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Weighing the Benefits


I have to tell you what happened last weekend, but first, some background...

Bridge School is the brainchild of Pegi and Neil Young who co-created the organization to help kids, like their own, Ben, communicate through augmentative and alternative communication. Many kids who were previously institutionalized have attended Bridge School and gone on to graduate college, live independently, and speak using alternative forms of communication. The Young's raise money for Bridge School with an annual Benefit Concert- a weekend of music with artists like Eddie Vedder, Dave Matthews, Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tony Bennett, Ben Harper, Nora Jones, Elton John, Metallica.... and that's just to name a very view. The kids see the concert from the stage, they visit with the musicians, and share a magical weekend of music and goodwill with thousands of people.

OKAY, NOW FOR MY STORY... my friend, Dave, and I debated going to the concert- we went a few years ago and know it's an incredible show. But, tickets are expensive and sell out quickly- I was hesitating. By Saturday, Dave couldn't take it- he had to go. So, we jumped on craigslist and found a pair of tickets for Sunday- $450 for two seats in a great section. Amazed they were available, we called the number, confirmed the seats, and told the guy, Carlos, we'd pick them up shortly. We drove to San Francisco and exchanged our cash for two ticketmaster tickets. (can you see where this is going?)

The next morning we drove to Shoreline Ampitheater and got in line only to be pulled out by a ticket manager when our tickets didn't scan at the entrance. She took us to the ticket booth where an agent inspected them and told us they were counterfeit.

Counterfeit?! They look real! This is a feel-good event! We gave that mother%&@@#* our money!!

[caption id="attachment_2975" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Of course, the box office kept these tickets- but, don't they look real?!"][/caption]

Asking if we had any recourse and the ticket manager pointed helplessly towards the police out front. Only one of the three officers was at all concerned and none offered any concrete assistance. We wandered away dazed  and just stood near the box office to get our bearings.

Then two amazing things happened:

1. The concerned officer approached us saying another person had just reported the same story and thought the scalper might be nearby. He asked us to stay put just in case they needed us to identify him

2. As we hung around the venue, the ticket manager found us to say that occasionally people drop off unused tickets and she'd bring them out to us if we could wait awhile. Both scenarios were long shots, but we sensed something at play and relaxed into the possibilities

Not 20 minutes later she rushed up smiling, "it's only one so far, but I have a ticket for you!" Another 20 minutes later, "I have another ticket! I have another ticket!" Dave bounded to her, kissed her on the lips and gave her a big hug.

The event was well underway as we headed to the back of the lawn, much further away than our sectioned seats, without so much as a jacket to sit on. But we were so thrilled to be there as the musicians, the view of the kids, the sweet efforts of the ticket manager- the magic of it all really- melted away our frustrations and disappointment. On the way out, we approached an officer for an update on the scalper. He wasn't sure about the earlier chase, but told us there was a stack, 2 inches tall, of fake tickets for this event. We felt humbled and grateful we saw the show on the goodness of a stranger with not reason, really, to help us.

It used to be that any disappointment would bring up EVERY disappointment for me. I'd feel tired, overwhelmed, defeated. But as my Making Room for More journey continues I'm beginning to see setbacks as separate, unusual, and generally, more of a course correction than an obstacle. I've had plenty of expensive "obstacles"! But I'm realizing that even if I can't explain why some things don't work out, If I have deep trust and confidence in myself and my work, I have everything to offer and to gain. I feel a calm optimism coming over me. It feels amazing.

The other day, I was talking to Kim from www.single-woman.tv, who said simply, "You are going to be just fine, Shannon." Such a simple reassurance and yet, I felt it so deeply. It felt really, really true.


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