I’m a firm believer in taking advantage of my surroundings. If I was going to be in Chicago, then that meant deep-dish pizza was a must. And Giordano’s delivered! Now we were left with one more night. Everything else on the “must do” list would be closed, except perhaps a chance at a steak from the stockyard capital.
So we set out in search of the perfect cut. After asking all the locals, we were pointed towards Dublin’s. It wasn’t much – a small little building on Rush street, tiny in comparison to some of the famous taverns. But it had been highly recommended. So in we went, sat at an 8-person table. There were only 6 in our party. I sat on the end, next to two girls sharing our table. That’s how I met Jen.
Jen was the nicest lady I had ever spoken too. Never was there someone more engaging in conversation. We spoke of business, life plans, accomplishments…everything really. Jen was very interested in my plans and admired my goals. I was impressed with her financial accomplishments. Despite her humility, it was no secret that she had done well for herself.
When she inquired about my company, I tried to explain our high quality housewares. I asked her if she ever cooked. No; she had “some help with all of that.” It became clear that Jen had her own privately hired house staff. I congratulated her on being successful enough to afford such a luxury. She thanked me for the compliment, and then said something very interesting: “I’ve accomplished a lot in my career, but I’m empty in other ways.”
The waiter came by with my steak. I thought it was odd that he had recommended the cheapest cut on the menu. But it was the tastiest piece of meat that ever crossed my lips. Juicy, tender, the perfect amount of pink in the middle – truly, words can’t do justice to this steak. It was fantastic! Yet even with such a culinary masterpiece there fore the taking, I found myself more interested in continuing my talk with Jen.
It wasn’t just Jen – her friend was an active part of the conversation. Of course, she was also much more actively drinking. At one point, she turned to me and said, “If you could do anything completely out there, but responsible at the same time…” Silence. Jen laughed at her incomplete sentence. I said, “Are you asking what I would do differently with my life if I could?” She nodded, and I thought about it. I thought about it for a significant amount of time. Jen was obviously interested in my reply. Sure there were crazy things I would like to have done with my life. But I responded honestly.
“I would do exactly what I’m doing right now. I know what I want most, and I’m headed strait towards it.” Jen was clearly affected by my response. Her friend had clearly moved on from the conversation, turning to one of my friends and spouting out further nonsensical inquiries. Our conversation turned to more spiritual things, and I was able to testify to my new friend about the things I loved most and knew to be true. I told her that there was a way to not feel so empty.
I left the pub much different from when I had arrived. There was a rekindled gratitude for my blessings. I knew I was on the path I wanted to be on. I had great things going for me in my career, and I wasn’t empty in other ways. I was full.
I’m really a believer in taking advantage of my surroundings. If I was going to be around new people, then that meant making a new friend was a must. And Jen delivered on providing a wonderful spiritual experience.
~ Doug Olsen, Sandy, Utah