I was sitting in the hotel lobby in Raleigh, North Carolina. The city was new to me. Its air was not yet rubbed too tired on my lungs. It’s streets paved clean to my eyes. Its coffee shop charged me $0.50 for Joe and he didn’t even burn my tongue. Was this heaven?
I wanted to run its streets. I wanted to run early in the morning with my pure, half-asleep mind. I set my alarm for 6 a.m. the thrill of a road ahead ready to be marked by my footprints. He told me no. The man, the businessman that is my father, was unsure of my safety in this new city.
“It’s fine,” I assured him. I wanted him to let me explore.
“Lauren, just go to the workout room instead,” he persisted. His head was still clinging to the pillow. “You can walk around the city later.”
He was here for business. We just planned a family vacation around his work. I, the adventurer, was ready for a new destination, a new chance to peel my eyes at God’s pretty doings that were waiting for me.
And here Raleigh was waiting for me all along. Its city opening its light to my soul; allowing it to take up another spot inside of me. I was all too familiar with this feeling.
It was a feeling of being somewhere untouched by me. I had not yet ruined anything. I had not expected anything. Yet, I gained new perspective and left with stories like I always do.
It was in that hotel lobby that I watched businessmen come and go. They attended meetings and went to conferences. There were ties and skinny gray suits and tall bearded men carrying coffees. My soul belonged to these things too.
You see, my father raised me on the skill of hard work. He raised me to have goals, to dream, to be inspired and to inspire. He taught me the value of networking, of dressing the part, of shaking hands. And many hands, I shook.
He urged me to send those emails. He insisted I make those connections. He instilled confidence. He assured there is no such thing as luck. If you want something enough it will happen.
While he was in his meeting, a freeze came between my fingertips and the keyboard as I was sitting in that lobby writing.
“This is what I want out of life,” I thought.
“What is it you want?” my mind questioned me.
It was simple; I had known it all along. “I just want to work.”
It was in Charleston, two nights prior that we stayed up till Midnight working. I was finishing a blog post and he was answering emails.
“We never sleep,” I smiled to myself as I sipped my coffee. There was a silence between the two of us, our work looming before us, our sleep far behind us. “I’m only 250 words in, Dad,” I worried. “I have to get to 1,000.”
“You’ll get there,” he encouraged. “Just keep writing.”
My father was in meetings at the hotel in Raleigh and I was writing for work at the hotel. We were both working. It was engrained in my veins and stamped into my mind that this was what I was programed to do. I was to work and to love my work. And I do, love my work.
We were the same. Separated by 35 years but built with the same minds. We were father and daughter, born with a passion for restless cities and working. We blazed through life’s difficulties and were always hungry for more.
– as written in the hotel lobby