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one step at a time.


i met her by chance.
a couple of weeks ago.
she intrigued me.
she was locked. 
and i was curious to know what
was inside.

over dinner
she slowly opened a bit
of herself.
she shared her hopes.
her failed attempts.
and her dreams.

she spoke of diligence.
and it radiated from her core.
diligence in her relationships.
her family.
her friends.
and her education. 
her english
speaking was poised,
thoughtful and dynamic.

i'm not sure how it happened.
but she asked me
if i
would help her study more english.
i told her
she didn't need it.
her english was possibly better 
than mine.
but she insisted.

she took my number.
told me she'd call.
and she did.

i think of the word
and completely delightful.
this is her.
her thoughts are soaking
with wisdom.
learned from a life lived...
her awareness of self
is poignant.
almost shocking
in utter clearness.

she has dreamed the dream of
as so many have.
to her, the work of being a 
flight attendant offers this.
her 20s are scattered with several 
ventures to achieve
this dream.

but the time has not been right.
she is no stranger to failed attempts.
life is mysterious, she says.
the time has not been right.

something about our chance encounter.
she said, inspired me.
your compliment
and confidence about my english skills...
job opportunities,
and something about the time...
it feels right this time.

so together. 

in coffee shops or small cafes
she is preparing.
i, assisting.
preparations for interviews.
because this intriguing woman
is living something.
something she has dreamed.
and all the while
she is teaching me.

always try.
we must.
because our dreams are apart of us.
life is mysterious.
but we must be diligent.
and you must not be afraid of failure, she says.
because failure just means
there is something else.

but we must dream.
and we must try.
so we do not have to wonder...

the way she pulls her hair
away from her face.
her enrapturing head-back laugh that shows
off her mischievous smile.
the way she grasps my arm when we walk.

our age difference.
while six years thick.
seems unimportant as i sit across
from her.

she jokes, calling me, sam.
the korean title for a teacher.

it humbles me.
because proper sentence arrangement
seems so insignificant.
to what i am absorbing.

never be afraid to dream.
and to try.
because we must.
we must try. she says.

when we part for the evening
it is i.
whose heart is filled. and pumping hard.
from my friend,

from my teacher.

because i am aware
of the risk of trying.
of what failure can look like.
how it can
eat at the very core.


she is not scared.
or so she tells me every time we meet.
this time is for fun.
she wants to do it to
not wonder...what if...
but there is a wince behind her
confident eyes
every time she says it.

i know she wants to believe it.
but trying...can be scary.

giving it your very all.
is risky.

so today.
on International Women's Day.
i wanted to tell you
a story.
about a woman.
who is dreaming.
who is hoping.
who is trying.
who has almost given up.
but she hasn't.

she has taught me.
that without
what is there?
if we are not listneing to
the small voice inside,
what are we doing?
when will we start listening?
to ourselves.

today. celebrate. women.



Ruth Beedle's picture


thank you.

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