Today was another fantastic day continuing the trend of yesterday, and last night and I kept the adventure going this morning and into this afternoon. I don’t normally ask complete strangers to go out for breakfast but I did last night and it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Please allow me to explain.
My neighbor Jodi invited me over for a chat last night with her husband and another lady that she has been helping, we shall refer to her as Tiffany. I have no issue openly sharing my life and I will certainly respect the privacy of others as much as I can. Tiffany is dealing with her own issues in life, Jodi thought she would offer a different and unique perspective on the issues that I am having with Emily as there were some similarities in their stories.
AS the evening progressed and the conversation bounced around from topic to topic I found myself intrigued by her openness and willing to share her story with us. As the night wound down and I said my good-byes I went home and started to think to myself that I wanted to talk with Tiffany more but in a one of one setting. So I sent over a quick email asking if she wanted to have breakfast with me this morning. And she accepted.
So two things of note right away, it’s not something that I have ever done before asking a relative stranger out for breakfast and I would quickly find out she had not done anything like this as well. So up this morning, shower and away we go. It was a quick 10 second walk to knock on the front door 🙂 and off we went. There is a restaurant here in Barrie called the Farmhouse, which is an old converted farmhouse right on the shore of Kempenfelt Bay with a great view of the water. We were seated on the upper level and in the corner table which gave us the best view of the water on a beautiful Sunday morning. You could still see the fog lifting off the bay even with the bright sunshine all around.
Social anxiety, meeting new people, worrying about being able to carry and have a conversation with someone I didn’t know always caused me a great amount of stress. I would often go out of my way to avoid situations like these, or make up excuses to back out at the last-minute. Those thoughts and feeling didn’t once enter my mind last night or this morning and every time that I have challenged myself recently I have been initially surprised at how easy it actually is.
On the drive down I inquired about she met Jodi, we chatted about dinner the night before and when we arrived we were seated, ordered some coffee and got into some deep and heavy topics of conversation right away. It was a blessing that we were seated along on the upper level and it was almost an hour? maybe before another table was seated. I don’t recall how long, we were there for almost three hours but it didn’t feel nearly that long at all.
Your perception of time is always an amazing thing, sitting in class as a kid waiting for school to end the second-hand on the clock seemed to take forever. The exact opposite seems to happen when you are in great company and having a good time.
Having the room to ourselves, Tiffany was able to tell me her story, about the issues that she was dealing with. I sat there sipping my coffee listening to this beautiful woman open up and reveal intimate details of not only her past but her present situation as well, again to a complete stranger. Personally I have learned the power of sharing, the power of talking with another person about what is going on in your own life, and I suspect that Tiffany feels exactly the same way.
I asked questions at breaks in the conversation, I dug a little deeper on certain things and in the course of sharing her story with me I felt that I was able to get to know her much better and have a deep understanding of the events in her life that had shaped her into the person sitting across from me today. Seeing up close another person completely open up and be honest gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
As the morning progressed, the menus remained untouched and it was my turn to share my story. Just as Tiffany had done, I didn’t hold back and shared the events of the last 20 years of my life going over both marriages, why I got married to each lady (topics for future posts indeed!) and ultimately the reasons these relationships would end in failure. I talked about all of my children and the conversation eventually ended up with Emily.
The secret (well maybe not) reason that I wanted to talk with Tiffany in the first place was to get a female perspective on the thoughts and feelings that may be swirling around in Emily’s head. What a young lady thinks about their Dad who wasn’t there at a period of time when she perhaps needed me the most, and what actions could be taken next and possible reactions I might receive from Emily.
If you would like to know more of the back story between my daughter Emily and me, I’ve written about our situation in our last several posts.
We would eventually order and have breakfast but over our three-hour conversation I was presented with thoughts and options that I would not have been able to come up with on my own. I have spent my afternoon preparing a much more detailed and written version of what the expectations are for any child under my roof and have planned a date with Emily tomorrow evening after school to review these options with her and talk about her life moving forward.
Several of the key points came from my Breakfast with Tiffany.
The talk won’t be easy but it might be the most important conversation that I have had with any of my children to date. I so desperately want her to get some help, despite her repeated plea to me that she is fine. I can see her struggling with a lot of the same issue that I was as well.
We finished out breakfast and stepped outside shortly after noon and marveled at the beautiful December weather that we were having. The summer was not a hot one here in Canada by any stretch of the imagination and on December 3rd it was nicer than a lot of the days this past year. Certainly a lot more sunny! It felt like God had open up a small piece of heaven and it was shining down on us.
When we got home I thanked her so much for sharing with me, letting her know what a great time that I had and I sincerely hope we get the chance to do it again really soon. I made a new friend today, and added another peice to my ever expanding circle of support. I hope she looks at me in the same way.
You honestly never know what tomorrow may bring, and you need to open to all possibilities. Life will surprise you when you least expect it, we remember the bad but often close ourselves to all the good out there.
Thank you Tiffany, breakfast was lovely.