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untitled honesty on friendship

I was the kid in junior high that sat by herself and read a book at lunch and I was completely fine with that.

I had friends that I hung out with in high school, girls who were in the same AP classes as me and my after school time was taken up in the little theater rehearsing for whatever play was going on at the time. The people I still keep in touch with are those ones, the ones who I spent hours at a time with painting sets and rehearsing lines.

I moved away for college and made friends there. I chose to be a little more outgoing. I was in choir so I was plopped right into a group of 50 women who I wandered southern California with on weekends. I lived with 3 other women who I laughed, danced and with whom I made seemingly bad decisions.

What I am trying to say is I have always HAD friends.

The last two years have been community on high. I participated in an 11 month mission trip where day in and day out I was with the same people. Then I went to a 6 month leadership academy in Spain where I lived in a house with other interns and sat around a dinner table every night.

And it was those moments, those ones where I had to live in these communities where I realized something about most of the friendships I’ve had in my life:

I don’t always 100% believe that I am someone’s first choice. That I would be anyone’s first phone call. And because of that I hold friends at an arms length. I don’t expect anything from people.

There is a small group of people who I do believe, now, that I am the first choice.

But I don’t go into most friendships believing that. I don’t go into friendships believing that I me, in who I am, is enough. That I don’t need to do some tricks to get someone to like me.

And isn’t it that feeling that makes us post the pretty, filtered pictured on instagram, or edit statuses until they are just perfect explaining the best of our days?

I’m not saying to post depressing things or “my life is the worst” statuses like when were teenagers and had instant message and would make roses out of an @ sign.

What I am saying is we need to stop believing that we have to wrap ourselves in pretty pink paper. Something Shauna Niequist says in her book Bittersweet hits home for me.

“I’ve spent most of my life and most of my friendships holding my breath and hoping that when people get close enough they won’t leave, and fearing that it’s a matter of time before they figure me out and go.”

That’s how I’ve felt a lot of my life. That I wasn’t enough. That I didn’t merit the first phone call. That I’m not a first choice.

And that is a sucky way to live.

We need to choose not to live that way. This isn’t about comparison or something that someone else is doing. This is me, and my perception about other’s action.

And the knowledge that I am not going to be everyone’s first choice, but I am on a handful of people’s speed dials.

It comes down to the realization that I don’t need to be liked by everyone. It comes down to being myself and knowing that as long as I am that it is enough.

We need to stop believing that we need to be something other than who we are. It’s something I’m obviously still working out and walking through and figuring out what to do when the lies hit.

And thankful, I have those friends to remind me who I am when I forget.

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(there might be wine in this teacup)

I have a confession to make:

I have an aversion to Christian women ministries and speakers and all of the things that come along with that.

The first time I was asked if I wanted to go to a Beth Moore conference I cringed. I did not want to go. The last thing I wanted to do was sit for a weekend with thousands of women and hear things that were “I am woman hear me roar”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great. It’s wonderful. The fact that there are women that speak and write and be means that I too can speak and write and be. I was the president of an all women’s choir in college and was on all women teams on the world race and have been for most of my life been surrounded by strong, powerful women.

So really, I should love the concept of women’s groups and ministries and speakers and conferences.

But I think honestly, we are made for more.

I think as women we sell ourselves short. I think that we sometimes allow ourselves to be ok with the sugary sweet. That we only believe we can speak to each other about women’s issues and kids. That we focus on walking with our broken pieces and frailty than walking out of them.

That we compare ourselves to the ornaments on that we place on the back of the Christmas tree because they are ugly and broken.

I’m not a freakin’ ornament.

Why does it have to come back to us being women? I know that there are pieces of us that are different and there are parts of our femininity and the femininity of Christ. We need to talk about those things for sure. But why do we wrap it in such pretty packages? Why do we use soft voices?

Why don’t we raise our voices?

Why don’t we raise our voices in the presence of men as well?

(Now, don’t get me started on women in head pastor positions or in authority and whatever. That’s an entirely different soapbox. Don’t read into all of this that and hear me saying we need to be in charge and loud.)

But what I am saying is we have things to say that aren’t about marriage and femininity and kids. We have a lot of things to say.

I’m saying sometimes we need to look at things as a human being, not as a woman. We are individuals not defined by our sex but by who we are uniquely created to be.

I think that the women in the kingdom of God need to do a few things. We need to realize we are fierce. We need to raise our voice. We need to realize that we have things in our femininity that can be balanced by the masculinity. We need to realize that bible studies for women and conferences and all of that are so good, that they are needed.

But we need to stop sugar-coating them. There needs to be ugliness and there needs to be rawness.

We need to stop being fake.

One of the words of life I got when getting prayed for my last week in Spain was that I shouldn’t diminish myself or shrink back; that I should unfurl myself to the fullness that I am.

So I too, need to stop being fake.

So here’s what I am going to do: I am going to submit writing to all of those places. I am going to write on the questions asked, I am going to write as myself and only myself and not who I think I need to write for. Now, I’m not saying that I am going to blatantly write things to offend others or write against everything that people stand for.

But I am choosing to be ok with writing in who I am.

I’m not sugar sweet. I don’t like cotton candy that much. So I’m choosing to bring that into the mix more. I’m choosing to bring the salt.

I’m choosing to share that I have wine in my teacup.

Foreshadowing

“God is a novelist. He uses all sorts of literary devices: alliteration, assonance, rhyme, synecdoche, onomatopoeia. But of all of these, His favorite is foreshadowing.And that is what God was doing at the Cloisters and with Eudora Welty. He was foreshadowing. He was laying traps, leaving clues, clues I could have seen had I been perceptive enough.” Lauren F. Winner (girl meets god)

I marked foreshadowing in my AP language novels in high school with pink highlighter. Finding foreshadowing and figure out where it was, is one of my favorite past times.

I’m a literary nerd. Deal with it.

I love calling things in TV shows and movies. I think I’m pretty good at doing it. Seeing what a character says to realize a key plot point it going to occur or more often than not someone is either going to die/come back to life.

In my years of Bible classes and theology studies I’ve found that there is beautiful foreshadowing all over scripture.

God wants us to know what is going to happen. He spells it out. He shows us that the whole time He has a plan. He is going to see it through.

It’s not about searching for the answers or using it like a magic 8 ball. It’s about asking the right questions and figuring out why He tells us certain stories or asks us to learn certain lessons.

I’ve recently come to the huge revelation that Christ was always there; he was ALWAYS in me. It was never about me ACCEPTING him into my heart or “opening the door” to let Him in~ it was about realizing that He was always there. He was infiltrating parts of my life already. God was, is and will always be in my life.

I need to continue to see the foreshadowing of Christ in my life. The foreshadowing of the moment that I would fully realize that He was there. That He was always there. Where He had highlighted in pink in my life story so that maybe one day I could realize and see that He was always with me; even when I wasn’t with him.

It brings my peace now. It brings me hope for myself in ways I can’t really describe. And it shows His protection in places where I needed it and now I realize it was always there.

It shows me that my heart has always been focused on his heart even when I wasn’t defining it by the parameters of Christ.

The good in this world isn’t waiting for Christ to come. The good in this world IS Christ. Even when it isn’t defined by His name.

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the importance of and

I’ve been to a handful of museums in my life and I think that art is beautiful. But for me, I can’t really sit and stare a picture for hours on end. It’s not really where I find story or beauty. And that’s ok. I can still appreciate and I still grab onto the spirit of creativity that lingers in museums.

I got a new Bible this week to replace the battered, coverless one that meandered with me around the world. It’s an Amplified Bible and I’ve already found that I appreciate how it is laid out and how the words fit together.

Because, even though I can’t sit in front of a piece of art work for hours on end, I can sit in front of a singular phrase and mull over the loveliness. Normally it’s a phrase or a quote: “hear that your soul may live” “do the thing you think you cannot do” “he was your first love; I intend to be your last”. I normally find these jewels on pinterest or instagram or in paragraphs upon paragraphs. I have words literally tattooed on my body and emotionally imprinted on my heart.

It’s always so overwhelming to me that a writer has the power to take your breath away just by simply placing words in a certain order. And if they hadn’t have done it just in that way then would the phrase have been the same? If a writer had chosen different words for a character to say would have floored you?

Word choice is so important. Words color so much of our life.

And I was reading favorite passages in my new Bible I happened upon a phrase, a word actually that has been on my mind and changed the impact of what I was reading.

and

Yep, a simple three letter word in italics tossed in so many different scriptures. The artistry in this word was the italics. It was the fact that there were certain places that this translation desperately wanted the word “and” to pop up and beat you in the face.

And is a conjunction “hooking up words and phrases and clauses” (thanks schoolhouse rock!). It also allows you NOT to finish a sentence. To realize that the things are connected. So as I was reading all I could see was the places where I needed to see that things were connected. That I didn’t need to stop one sentence to start another. That I could connect them.

With a simple and.

The “and” was so beautiful to me.

So I guess what I am asking myself today, this week, probably for the rest of my life is this: where should I place an “and” and where should I pop in a period. For the most part I believe we are called to an AND life. That we need to be a people who know when to complete the sentence and when to place an “and” in.

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So please, WRITE

I always want my words to be profound.

I want them to hold something to have meaning.

I want to write things that incite conversation and promote action.

I also try too hard.

I sit in front of my computer every 4 days or so to post a new thought, a new revelation, a new truth that is rippling through my spirit.

And I erase a lot.

To the point where I am surprised my delete button still works on my computer.

There are a lot of words I haven’t said in my life and many of them come in the form of the backspaced words on word documents. If only there was a way to put all of them together.

On second hand let’s not.

Then I think of all of the words that go unsaid or unwritten.

Or all the words that go unread.

(And if they are unread are they really written? Just kidding…not going there)

There is something about profound insightful thoughts that cause us to move. I love reading words my friends have said and reading what they are going through and their insights. My email is crammed with blog subscriptions and the ability to see the world through others eyes. It’s crammed with group emails from friends about ramblings and stream of consciousness thought processes.

But now I think, I know what I HAVEN’T said. What haven’t THEY said? What moments of brilliance have been backspaced away or crumbled and thrown in a trashcan.

And it’s also kind of funny because we live in this crazy world where there are so many platforms to be heard; from 140 characters on twitter to creating your own website to podcasts and blogs and everything in between.

So with all of that ability to be heard; why are so many of us still silent? Why do we throw words in the trash and decide we don’t need to say them?

Some I’m sure think there are too many words out there so will their words be heard. Or maybe they are afraid of the comment section.

Or even just too afraid of what one singular person will say.

And so we delete or backspace or walk away from a thought because it is too honest or too real or too much of the person you actually ARE as opposed to the person who people see.

The last blog I posted entitled “Real” took everything in me to press publish. I really just wanted to delete it all and pretend it didn’t exist.

I think when I choose to delete something or send it to a friend rather than post it on my blog it’s mainly because I think it might be too much. Too vulnerable, too spiritual, too Jesus. Or sometimes it’s because it shows my flaws or my fears.

But when, in reality, it’s just my thought process, how my brain works.

It’s true sometimes I tie a spiritual lesson to an episode of Vampire Diaries and it’s inevitable I will talk about therapy, or the lessons from Spain or Cambodia small eye or getting hit by a car.

But it’s what’s in my heart.

It’s where I come from.

So I will write.

And I want you to as well.

So very badly I want to read the words you have written. I need them actually. They cause me to think and to write and they inspire me.

So push past the comment section, push past the vulnerability and the fear and put words to paper. Quit hitting delete, quit crumbling the paper and throwing it aside.

People need your words, they need you at your broken or your whole, they need you at your happiest, your angry and your giddy. They need you at your real, your teenage self who loves vampire shows and your adult self who has treasured things in your heart that need to come out.

So please, WRITE.

Here are some blogs of people who’s words I treasure, find humorous and lovely and adore reading. Some of them have been MIA for a moment but take a second to go back, read the archives and find some inspiration. None of them are “proffesional” they may have gotten paid once or twice for their writings, but mostly it’s a heart thing. It’s a pouring out onto paper of what’s inside.There are so so many more I could post or brag about. so many more words I read on a weekly basis. There is inspiration out there. You just have to choose to read it, see it, use it, and be it.  (and if you have a blog or a favorite space to read words comment and let me know!):

Patty~ Patty is one of my best friends and someone who has influenced my writing more than anyone. Her words are timely, poetic and beautiful.

Tiffany~ This woman called me to write and be truthful. She has been calling me into my story for over two years.

Abby~ Another member of my hometeam. She is currently on an adventure leading a World Race squad and she has beautiful words and truths.

Allan~ A crazy worshipper I met and got to do life with in Spain. Check out his Euro journey and all that entails.

Helena~ I followed her blog while she was on the race. She empowers women and has a hysterically lovely view on life

KellenWhitney ~ a couple whom I treasure. Their words inspire like none other.

Casey~ a longtime hometown friend who blogs about her adventures in dating.

Sarah~a truth speaker, bringer and a lie crusher. soon to be on another amazing adventure. 

Lauren~ from my orange county neck of the woods. her words are witty and intelligent and everything in between.

Glenalyn~ a fellow adventurer, wanderluster and tribe member. 

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real

My friend and future co~bookstore owner, Patty wrote a blog about love (read it here) after we came back from Spain. I had tears streaming down my face reading it because I understood the love she was speaking about.

And I must confess, I’ve wanted to write a blog on love too. But my words I knew would be different than Patty’s. And I wasn’t sure what words they were yet. All I knew was my heart bursts and breaks now in ways that it never had before.

The other day I woke up with a beautiful passage from Velveteen Rabbit in my head and on my heart. I hadn’t recently read it somewhere, I wasn’t scrolling through Pinterest—it was just there. Sitting in my brain.

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.quote from the Velveteen Rabbit. .picture from Sistarovat, Romania.

“But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. But once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always

BOOM.

Here’s the thing: real love, real tear filled, hard words, silly laughter, silent book reading afternoon love changes you. It does something to you that you almost can’t explain.

I don’t want this to be read as if I’d never experienced love before- I had. And actually if anything the last two years have caused me even more clearly to see where I’ve experienced love like that before.

Where I’ve experienced CHRIST like that before.

I’ve ran a lot in life. I’ve hid. I’ve hid behind the fact that I know how to love well. And if I KNOW how to love well then I must be ok. If I can give it I must have HAD it.

And of course, I give really, REALLY good hugs.

But there is a difference between GIVING a hug and RECEIVING one. There is a sink your whole self into the person, wrap your arms around them and let all your troubles go because you know that person is going to take them, even if for a moment from you.

I was normally on the giving end of a hug. I would see someone needing a hug and I’d give. I’d rarely ask for one. I didn’t need them that bad.

And when it comes down to it how I interacted with people was how I interacted with God.

I feel like, for the longest time I never asked God for a hug. I never plagued Him with my burdens. I’d hug Him when I felt like I needed too. But never in a receiving sort of way.

Then I got to the point that I couldn’t even hug him. I’d been there before, during times of depression and times of brokenness. But after the race and the beginning of Spain I had to force myself to even be in his presence. During an exercise in class last summer we had to picture Jesus with us in this field. I was sitting on a blanket when he came up. I promptly told him to not sit down next to me. To stay away.

Then He overwhelmed me. With words from people, with gifts, with love. He poured so much into my arms even while I was STILL telling him to stay away.

And then I ran. I made myself busy. I did a lot. I volunteered for things, offered myself for jobs. Which is my normal. It is what I did.

And then, like so many times before, I got tired.

And He was still there.

Through all of it. He had watched me run and do and be all of these people and places and things that I didn’t need to be. Like I had done time after time after time.

And He was still there. Like HE had done time after time after time.

And then out of sheer exhaustion and the inability to solve any of the “problems” going on around me I let Him hug me. I gave up really. I gave up running, gave up turning to things that I had been turning to for years, and I let him hug me.

And really, REALLY allowed myself to open my arms and receive love. Let it saturate me. Let it wear me down. Let myself hear what he thought of me. Let Him whisper that He LOVED me.

That He Loved me FIRST.

That He loves me ALWAYS.

And then, without knowing it, I became a person who can give and receive love.

Even when it looks messy and when it’s hard and when it causes your heart to burst and break. I have experienced the love of Christ like I’ve never known. Like I never chose to see or receive.

So I sit here, tears streaming down my face knowing that it isn’t possible to go back from this. Knowing it is in me.

And no matter how I struggle or where I go or what ups and downs happen in life I have this love from my God in heaven that has sufficiently rocked me to my core.

Without knowing it; I became Real.

(And once you are Real, it is for always)

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writing on writing

Something that I heard on multiple occasions in Spain was that there is new revelation every day. That each day we can grab a piece of truth and wisdom that we didn’t have before.

And I believe that that statement is true. I believe that we CAN get something new out of everyday. A bible verse, a song lyric, a word from a stranger, a prayer, a sunrise, ANYTHING that can unlock piece of truth for us.

Five days ago I started this daily writing challenge for myself. Not for anyone else.

It’s just for me.

I call it “back to the barre” in reference to a favorite movie.

And so, for the last 5 days I have turned my phone onto airplane mode and set an alarm for 30 minutes.

And written.

A couple of the days I worked on a story I’ve been writing for awhile while another day I wrote for myself. And then the last two days I’ve been furiously writing this short story. It’s going to become a five parter. I’ll probably share it with a few people, but mainly it’s for myself.

Because I’ve realized over the last year that writing is something for me.

It’s a place for me to throw all the things out of my brain and stare at them and then see how they fit back together.

Sometimes that is in the form of a blog, a letter or a Facebook status.

And sometimes it is in the form of a story that isn’t supposed to be about me. But it is. It hold a piece of myself.

I’ve realized it is actually easier for me to post a blog about myself then to post a short story or a poem. Because that writing, that story that comes from somewhere out of the depths of me is personal. More personal than I would like to admit. Or care to realize.

So, in all of this writing and putting words on a page, I didn’t think I was searching for truth. I thought I was just trying to open up this room in my mind that was storing words that I didn’t have access to anymore in the continental US.

But, of course I was searching for truth. I’m always searching for more truth. I’m always searching for things that make more sense then they did a day before.

The words that paint across the page from my pen or pencil are the inner-workings of my mind trying to put more pieces of the puzzle together.

Words unlock things. At least for me. Reading the words of a friend or an ancient scholar. Skimming through quotes on instagram or scribblings down the side of a page in a journal.

Words are my keys into the next. Words are my voice.

Words are a part of my truth.

So I guess, what I am getting at here is this: find your truth. Find what brings you to MORE truth. It could be writing, or painting, reading or listening to a podcast. It could be running or cooking or anything in between.

Just find what’s yours.

And use it.

Use it every day. There is so much out there for us to grab onto BUT there is so much inside of us to utilize and we don’t even know because we don’t know how to get to it.

Finding what brings you truth is essentially finding what brings you life.

That’s what is on my heart and mind right now. A push, a call, to find what brings you truth and life and do it everyday.

Find truth. Find life.

Grab it.

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the one in which I make a centerstage reference

I want to write. I really, REALLY do.

I want to commit words to a page and not use the backspace. I want to not erase line after line after line because I don’t know where it’s going.

Or I know where it’s going and don’t know how it’s going to get there.

I’ve stared three different blogs over the last hour, with three very different endings:

“I’m a cheerleader”

“I turn 30 in 4 months: sweet lord baby jesus”

“I cook with garlic and onions a lot”

I don’t know where to go with any of them. I don’t know what words to tap out to formulate the thoughts that are jumping around in my head. I have a lot them; thoughts that is. And right now all I can think about is that one scene from CenterStage where Juliette tells Eva to always come back to the barre. When the people are being mean and hateful and the world seems topsy turvy she just needs to come back to center. To the barre.

Now, I don’t feel topsy turvy really but I do feel like I need too, in some way get all of the chaos out of my brain. Out of the part of my brain where my words lie. I want to make sense of the things that don’t fit.

So starting today, for the month of February, I am going to sit for 30 minutes and write. Every day. Be it a piece of whimsical fiction or a letter to a friend or the sketching of multiple words across many pages. I know there are writing challenges everywhere happening and going on so this thought is not new but borrowed. But it works.

So I’ll be here, everyday, going back to the barre. (#backtothebarre?)

Care to join?

Shoot me a message or an email and maybe we can get this train moving together.

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there’s no cream in my coffee

Today, while getting ready to come and sit at my favorite little coffee shop in my hometown, I took a sip of coffee out of my mug.

Black coffee.

And with that simple change in my life, I have come to realize that I have changed.

I know, I KNOW. That’s a really silly thing to make you realize that you had changed. Not all of the other monumental aspects in life; but black coffee.

I’ve been meaning to rewrite the “about me” section of my blog these days. For multiple reasons but one of the main ones being this: the person that wrote that almost exactly a year ago is in no way, shape or form the same person that sits in front of the computer today.

I look about the same. I mean, there is nail polish on both my fingers and my toes and I am wearing a sock bun (and yes Whitney it is with the holder). But, I walk a bit differently, my language is a bit more life filled then it was before and I’m not afraid to just put all if out there. I don’t need to hide behind vague languages or mix my words. So without further ado, here is what will be living on my page entitled “who she is”(or my life in about 500 words).

Hi.

My name is MegHan, most call me Meg, Megs, Miss. Meghan or sometimes even Moses.

Grew up in Central California’s answer to a (Swedish) Stars Hollow.

I’m the youngest. 1 of 3. Only girl. I have 2 neices and 2 nephews. I have had the same best friend since I was 4.

Graduated high school. Moved to the beach. (And Disneyland) Studied English and Music. Wrote papers on Sex and the City, said the Indians weren’t people (CONTEXT!) and sang in a choir. Got a passport. Went to China.

Graduated College. Stayed near the beach. Worked at a preschool with kids. A day camp with kids. A church with kids. (this is when I started drinking coffee.)

Kept going to Disneyland. Kept having adventures with some of the best people ever, living in the best apartment ever.

Went through a hellish depression. Went to therapy. A lot. Told my therapist my coach purse made me feel better. (saw him for four years. That’s a lot of coach purses.)

Got involved at my church. Wrote a lot about sermons. And went to South Africa. So I wrote about that as well.

Somewhere along those years I acquired three tattoos.

Then I got hit by a car. (and got another tattoo) I decided I needed to quit my job of 5 years. So I did.

I packed up my stuff.

Went on an adventure to 11 countries. With a group of people who are now family. I was veracious, a BA and a #112. I cooked over stoves, gas fires and coals. I was broken, beaten, Cambodian small eye stricken. My heart was full of stories from all over the world.

(and I got another tattoo)

And I came home. Fell apart

Realized I had shattered into a million pieces.

(Mostly) believed in Jesus

So I kicking and screaming got on a plane.

And spent six months in Spain. Where I not only acquired cooking skills and wine snobbery but where I met Love. Trust. Hope. Truth. VOICE. Where I met Jesus. Where I met Christ. Where I SLAYED giants. Where I acquired more family and a home team. (and then my passport was filled and expired)

So now: I’m moving to Bellingham WA. With a member of my home team. We are going to do the damn thing. And create a home for people to meet Love, to meet Jesus and to meet Christ. (and to read books and drink coffee and all the lovely things)

So that’s me. Meg. Lover of words, Jesus and coffee.

I have favorite places scattered over the world from this coffee shop in Kingsburg, to just about anywhere in Mijas, from Disneyland to Antique Café in Bangkok, from CapeTown, South Africa to the rice fields in Kampong Speu. My favorite places are scattered because the people I hold dear are. They are as close as down the street and as far as across an ocean.

And everywhere in between.

So I will go everywhere in between. With my desire to bring truth, story and home wherever I go. And a desire to bring this crazy love of Christ that I’ve encountered to all the spaces in which I walk.

If you want to know more about me, my love of story, what I’m going to do in Bellingham, about the winds in Spain, my love of coffee, what it means to have a hometeam or the fact that my TV watching schedule involves vampires and shows on TLC shoot me a message. I’d love to hear from you and hear where the winds are taking you.

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RIP rearview smolder

I’ve gotten really good at celebrating “the last time”. I think it’s because I have lived a life (especially the last couple years) where I have HAD to celebrate those milestones in order to give closure to short chunks of seasons in my life.

I can tell you about the last optional chicken sandwich Friday in Malaysia with the 112 or the last time Veracity ate breakfast at Ana’s table in Ecuador.

I can tell you about the last time I took a bucket shower or hand washed my clothes (both in Cambodia).

The last coffee I had from Maria’s or the last time I watched the sun come up over the Mediterranean.

I can even tell you about the last time I sang together with the Vanguard Women’s Chorus. And that was almost ten years ago.

I love celebrating last times. Closing chapters, turning pages. Making an end. Telling people what they mean to me and telling them thank you.

And that’s how I know how it ends.

But what if you don’t know something is the last time?

Like, for instance, I didn’t know that the last time I took the bus to Fuengeriola and the hot bus driver was our driver (his name is Miguel) that it would be the last time I got a little rearview smolder.

Or that the last time I went to Starbucks with Joe would be the last time I ever went to Starbucks with Joe. And I didn’t know the next time I would see his face would be on a program for his funeral.

It’s crazy when you hit this moment and look back and realize that something was the last time and you didn’t get a chance to treat it like that.

The past three weeks I’ve been working at the preschool. I’ve had a lot of amazing conversations, gotten to hug the necks of a lot of moms whom I adore, and gotten to see how their adorable kiddos have grown. It was a whirlwind as I’d only been home from Spain for 2 weeks when I started.

There was all the normal questions, “What are you doing next” “Where have you been?” “Are you staying?” and of course “Can you babysit?”.

But the one question I got from close friends and people whom I trust was this: “Are you going to go see Sam?”

Sam (whose name ISN’T Sam, I just changed it) was my therapist. I saw Sam regularly from February 2009 to December 2012. I sat on the couch in his office week in and week out. I didn’t cry much, but I did fight a lot of battles in that tiny room. He walked me through a lot of hell, and when it comes down to it was probably one of the first men I ever allowed myself to place trust.

When I got home from the World Race I freaked out. I had a slight panic attack seeing all of the things that had changed. My world had shifted and moved and I didn’t know how to deal. So I grasped at the one thing in that space that I knew to grasp.

I made an appointment to see Sam.

Did I really need to see him?

Probably yes. I needed something to ground me. And for 4 years that space and that place had grounded me. And it did help; momentarily. It reminded me of where I had come from.

When I got back from Spain, I assumed a little bit that I might need to go see him. That I would need that affirmation or even need to tell him I was good.

To tell him I TRUSTED.

But as more and more people would ask if I was going to I realized I was ok.

More then ok actually.

I knew what to grasp at.

I KNOW what to grasp at. And it isn’t even like I’m having to consistently grasp. I’m more or less just steady. But when I do need to grasp; I know where to go.

When I happened upon that revelation, that I didn’t need to see him I had another revelation. The last time I saw him was the last time I would sit on that couch. The last time I would sit slightly anxious with a pillow in my lap.

And since I didn’t know it was the last time: I have never told him thank you.

And though he may never ever read this I just have to say:

Thank you.

Thank you for helping me walk through some of the most treacherous four years of my life. Thank you for talking me off of a ledge metaphorically and literally. Thank you for helping me laugh through tears and helping me realizing what my story actually meant. Thank you for being the beginning steps for me to show up to my life.

And thank you for following up my email with a phone call back in February 2009.

We don’t always know when something is the last time. And that’s ok. I’m not saying to live every moment like it’s your last because then honestly we get into this crazy, sometimes irresponsible mindset. But I am saying this:

Write. Document. Know. Make MEMORIES.

Show up to your life.

You will never have to live in regret or wishing you hadn’t done or said something. You can find ways to say them or you can know in some way you already did.