If You Build It…

The incredible thing about creating a 101 List is the way that opportunities…seem to…materialize. When I created the list, I knew there were some things on it that would require quite a bit of planning. Or I just didn’t know how they would actually happen. Just that I wanted it. But by putting the ideas out there, they became real, and rather than me having to create them, they have sometimes come to me.

I had spent new year’s 2010 in Austin, but hadn’t been for a year since (my family that was in Austin is now all in Los Angeles). And prior to 2010, it had been three years. When I put going back to Austin on my list, I didn’t know my mom’s film would be accepted to SXSW, or that a major work event would become scheduled there for 2012. But it happened. Not only did I get back this spring, but it will be a annual spring trip next year and for many after.

A good friend recently turned her passion for photography into a business, Lauren Acosta Photography, and offered to take my pic at the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park next time she was in New York.

A co-worker and I celebrated her promotion with drinks at the Oak Room in the Plaza.

Not that this was fortunate, but I broke my wrist in January (more on this at a later date), and it forced me to get back into running and Bikram Yoga (as opposed to my typical Vinyasa which requires more push-ups, ie, pressure on the wrist). I’m now on the road to my running goals and the 60 Day Bikram Challenge is scheduled for this summer.

My favorite professor from SMU came to speak at an alumni event in New York.

And then, #60. I have lived in my apartment for nearly five years. For the past three, I have frequently exchanged glances with a neighbor from the building next door. Because he’s a dream boat. Yes, I’m using the word “dream boat.” Because he’s blonde, tall, and boyish, and looks like a Ken doll. Despite passing him countless times on the street, I never spoke to him because I was either in gym clothes (so much for looking hot 24/7), carrying beer or ice cream (I’d like to tell you I couldn’t stop because they needed to be refrigerated immediately, but let’s face it, no introduction needs to start with, “Oh, I was just picking up some Cherry Garcia from the bodega”), and most importantly, because I had a boyfriend. Oh yeah, who lived with me. Even with the relationship being over, I only ran into this guy running errands, and couldn’t figure out when I would be hair and makeup ready to say hello.

On the first night of March Madness, we were going to see a friend’s band play at Rodeo Bar on 27th and 3rd. My friends and I had no intention of watching the games because it was the first round- who cares? Well my friend, Katie, who went to Kansas, cared. Before the show, instead of having drinks and dinner at a nearby wine bar like we had planned, we ended up at a sports bar down the street to root for the Jayhawks. This sports bar, that I never go to (ever), is 50 blocks from my apartment. Where a guy I’ve had a crush on for years lives in the building next door. And it had apparently never crossed my mind that he might actually leave the street or five block radius, because when I looked up, I froze.

“It’s HIM!!!!” I almost knocked over my post-work vodka soda. The horror.
“Who?” asked Katie and Sarah, bracing themselves to go from Jr. League, to straight up thug in case we were about to have an ex-boyfriend encounter.
I quickly (maybe the fastest I’ve ever talked) explained #60 on the list: how I’ve seen him for years, how he looks just like one of my ex’s best friends but so much hotter, how he plays basketball somewhere because he is always carrying a basketball when I run into him drenched in post yoga sweat or carrying ice cream, how it’s one of my 101 Things to introduce myself. Insert about 10 OMG’s.
“What is he doing HERE??? On 26th st??? WTF??? What do I say?”
And before I could squeeze in another OMG, or get my act in line, Katie was grabbing him.
“Excuse me, don’t you live on the Upper East Side?”
OMG.
“Yeah, I do,” he replied, looking at us like we were the blonde census bureau bandits.
“I think you’re my neighbor!” I injected. “I’ve seen you around the neighborhood. Well you looked familiar, so I told my friends. And she stopped you. We just wanted to see if it was the same person.” Because I obviously take inventory on EVERYONE I pass on the street and then see if I can recognize them somewhere else in the city. Like a game of memory cards where I flip a card over and have to remember where the matching one is. SHUT UP. STOP TALKING.
“Oh did you just move into that apartment down the hall?”
“No, I don’t actually live in your building. Well, I don’t know which building you live in.” This is just getting worse.
“I just assumed you lived in one of the buildings next to me, because I’ve seen you walking a lot. Do you play basketball?” Die. I might have as well said, ‘I carried a watermelon.’
“I do, I’m in a work league with some buddies.”
“Oh, that’s cool. Yeah, I’ve seen you with your ball.” Ugh.
“What building are you in? I’m in 444.”
“THAT’S MY BUILDING!!!” Wait. No, it’s not. And that was when I temporarily forgot the address of the apartment I’ve lived in for five years.
“Oh I mean, no, sorry, that’s not my building. I’m a little flustered, I’m in 440.”
He laughed. Fortunately, the conversation got better, and those weren’t the only numbers exchanged back in March. And the last time we spoke, was last night.

Sometimes you don’t know how something is going to happen. I would later learn that my neighbor (who’s full name I now know), had never been to that bar, either. But when you make it a wish, a hope, or a goal, they happen when you least expect them, and become much more than just a hello.

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