There is Opportunity at the Edge. If You Know How to Look.

Welcome to GirlieOnTheEdge. I don’t know where I’m goin’ with this today…maybe a “regular” post? But it is the weekend after all and you know what that means! Yes! #TenThingsofThankful.

*My world did not stop a few moments ago as in the “holy shit that was cool, wtf” way but still. Here, let me catch you up to speed…

Yesterday, I went into the office. Some of you know I work in Maryland and live in northern Virginia. It’s not a bad commute on the weekend and somehow that makes going in on the weekend it a little bit better. Don’t ask me why but for some reason, yesterday I was acutely aware/mindful of routine. About the dangers and drawbacks of allowing oneself to more or less autopilot through a day…or a life.

I’d gotten off to a later start than I wanted, somewhere around 10. The weather was typical end of summer warm – low 80’s with a sky light blue, littered with soft, semi puffy clouds here and there. No sign of rain. I can dig it.

Having just crossed the American Legion Bridge (which crosses the Potomac River) into Maryland, I decided it would be a cool idea to find the French bakery a co-worker had told me about. Pouquois non, a little pastry morsel ce matin?

Supposedly it wasn’t far from our office. How long could it take? It wasn’t like I had to be to work at a particular time. Instead of hanging a left for the office, I kept driving straight. Can’t be too far…

The funny thing about driving to a place. Whether you know exactly where it is or not, it seems to take a long time. Longer than you think it would or could or should. Anticipation? Does anticipation lenghthen time? So I’m driving and looking. This part of the road isn’t overly developed – some warehouse stuff, an office building…

A few minutes later the landscape is looking more urban… convenience store, gas station. It’s also getting trickier to look at both sides of the highway what with traffic and all. As I approached an intersection, I noticed a strip mall on the right side of the highway. Very industrial looking – AC Delco Truck repair shop, pawn shop, a tire store on the far end.

On the left side of the highway, directly opposite, was another strip mall. A clean, modern looking, nicely appointed stucco shopping plaza. There! a sign for an Italian restaurant, a pet store… I bet the bakery is in there.

I drove to the next traffic light, did a u-y, hung a right and slowly perused the shops. No French bakery. Damn. I turned around at the end of the parking lot and made my way back to where I’d come in. Sitting, waiting to pull out into traffic, I glanced across the street to the “industrial park”, a casual glance not really looking. Holy shit! There! right next to the pawn shop was the French bakery.

I drove to the traffic light, made another u turn, pulled into the seedy looking (it was!) parking lot, found a parking space, got out. Walking towards the little bakery, and in spite of appearances, I tried the door. Locked! Only then did I happen to notice (duh!) that the lights were out. Yes. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Bummer you say? No! Au contraire mes amis. The entire episode-ette was my “lesson”. A most wonderful revelation of how expectation and conditioning and my own personal reality “guided” me to look for the bakery in the nice looking, modern looking shopping plaza. My mind automatically chose the “nice” place over the industrial complex. Obviously, on some unconscious level, I’d had a preconceived notion of where a French bakery would/should be located. Pretty cool, eh?

What are my 10 things this week? Let me count….un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix….  another day, the Wakefield Doctrine, Carlos Castaneda, my sister-in-law, my own self, French Bakeries, “lessons”, the Cat, Six Sentence Story hop, Lizzi coming to “Murica”.

Remember…”The little things…there’s nothing bigger. Is there?”

*There was a kinda “part two” today. 🙂

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14 thoughts on “There is Opportunity at the Edge. If You Know How to Look.

  1. It ALWAYS takes longer to get TO a place than home from that place. Always. I think it’s the expectation/excitement, but also our slower driving, thanks to our unfamiliarity (THAT is a hard word to spell and say) with the directions.
    At least you found it, and now you can get there quicker next time. I would have done the same as you. How can a French bakery not be in the hoity toity strip mall?

    1. For sure, all of those things although sometimes I’ve driven pretty fast to get somewhere:) Maybe I just thought I was driving fast….nope. I probably was lol
      For sure, the unfamiliar places do cause a drag on time.
      I did! And I surely will. I know, right? 😀

  2. dyannedillon

    Best part of the story is you didn’t have anyone (i.e., a man) next to you, saying Why didn’t you find out what their hours were first? It was an adventure.

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