Family has always been a priority in my life. Although my siblings and their families live across the globe, we make a point of talking often and seeing each other whenever possible. I hadn’t seen my sister, who lives in Colorado, for a few months, so we decided to plan a “sissy weekend” to San Diego. We both needed a little sunshine and some quality time away from work and the stresses of life.
I booked at Pulse San Diego, a cute little boutique hotel in the heart of downtown. We had little on our agenda other than to wander the city and go to the beach. The weather was perfect – a much needed break from the Pacific Northwest rain.
On that first day, we made the trek to Ocean Beach. THIS was the type of beach I was craving. Perfect sand. Calm waters. Sun on our shoulders. We spent the better part of the day walking along the water and watching the waves crash to the shore. At the recommendation from our Uber driver, we had lunch at Mike’s Taco Club; as he put it, “It’s proof that God loves us.” How could we turn it down? And he wasn’t wrong. The shrimp tacos were dynamite.
My sister recently started taking violin lessons, and she brought her instrument along with her. On our second day in the city, we walked to the farmer’s market in Little Italy. We wandered through the booths of crafts, artwork, fresh fruit and veggies, homemade spices and jams, and bright bouquets of flowers. Small bands and solo musicians were sprinkled around the market. We plunked down on the steps in front of one group, had a light lunch, and just enjoyed the music.
I remember my sister turning to me and telling me that she wanted to play. She was nervous… really nervous, but she wanted to push herself outside of her comfort zone and show the world what she had learned.
We wandered a bit, looking for the right area for her to play – one that didn’t impede on other musicians. One that didn’t get in the way of the market-goers. She finally found a spot on a side street next to the market. Her nerves were palpable. I was willing every bit of strength her way – I know how hard it is to put yourself on display.
She played one note and stopped when a group of people walked by. She started again, but the first note didn’t quite come out right. I have to admit, I was worried she was going to scrap the whole plan. But she straightened her shoulders, lifted her violin into position, and played.
In that moment, I was so beyond proud of her. Not only was she showing off her new skills, she was brave enough to push through the fear of playing in public. It’s definitely a lesson I’ve carried with me since. A little reminder to be brave.