"RP," it read. "RP Apartments." And then: "Start living."
I'd never noticed the banners strewn along the sides of the building, but that day when I decided to look up out the dirty bus window, it was as if that miniscule shift altered my whole world. Amidst the sea gulls fluttering by and the ancient scrolls etched into urban stones and bundled pedestrians all trying to get home, those small words were enough to convince me that I wasn't alone in the world and I should probably stop being so damn serious and the Universe really does have a great sense of humor.
I'd asked for it, actually. I was having a bad day, one of those days where everyone seems angry and cranky (yourself included) and finally I just had to say Enough. Despite the mean bus driver and the irritating work day and everything in between, I'd decided to pull myself out of that plane of misery and just ask for some fucking inspiration, already.
RP are my initials, for Ruth Patricia (as a kid I never wanted to tell anyone my middle name, as it was just as grandmotherly as Ruth and I was highly embarrassed, but I'll tell you now). I've ridden the 92 bus home too many times to count in the past year and a half and never noticed those banners before, and I'm still unsure as to what they stand for on that building.* And yet there they were, staring me down, telling me to start living, RP.
Do you know the feeling of being caught in an in-between, as if you were hanging between two worlds, or maybe even three or four? Lately I've felt suspended between safety and exploration, comfort and daring, the familiar and the unknown. For so many years I've been building back up my stores that probably hadn't existed within me since I was a child, learning how to be Ruth and take care of myself and love more. I shrank back from anything too risky or vulnerable, taking the baby step into Providence, into a new, albeit close-by, world. And this place has been so, so good to me.
Now here I find myself on the edge of something more, having made it up to the higher precipice and ready to see what's at the next level. All the work and heartache and time alone that's gotten me here has been so, so vital to my very existence, and I couldn't have gotten this far without it.
And yet here I am. Stronger. Wiser. More prepared. Ready.
I've been taking solace lately in the guidance of Freyja, the Nordic goddess who often stands for being bold and taking leaps of faith. She's a warrior goddess, spectacularly beautiful, riding a chariot pulled by mighty cats across the bridge between heaven and earth. Freyja is all about embracing our power and celebrating our successes.
I keep this card beside my bed, one night sending her photo to a dear friend and telling her, Yes, it's time for me to be bold. Can you believe I just pulled this one?
It sounds so silly, to be so affected by a banner hanging from the side of an apartment building out a dirty bus window at 5:15 on a dreary Monday night. But when you tell the Universe that you're sick of feeling cranky and low and uninspired and you'd really like some inspiration please, you sure as hell listen when it responds.
And if it responds by telling you to start living, well, you do just that.
*I've since figured out that RP stands for Regency Plaza. But I'm going to go ahead and say it's for Ruth Patricia anyways :)