Another really quick turnaround in Sydney. I had great aspirations to climb the Sydney Bridge and see the Taronga Zoo again (one of my favorite zoos in the world!). That being said, I accomplished quite a bit: catching up with old friends from sorority (Alex) and LEK (Royston and Liz), buying gear (god, I love gear), walking around the botanical gardens, eating delicious paleo/vegan/cheating foods, lounging around in my PJ’s all day doing life admin on the computer, exploring some of the suburbs, and wandering the streets of CBD (downtown) for an open bar at 3am. All in all, a classic Sydney trip.
It was weird to be back but not as weird as I thought it might be. So much time has passed and the LEK crew is no longer at LEK. And I multiple chapters out of that life. Most of catching up about ex-colleagues involves the words: “they have a kid, no maybe, two now.” I thought I might have life FOMO or feel behind on the life timeline but to my pleasant surprise, I actually felt very little of that. I’m on my path and they are on theirs and it’s all totally copacetic. It’s cool to actually believe it instead of trying to tell myself.
Had really great conversation with my sorority sister, Alex, who I was crashing with. Last time we saw each other in 2008, we were grabbing a drink at the Opera Bar, and I was apologizing that I wouldn’t be drinking much since I was still hung over from the night before. Fast forward 1-3 bars (?) and free champagne for ladies and I’m leading a cute French boy out to the deck of a bar and end up slamming my face into a glass door. Whoops! Needless to say, I ran away with my swollen split lip.
A lot has changed. Alex got married to a lovely Greek dude named V (something much longer but too ethnic to pronounce) and lives in the suburbs of Sydney alongside a beautiful river. I learned that Sydney is very big. If all of Sydney was SF, I basically had never ventured out of SOMA when I lived there. It was great to catch up and discuss relationships, career, and relationships.
Alex and I were never that close in college since she was 2 years younger. And other than a couple unforgettable nights in Sydney, we hadn’t really spent a lot of time together. It was almost coincidental that I found myself staying with Alex. She had reached out in February (via LinkedIn!) that she’d be in SF for work and wanted to grab a drink. I let her know that actually, I was getting laid off and embarking on a personal journey catalyzed by a painful breakup, but hey, I was actually going to be in Sydney and did she want to grab a drink in Sydney? She immediately offered her place for me to crash and I felt intense gratitude.
Like 7 years ago, it was immediate intimacy when we saw each other. Even with limited history, we have a genuine authenticity and direct rapport…it’s beautiful. I’ve been thinking of trying Landmark Forum, and she did not sugarcoat her negative perspective of their cultlike following. I appreciate that directness.
On a broader point, I am still torn when I talk so positively about Tony Robbins. It has totally changed the course of my life but there is a part of me that is still skeptical and embarassed about going to one of these self-help / quasi-cultish seminars. I think it is a good challenge for me to test my new beliefs…sometimes I wonder how it is that much different than religion (in good and bad ways). A test of my beliefs…Book of Job anyone? Ask the universe a question…ask and ye shall receive? There are universal truths I suppose regardless of the doctrine you dress it up in.
Was also really great to catch up with Liz and Royston and hear the latest on LEK gossip. In particular, was great to catch up with Royston and see how much we’ve both grown and changed and become versions of ourselves that are truer to our core.
Dinner with Liz!