Thanks to Craigslist I was able to find a new owner for my car and purchase my realistic dream car.  The red Jeep Wrangler was mine at last. Luckily for me, there’s another Jeep owner/fanatic in the office- Terry.  She quickly and enthusiastically took me under her wing, assuming the role of Jeep mentor.  We could usually be found at the copy machine discussing soft tops and dog safety techniques. One particular conversation led Terry to explain why Jeep drivers should have a harmonica- or blues harp- in the car at all times. Whatever the topic, she’d enlighten.

During my visit to the copy machine a few days later Terry surprised me with my very own Hohner Blues Harp (followed by an impromptu display of her eclectic musical talent).  Apparently my initiation into the Jeep Club was complete, coming at a perfect time seeing as I’d just mastered the Jeep Wave.  Just don’t leave the harp on the dash when the top’s down, unless you don’t mind caterpillars nesting in the key holes.

I did a little research later that night, figuring that I better at least learn one song on this thing in case of social emergencies.  Amidst the online lesson options I discovered the most underpriced item in the online store: the Hohner company tagline, though I consider it more of a life mantra.  Just Breathe.  The words are located modestly at the bottom of the packaging, and serve as a type of double entendre. (For those of you who failed English grammar- it’s about literal breathing to get sound out of the instrument, and taking a breath to relax.)

Numerous copy machine chats, a spontaneous blues demo gig, and my first blues harp- perhaps these were all ways to help me acclimate myself at this lively ad agency.

In just two months since graduating college, I have been fortunate to have established myself in communities I can learn a lot from.  They are not overwhelming, nor do they take much effort, and perhaps therein lies the hidden beauty of this thing we call the “real world”.  It’s about the little things– chats on the sidewalk as your dogs get to know one another; lunchtime conversations about weekend plans and book recommendations; a quick wave over the steering wheel as you pass; finding a common passion with your newest employee and offering your insight.

There are communities forming everywhere, from every angle- some may find it chaotic, but I find it comforting.  I can’t promise that I’ll master this instrument, but I do promise to leave it on the dash of my Jeep- in part just to look cool, but mostly as a reminder to breathe and take time to enjoy life— and the little things it has to offer— despite the occasional chaos.

photo credit Alena and Jarrett Flickr