurtful.  But, I remember one day in 10th grade, walking down the crowded corridor on my way to gym class and two girls walked up behind me, grabbed my arms and rammed me into a brick wall.  The impact was so great, I scraped my face and was bleeding.  My belongings fell every which way and were kicked all along the hallway. No one one saw me. I was nothing to them. I pulled myself together, with the taunts of the bullies ringing down the hall, humiliating me.  I went into the locker room late.  My PE teacher saw my face and asked me if I wanted to go to the nurse.  I said no.  I changed and joined the rest of the girls for warm-ups.  The two girls who attacked me were in the class and so was the nastiest bully of them all.  She was friends with the two assailants and it was obvious they told her of their recent actions.  This girl was the "enforcer" for some of my tormentors.  They would often use her to hurt me.  The nasty bully happened to have a last name that placed her next to me in line as we warmed up in gym. The teacher told us to pair up with the person next to us and do some stretching exercises together.  We were to sit on the floor and reach for our toes and our partner was to count for us so we could hold the stretch.  My bully opted to help me reach my toes by drilling her knees into my back and putting her full body weight on me.  Now, I was big...but I was physically fit and strong.  I reacted to the pain and pressure by whipping my body upright and jamming my arms back to dislodge her.  She fell backward hard...almost a body slam.  I stood up, angry...fists clenched and I waited.  The teacher having witnessed this, gave my assailant detention and threw her out of class, sending her to the locker room to change before going to the office.  She then called me aside and told me to go to the locker room, splash  some water in my face and do what I needed to teacher had just given me permission to fight back. 

I went into the locker room, and splashed water on my face.  The bully saw me and came over, yelling at me for getting her in trouble.  She swore at me and took a step toward me.  I told her to go away.  She kept coming.  I then beat the crap out of her.  When she had had enough...I went out to the teacher and told her what happened.  I then volunteered to go to the office.  She let me go.  We both knew I needed to face the consequences for my actions. 

I spoke with the dean of women, the school nurse and eventually the principal.  My punishment was to apologize for hitting the girl.  She accepted my apology and never spoke to me again. She never apologized to me.

After that, the bullies seemed less interested in physically harassing me, although there were times when their words hurt more than a punch ever could.  From that point on, I acted to make changes.  I ran for student council and won each of the four years.  I held office in other school groups and I worked hard to make people aware that being different was okay.  I tried to lead by example.  I tried to treat others as I wished to be treated.  I also learned to be quick with wit and tongue...I used my words to buy the time I needed to walk away from potential problems.  I think by the time I graduated, many of my peers respected me.

Nietzsche said,"That which does not kill us makes us stronger".  Being bullied made me stronger, but I think it also killed a part of me.

Gracie and Reilly

Today is one of those days that begs for household stuff to be done.  It is cold, rainy and quiet.  I have no pressing errands to run and frankly, going outside is not appealing.

I got up and set to the business of maintaining a household.  A couple of loads of laundry, some pots left soaking in the sink overnight and the bathrooms topped my honey-do list.  Reilly had other ideas.  She decided she needed to go out...but she hates the rain.  Standing in the laundry room, sorting towels for the next load, I feel this persistent poking on my leg.  I look down and she, with ears pinned back, barks..."Out!"  Yup, my dog talks.  "Really? am on a roll here."  "Out!" 

I stuff a few towels and things in the washer, set it and forget it.  I moved down to the mudroom closet , put on my coat, hat and grab the umbrella and the door and there is our neighbor's old dog Penny, resting on my welcome mat.  This is not unusual.  Automatically, I grab a dog biscuit from the vase on the hall table and Reilly forgets everything about going OUT.  She dances and prances for her cookie too.  I toss Penny her treat and she settles back down on the mat.  Closing the door, I turn to Reilly and give her a half a cookie and she takes off to snarf down her prize.  Off comes the coat...unbrella back to the bucket...and laundry sorting continues...for two seconds..."Out!"  Harumph! 

Knowing that Penny is still out on the covered stoop, I don my rain gear and head to the slider leading to the deck.  It is raining, right...well Reilly would rather cross her legs than get her paws wet.  But there she is standing at the door, looking up at me,waiting for the door to open so she can stick her nose out and then turn tail and run.  Being the somewhat intelligent and experienced partner in this relationship, I know what is going to happen and not wanting to be poked anymore, I seize the day and the dog...and I carry her through the raindrops down the steps to the pea stoned area under the deck.  I block her retreat and give her the command to get busy.  Oh what pathetic looks she sends my way as the rain pelts her pelt, but she quickly realizes that I do not share her aversion to rain and tah dah... she pees and poops! I run up the stairs, open the door and she practically leaps the 15 feet from the stairs to the door.  Now let the rug surfing begin.  I forgot to grab her towel which we keep by the mudroom door for jsut such she skidded and slid her wet little body all over my oriental rug...much to the amusement of Gracie the cat, who was hiding in a basket of blankets.  As Reilly cruised by, Gracie would stab a paw at her through the opening of the basket where the handle is. 

This goes on long enough for me smile, nod and to head to the sink where a couple of pots and pans from last night's dinner sat soaking.  I put on my rubber gloves, turn on the hot water, pick up the sponge and poke...Reilly is at it I turn my attention to the dog, the cat steathily approaches from behind and jumps from the kitchen island to the counter, with every intention of knocking over some wine glasses set on a drying rack to dry last night.  With a quick lunge, I saved the glasses only to have smeared them with soapy residue from my gloves.  Okay...what to you two want?  I turned the water off, took of the gloves and found Reilly a dental chew stick and I put a couple of Greenies cat treats on Gracie's scratching tower.  I bought myself just enough time to finish washing the pots, reclean the glasses and put the dried dishes away from the night before...Oh joy, the towels are done!  Back to the laundry room...this time with the cat in tow.  I open the washer door and she sticks her nose in to see what is what...I open the dryer door and she jumps in.  Okay...she'll get out when I start to toss stuff in there, right?...nope...first in went the dryer sheet...which she proceeded to shred. I got it away from her, took her out of the dryer, turned to the washer and Gracie is back in the dryer.  Okay, wet towels are surely a deterent to a cat in the tub of a dryer, right? No.  As I toss the first couple of towels in, Gracie leads with a right and smacks my hand.  Poophead. I reach in and grab her and place her on top of the dryer.  I lean over to put the rest of the towels into the dryer and she leans over, putting both her front paws on my head and then leap frogs onto my back.  Slightly amused, I shut the dryer, and hear a strange scratching noise.  Still bent over, with cat perched in the middle of my back, I look through my legs to see the dog trying to get into the litter box.  "OUT!", I bark.  At this point it is every mammal for herself.  The dog skitters to the left, I stand up, sending the cat flying into the laundry basket filled with round two of my day's wash.  Crud...I have to clean the litter box. Not to many "prizes", but once Reilly gets her nose in there...well just trust me, it ain't pleasant. 

Well, it is a good thing my next stop on the chore tour is the bathroom.  I wash my hands and set about spraying this and scrubbing that...both pets have followed me.  Gracie sits on the closed toilet seat and Reilly has secured  a cosy spot on the bathroom rugs, which I tossed in the hallway for their turn in the wash.  I set to scrubbing the tub.  We invested in a deep soaking tub...great on those days when you are tired and achy.  It is big and long enough for my 6 foot 3 inch husband to soak in... and it is a pain for a 5 foot 6 1/2 inch tall woman to clean.  Kneeling on the floor, rubber gloved and scrubby in hand, I set to work on busting through some hard water stains.  And then it happens...the cat jumps from the potty right onto my back, sending my head into the edge of the tub...not hard but enough to surprise a whoop outta me.  In comes the dog, jumping up to see if am okay...she squirmed up under me, and started licking my face.  Cat on my back, dog under my chest, little bump on my head and scrubbing bubbles up to my elbows...And it is only 10:15!  Oh...and I forgot to turn the dryer on.  Okay...time to get serious.  I toss both critters out of the bathroom, close the door.  Back to work, scrubbing this and spraying that...and from the other side of the door, I hear what sounds like the Charge of the Light Brigade.  From the master bedroom down the hall to the guestroom...back again, down the stairs and up again.  The two nut jobs I love almost as much as my kids are playing a combo game of tag and hide and seek.  Nothing is crashing so...for now, no harm, no foul! In a quick  15 minutes, this room is done.  I put the cleaners back under the sink, hang the gloves up to dry and carefully open the door.  Gracie rushes in to inspect the job and Reilly is lying on the top step of the stairs, waiting to ambush me.  Clever girl.

Next, the master bath surfaces get a spray of cleansers.  I pick up the bath mats, close the door to let chemistry do its thing and head back to get the other rugs and downstairs for some coffee. 

I love a parade and that's what we had as we marched down the first with a laundry basket, then the cat, who immediately darts into the blind spot in front of me...and the dog brings up the rear...poking me.  In order to stablize myself and avoid tripping over the cat, I lean on the wall and slowly slip my feet from one step to the next...I must look ridiculous...but it works and we all make it down to the foyer.  At this point, the cat has snuck into the dining room, awaiting her next chance to pounce.  Reilly saw her though and unbeknownst to said feline ninja, ran around through the kitchen to the other dining room door.  Operation Dominate the Cat begins and ends with me yelling," Reilly get off her"...and round two of the Charge of the Light Brigade ensues.

I definitely need a cup of coffee.  I grab a mug and pour myself a cup of our houseblend Fair Trade Love Buzz/Hazelnut mix.  And then I hear something...and then something else.  What??  I look over to the hutch in my kitchen and the cat is tossing little pyramid shaped teabags (Tea Forte') out of a basket onto the floor and the dog is scrambling to pick them up in her mouth all at once.  This is not good.  I tell Reilly to "leave it" and Gracie to get down.  They look at me like I am joking.  So with coffee cup in hand, I take two steps toward them and the both take off in opposite directions. 

So here I am writing about these two characters.  Reilly is taking a nap in her bed and the cat is sitting here right between my wrists...have you ever tried to type with a cat on your keyboard. Crud, my coffee is cold.  But do I dare move?  Oh yeah, I have to clean that other bathroom. 

The cat just disappeared and the dog is under the bed...this is gonna be interesting.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Miss March

If you ask any member of my family what I think about the month of March, they would say something along the lines that they don't speak that way to polite company.  March is the most frustrating of months.  It has weather extremes and I know that I am anthropromorhizing, but I swear this blasted month has mood swings too!

March is such tease...the sun feels warm through the windows and then you go outside...wham!!! The wind cuts through your sweater and of course you forget your hat and gloves...brr.

March is a dirty month too.  As the snow melts, the sand and detritius of winter soil the snow banks and clog the gutters. Sadly, people are content to ignore that stuff, making it seem all the more offensive and depressing.

The departing snow reveals broken branches and ruts where car tires spun over your lawn.  Then there is the mud.  Blech.  Poor Reilly takes a walk and comes back a dog of a different color...mud brown.

To add insult to injury, I live in a part of town that has its own micro-climate.  Up here on the hill, snow hangs around longer than the rest of town.  Despite the warmer days, we still have 3 feet of snow on the lawn and there are a few snow banks still flirting with four feet along the sides of the driveway.  I am so envious of friends who are posting pictures of crocuses and snowdrops popping up along the foundations of their homes.  The good news is, my deck which just a few weeks ago was blanketed by 55 inches of snow, now has a small 3'x5'x1'  island on the shaded side.   That patch is toast tomorrow.  I don't know if I'll tempt fate and or Mother Nature, but I may put a couple of deck chairs out there too...someplace to sit, bundled up under blankets while sipping some tea.  I think its a plan!

Never fear though, to get back at the month of March, I get dirty.  I ordered my seed starters and in a few days, I'll have pots and pots of vegetables seeded, working and waiting for the day we'll transplant them at the end of May.  I have been in the garage scrubbing and oiling my garden tools.  Next week I'll sweep out the garage and reorganize my potting shelves.  And each night I'll soak my hands to remove the soil.  I'll rub in the bag balm to calm and soothe my hands, making them ready for the real dirty work prepping beds in April and May.

I have been mapping out my vegetable gardens on graph paper.  I am pouring over flower and plant catalogs, making lists of all the new perennials and annuals that will refresh my tired gardens and window boxes.  I am getting jazzed.

So, I am fighting dirt with dirt...and some heartfelt prayers that soft April showers will show up a couple of weeks early to wash away gritty old March.  Miss March...not much.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What Do I Want to do Now that I am Grown Up?

...that is the question.  I am an empty-nester.  I have been home for about 4 1/2  months since returning from Paris...I set a soft deadline to find something...the purpose driven life...within six months of returning...and lo and behold, that coincides with my turning 50 next month.  For some reason, I have this sense of urgency about redefining myself...finding the purpose that suits me...that pleases me.  I struggle with the "selfishness" of it too.  I want to put myself first...maybe for the first time in my life...but it is something akin to putting roller skates on a horse...very awkward, uncomfortable, oddly amusing and wholly unanticipated.  I mean, here I am and I just do not know what to do!

I am trying my hand at writing...but I have no idea how to make a career out of writing.  I am developing recipes along with food and wine parings...a cookbook?  But which niche?

I have been approached by folks, asking me why don't I become a caterer?  Maybe an event planner?

I have had people suggest that I develop private tours here in the States and tours, food tours, history tours, shopping tours and touristy tours...hmm.

I'd like to continue to develop my skill sets.  I'd like to make some know tangible value appreciation for work well done.  My husband wants me to learn how to make sushi!

I want to enjoy what I do...avocation versus vocation...I'd like to make some "mad" money and I'd like to make a difference.

I have been involved with volunteer work since 1991.  I have worked since I was 12...having a regular babysitting job, working retail, teaching, administration, and then a really dedicated volunteer service life for the last 20 years...all rewarding, somewhat satisfying...but now what?  Without sounding or being selfish, I'd like to find something for me to do that makes me happy and addresses my interests and desires...this is not an easy thing to do. 

Women my age and from this generation in particular are masters at putting everyone else first...we are that sandwich generation...caring for kids...concerned for parents and other aging family members and friends.  Trying to find the delicate balance of all the needs of others on the fulcrum of our shoulders.  Well, the scale has children are adults, and although that doesn't mean I won't do, care, worry, provide for them...I have learned to let them go it on their own first...and usually quite successfully. 

For the "Greatest Generation" and the older boomers in my life, I try to advise and assist without patronizing. Sometimes I have thought it would be so much easier for So and So to just move in with us so I could take over and take care of that person.  I need to remind myself that these people are my elders...adults who have managed for years and although facing new challenges and more difficulties, respect and dignity need to be maintained. 

I am that person you look for in a crowd when you need help, information, advice.  Just last week, I was sitting at the airport with about 200 other passengers waiting our delayed flight.  I was sitting three seats in from the end of a row, reading a book and a woman who obviously was running late and unaware of our predicament, looked at the myriad of faces, saw me reading "My Life In France" by Julia Child and came over to me, to ask why the flight was delayed.  Bill was sitting to my right...another woman to my left...but she walked right up to me and asked.  I told her what I knew...pointed her to the ticket agents if she needed more info and smiled.  My husband leaned over to me and said, "It must be your face."   This kind of stuff happens all the time. 

Senior citizens seek me out in grocery stores.  I am often asked to reach for explain what something is...."what are hearts of palm and how do you cook them?"  I have read labels for folks and even helped some people find what they are looking for...nice, yes, but not the career move I am looking for.

I have been hugged and given hugs to complete strangers.  Occasionally, I will give correct change to someone who is struggling to find the right amount while on line at the store, coffee shop, etc. 

So what do I do with this?  I feel like I am waiting for someone to grant me permission to emerge from this chrysalis...but who will emerge?  What will I do?