I don’t think it’s over-dramatic to say that in one single encounter, Terrance is a person that had a profound affect on me. The way things lined up for us to meet was so random, but I’m glad they did line up. I left the date a different person than I was when I arrived.
Terrance is the first person I’ve gone out with that would truly fall into the “complete stranger” category. We were not set up by any mutual acquaintances. In an effort to reach a variety of people, my dear friends, Winter and Lee, wrote up a short blurb about the project and posted it on Craigslist. Then they took a ton of their time filtering responses for me and passing on information from people they felt good about.
I noticed Terrance’s email address contained “Shiprock” in it, and asked him if he was Navajo. (I went down to the Indian reservation there this past summer with one of my favorite friends, Natani, who grew up in a neighboring town.) Terrance told me he was, and on the date I learned that his great-grandfather was a medicine man who had taught Terrance a lot.
Terrance was fascinating to talk to. There was something different about him. He had a way of helping me feel completely at ease. We met on temple square and started walking towards the place we were going to have dinner. We ended up just sitting in temple square and talking for a while, though.
We talked about a lot of deep things, like finding balance in a hectic world. Terrance commented on how my stride was fast and I seemed to be in a hurry. He talked about the peacefulness of temple square compared to the outside street and how we miss a lot when we are constantly rushing.
We ended up having dinner at a really amazing Mexican restaurant called The Blue Iguana and talking a lot more over the meal. I learned that he had recently started a relationship, and that he had thought to cancel our date. He came because he’d made a commitment to help me and he felt like somehow we’d benefit from meeting. And he was right- at least from my perspective. He told me a lot of things that really gave me pause and lit a fire that caused me to subsequently make some much-needed changes in my life.
On the way back to our cars, Terrance noted how my stride had slowed down. And I really did feel more peaceful inside. He’s a remarkable person and I’m glad he decided to honor our plans, despite starting a new relationship.