This blog was supposed to be out on the 9th of Dec. but I was returning from my trip and hadn’t really processed what had happened on my trip yet, this is a compiled story with many edited parts about the thoughts in my brain after having met the most important person in my life.
This past week, I was travelling around the country meeting all kinds of people, advertising my upcoming book and meeting family members for the first time all over again. I shook hands and prayed with men I will never see again, I spoke kind to people whose lives I knew nothing about and I saw brilliant things everywhere I went.
Among those things, I was lucky on this trip to get to venture into Alabama and visit a friend who I have had for years. When I was much younger, I was a part of a Christian social media site called Shoutlife, which I’m not even sure is in existence any more. Because of the nature of this site, I came to know so many people. I gathered a handful of great friends and as a group we shared so many experiences together though we had never met one another face to face. I loved these people, and many of them are still in my life to this day as passing glimpses on Facebook walls or Twitter timelines, but by and large they have drifted on to their own lives and we have lost contact. Some of them for better, some for worse, but all of us are moving forward.
One of these friends in particular, has stuck beside me for a decade, and I have loved her since the beginning. Though our lives have changed dramatically since we were kids, she has remained a large part of my life. Each season that passes we have maintained a friendship in which I have grown through and come to learn so many things about myself. I had grown tired of not really having met this friend and so on our trip I made a point to go see her.
So as the sun rose on my mother and I in Georgia on a particular Saturday, we stepped into the rental and headed west to finally meet this girl who has lived inside of my head, and across the country for years. When we arrived, we had lunch and spent the day together. I won’t disclose much beyond that to you, because that is not my information to share. As we ddrove around seeing the town she lived in, we spoke and I got to meet her daughter.
I’ve always had a problem with babies. Kids under five just have a tendency to dislike me for one reason or another, perhaps because I am so quiet around them or because I have scary long hair and a halfway deep voice, I don’t know.
Regardless, I met this little girl and she changed the way I see so much. We had gone to walk around in the cool air and as the four of us crossed a bridge she grabbed my hand and I had to fight with everything I could to hold back the tears that had formed in my eyes. There was something magical in that one moment, as if ten years of my life had built themselves up and finally exploded from my heart. So many highs and lows and changes of feeling.
I wanted to open up my heart in this post and share with you the magic of that moment, but as I’ve written it I came to realize something. The magic that I felt that day can’t be written into words or explained through speaking. It was something I had wanted since I was a boy and that wish had finally come true. I can’t bear my heart to you truly, because there are so many emotions inside of it that spilling them out of me would never end. I can’t tell you exactly what I felt in that split second, so I am going to tell you instead what I decided afterwards.
We had driven around the city and spent time together, talking and joking and finally seeing each other face to face, but before long our time came to an end and my mom and I needed to get back to Georgia and back to my grandmother. So we parted ways with hugs and gifts. She gave me a drawing her daughter made and two pinecones that she had picked up as we were walking around. Those items were the only things I cared about getting home safely. My laptop could have been completely destroyed and I would have been less upset than I would have if the pinecones had been crushed. As I have written this blog post, those cones and the picture are sitting in my room in a special place reserved just for them so I can return to that memory whenever I would like to and feel that magic once more.
As my mom and I drove back to the place we were staying, we spoke at length on the three hour drive about the meeting and the trip as a whole. I began to consider my own place in life, where I sit and where I have fallen stagnant. If I were to undermine what this trip really was to me I would say that it was fulfilling and brought a new kind of warmth to my heart. It was so much more than that, but among all of the things it had been to me, it was a catalyst.
After we had gotten back to GA I was filled with joy and determination. The rest of the trip was spent by me with thoughts swirling around my skull like a hurricane. I couldn’t focus and I couldn’t sit down to write, because I couldn’t write what I was feeling.
Now, after having made it back to my home and getting a good night’s rest, I realized that the trip to AL was exactly what I needed in my life. I realized then that things don’t always go the way that we plan for them to. Of course, I knew that before, but there is a lot in my head and lessons will sometimes slip between the cracks of the ever moving skull.
There are people in our lives who come for a time, and there are some who come to stay. I don’t have much to say to you in this post, but I want all of you to consider something. Get out of your house. Go do something that terrifies you. Do something that shakes you to your core. If that is meeting a woman you have been in love with for years, or if that is hiking a specific trail or trying a burger. It doesn’t matter what that thing is, but I want you to get up, get scared, and watch what it does to your mind.
If you aren’t scared by anything ever, I don’t think we are truly living. There is so much in this world that we don’t understand and can’t explain. We are just fragments sliding through space faster than we can comprehend, and for that I am forever thankful.
It does good to remember to appreciate those that we have, for a moment, at least.
Thank you for reading this post! New content comes out every Wednesday + Friday. I am honored to have your eyes for a while.
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Mean Shadows releases on Dec. 24th. You can pre-order here. (Orders before Dec. 18th will arrive before Christmas!)