A long time ago, in between community college and Florida Atlantic University, I figured out some things. I took a year to get direction. Ultimately, I went from being a loafing, walking flip flop, to an inspired, focused adult..by comparison, anyway. I entered my university knowing I’d become a teacher.
During my get focused, figure things out year, as to not waste time or money floundering in unclaimed majors, or panic through overwhelm, I became an education tour guide.
When I wasn’t at my desk planning trips with vendors for elementary students to fly to the nation’s capital, tour Old School Square, St. Augustine, or other Old Florida day trips, I was leading tours myself. I was the one at the helm, directing coach bus drivers, handing out tickets to chatty chaperones, getting us in and out of restaurants and back on the road in time for parents all waiting very anxiously in school driveways. People actually counted on me.
Somehow, it all worked. I did not get us fed to gators on the sides of Alligator Alley. I did not direct our bus to swipe Cape Canaveral’s space station. I did not leave kids in podunk ice cream shops on the way to St. Augustine. It all worked.
I even shopped like an adult. I had to elicit trust, namely by my smile, smart black pumps, and on sale suits at The Loft. I wore scarves at the neck, knotted on the side. (I have a drivers license from that time where I strongly resemble Tour Guide Barbie. I will find it and upload, just for posterity).
All this tour guiding time, I wore Happiness, by, Clinique. I would spritz up just before rounding up the troops to rally home. I sprayed that orange top stuff right before climbing out of my silver Ford Focus when the sun as barely up, to welcome sleepy eyed youngsters and their parents with their caffeinated nerves and Starbucks cups.
Just a couple months ago, I received a new bottle of Happy, nice and teeny, from a Clinique gift with purchase. It instant brought me back to my neck scarf days.
Even hours after I spray my wrist, the scent hurries back to me and I am turning in at the long street of date palms. I am blinking in sunshine and white ginger flowers at the Edison -Ford Museum garden in Fort Myers. I am back in old Florida, looking at Ford’s Model T, back to Edison’ spinning sousaphone and the impossibly old ficus trees from India.
That Happiness is potent stuff.
It is synchronicity, perhaps, that as I prime the pump of my mini spray, I am embarking on a new teaching gig, a new joy: I am teaching young women in a truly wonderful Japanese school! I am starting to publish! I am raising a family!
It seems all moments lead to here. For all of us, maybe. Here we are, shining joy, reflecting all that has been given to us, summoning all strength and smiling our biggest, cheesiest, cutest smiles! There is purpose in choosing the beautiful things, the groundwork of spring.
“I got sunshine, I got blue sky, I got my guy
Who could ask for anything more?”