"The Buddha's insight into the middle way is not simply about a balance between extremes. This conventional understanding misses the deeper revelation of the middle way as being the very nature of unexcelled enlightenment. The middle way is an invitation to leap beyond nirvana and samsara and to realize the unborn Buddha mind right in the middle of everywhere."
Been a bit sidetracked the last number of days. Haha. Not really, let's be honest, sometimes I like to say this when I don't post for whatever reason.
However, yesterday I did fly out to Raleigh for my scheduled interview with the Swedish Consulate. Yes, Raleigh. Good ol' Raleigh, North Carolina, of all places. I flew to the N.C. to teleconference with the Swedish Consulate in Chicago. Makes total sense, right? Wrong! Anyhoo, I just did what I was told, when I was told, how I was told. No questions asked.
Of course, I made it to the office hours early, and in good Swedish fashion the office wasn't open until 1 pm. Beautiful. A kind lady who worked the front desk of the law firm shared by of the Consulate recommended that I go around the corner to a neighboring coffee shop. So, I was like ok, cool, I got some time to kill. Then I had one of my I hate America moments. I know. Silly me. But, one of my gripes is the urban planning in this nation. Everything is centered around gas guzzling motor vehicles. Pedestrians are so uncool. Since, I took a cab to my destination the best thing I had to work with were my own two feet, and I wasn't about to order a cab to go around the corner.
"Sure honey, just go 'round the corner to the coffee shop", I was told. Riiight, if only it were that easy. Once I made it out of the heavily air conditioned office to the corner, I noticed...hmmmmm...no sidewalks to be seen, and no cross walks. If I was in the mood to play human frogger I would have zipped across the busy quadra-laned street, but I wasn't in the mood to fight for my life for a damn cup of coffee - which I quit drinking by the way - (applause please). So, I turned on my heel and headed back to the building to wait. Pedestrians are so uncool.
For some odd reason anything with the name interview attached to it makes me nervous, even if it isn't for a job. Official business just does. Even when I go to get my driver's license renewed I get a twinge of nervousness that seems to override the annoyance of being in a DMV. Strange I know. But, I guess it comes from me wanting to see things through, but inherently fearing someone will deny me even though in reality I have nothing to worry about. Or is that just neurotic?
Another strange thing is having someone asking me every detail of me and my relationship, but my interviewer was friendly enough, and highly professional, so I can't complain. But still, I had all this worry afterwords wondering if I did okay, when really, I simply answered everything opening and honestly. Maybe it's a control thing - knowing I'm at the mercy of someone else's judgment and discretion. What can you do? I gotta be who I am at any given moment, and I did just that.
I was simply happy this part of the process was over, then it was time for me to head back to the airport and back to C-bus.
Also, I have to say, on my quick day trip to Raleigh, I had several I love America moments, once I looked past all the dudes wearing cellphones on their belts, lol. During my trip I encountered that open, friendly American spirit that is quite unique to this country after all of my travels the past year. People out of the blue would ask me, where you going? Why? How ya doing? I would tell them, and they would wish me the best of luck. That's pretty darn cool. I know in other countries there are language barriers to contend with, but even in other countries I could spot Americans because they would be talking - yes loudly, but who cares - to whomever. Yeah. We got spunk - an enthusiasm that may annoy some, but it's uniquely our own, and that's pretty cool. Pedestrians are still uncool.
Disclaimer - never mind the urban planning comment, I was simply tired and annoyed at the time. However, I must say, Raleigh is a beautiful place with plenty of green space and lovely scenery.