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Serendipitity and joy.

Sometimes, things just work out. Sometimes, life gives you these neatly wrapped, wonderful little packages to open up and enjoy. It’s a unique feeling when you feel both completely content and excited by possibility at the same time.

A had an unremarkable chain of events over the last few days which led to this exquisite feeling. Late in the week, I got banged up at judo, so I decided not to train Friday or Saturday. On Saturday morning, I used the time I would have spent getting ready for jiu jitsu and training to clean out my refrigerator, go food shopping, and make my lunch and breakfast for the work week– all the things I usually do after practice. I went to help out with the kids’ judo class later in the afternoon, came home, and did some more chores. Then, I eased into a chill evening walking around West Philly with my rad step-sister, Krista, happy to be reconnecting face to face.

This morning, I was up unexpectedly early. I hopped out of bed and did my neglected laundry before scampering

Me on left, unshowered post-judo practice wearing our club's judo sweatshirt. Joy on right, unshowered post-jiu jitsu practice wearing our club's jiu jitsu sweatshirt. Not pictured: accidental matching grey sweatpants.

Me on left, unshowered post-judo practice wearing our club’s judo sweatshirt. Joy on right, unshowered post-jiu jitsu practice wearing our club’s jiu jitsu sweatshirt. Not pictured: accidental matching grey sweatpants.

off to judo. When I got home from practice, I found myself with no obligations, no little errands, nothing but time. I haven’t had that on a Sunday in months. As I was messing around on the internet, I got a phone call from my teammate and spirit sister, Joy. I was alarmed at first. Since Joy and I usually text, my brain automatically jumped to horrific emergency. Why else would she be calling? Well, it turns out that sometimes people call each other just to hang out. Joy was in my neighborhood and wanted to know if I had time to chill. And I did. We got a snack a tiny Indian restaurant, and once again I found myself strolling through West Philly under the sun and trees with someone important in my life. Joy and I have both been wrapped up in life stress lately and haven’t had any hang out time together. It felt  perfect to walk around Clark Park and just talk.

If my week had gone differently, I might not have been so open to relaxing with my friend. I might have felt torn about hanging out with Joy, not fully satisfied with either the choice to tackle dumb chores and errands or spend time with my buddy. But everything was in place for us to share a couple of hours to ground each other. Today is the anniversary of my mom’s death, and while I woke up in a good mood this morning, all the complicated emotions of her death run like lava through my body this time of year. I can feel them, but I don’t know when they will erupt. I am grateful that the volcano stayed dormant today, but I also know that Joy would accept me even if I was an overflowing with disastrous sadness and anger.

I don’t care that this sounds mad cheesy, but Joy is a gift to me. I don’t know where our friendship is headed, but I know that I have felt more loved and cared for in this world since we’ve become friends.

Sometimes, things just work out.

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