Lunch with Any Person

Two days ago, I was scrolling through Twitter on my way to school and I saw this tweet from Lin-Manuel Miranda:

If you have read my other posts, you already know I’m a huge Lin-Manuel Miranda fan. I’m inspired by the constant positive message that is his life, legacy, and social media accounts.

Later that day, I was scrolling through twitter on my way home from school (I am not an addict, I am not an addict…) and I saw this uplifting tweet:

Something about these tweets made me think about how cool Lin-Manuel Miranda is. Then I started to wonder if there were any other celebrities that were as cool as him. This brought me to think about that fun hypothetical question, “If you could have lunch with any person, who would it be?”

I spent the rest of the bus ride home thinking about this question and I came up with a list of two people. Of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda for his amazing musical abilities, his positivity, and his dedication to helping those in need. I also thought of Emma Watson, who is not only a fantastic actress, but a brilliant mind and a powerful example to young women (and men) everywhere. But that was honestly where my list stopped.

It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t think of anyone I respected and would love to have lunch with–I thought of Martin Luther King Jr., Siddhārtha Gautama, Jackie Robinson, and Jimi Hendrix. But somehow, the thought of disturbing the eternal rest of these great individuals for a sandwich or even taking the time of a living world-influencer that I only felt partially connected to made me feel a little guilty.

So, I sat on the bus, struggling to reconcile how I felt about only having two people I’d want to have lunch with. Then, the thought came to me, “Would you want to have lunch with anybody who is not a celebrity?”

It took me all of a second and a half to answer my own question: my dad.

When I got home I asked him if he had any plans on Wednesday and if he would like to go to lunch. He said he’d love to and, long story short, we went to lunch today.

This story isn’t particularly interesting or entertaining, but it was significant to me for a couple reasons.

We often allow ourselves to dream about situations that are unlikely to happen to us, like lunch with Lin-Manuel Miranda or Emma Watson, and it’s easy because there is really nothing we can do to make it happen. But I realized that I would love to spend some time with my dad, and I hadn’t done much to make that happen either. So, I did. And it was great.

I also recognize that not everyone is lucky enough to have a dad like mine–some aren’t even lucky enough to have a dad.

To those many people who didn’t get to be my siblings, I’m sorry. I truly hope you found fatherly love from another source and that you know you are important. If you never knew your dad, I hope you know it’s not your fault. If you don’t have a great relationship with your dad, I hope you either find a way to separate yourself from a harmful relationship or find a way to repair a damaged one (you may have to do both, and that’s okay too). And if your father doesn’t want to be your friend, I want you to know that I do.

But I was one of the lucky ones. And because I know what I have, I’m going to make sure I don’t take it for granted.

I’m glad I asked my dad to go to lunch today and that I got to enjoy a bit of his time. Even if it’s not with your dad, I hope you take the time to enjoy the company of your loved ones. And I hope, when you think of the list of people you’d like to have lunch with, that you have the ability to make at least a few of those lunches happen.