If you know that you are appreciated and when you experience gratitude from others, you begin to walk with a little more clarity through life. They are two simple things but I do believe they are necessary for moving past the past. Those two things, they never cease to be a breath of fresh air for me. They revive me and I am grateful for them.
This weekend flew by and lasted a lifetime all the same.
I took my first solo flight. I flew from Detroit Metro to Denver International Airport and I must say, traveling is very me. I finished reading The Happiness Project this weekend, and in honor of Gretchen’s “Be Gretchen” mantra, I made a list of things that fall under the “Be Megan” title. Traveling is most certainly one of them. So is wearing scarves and flats, collecting coffee mugs and interesting rings, going for walks, long car rides, reading, writing, trying different foods, smiling, meeting new people, not trying to be sexy, music of all shapes and sizes, intuition, letting my emotions lead me, laughing, drinking dark beer, the wind messing up my hair – and traveling. Did I say traveling? 🙂 Things that are other people but not me are: killing bugs, anything medical, water sports (wait – is rafting a water sport? because I love that!), politics, rollercoasters, clubbing, and choosing restaurants.
I realized this weekend that my inability to choose a restaurant stems from my desire to try new foods. I rarely go into a dinner-date with a preconceived notion regarding the plate that will be placed before me. And I genuinely like it that way. I like finding something from what I’m presented rather than pre-deciding on a flavor. It might seem silly, but this came as a revelation to me. I can now say that it’s a trait I like about myself and I’m not going to try to change it.
I finished The Happiness Project but also began and finished Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung. Reading that was like turning a light on. Did he write that just for me?
I went to Denver, Colorado this weekend to visit a friend. The thing is, we went to high school together. We ran in the same group. But we rarely called one another. We didn’t hang out one-on-one. And yet I felt as though we’d have some things in common as of late. And that perhaps she would enjoy some company. So I called. And I booked a flight. And I went.
Hands down? … Best decision I’ve made in a while. In the past, I would’ve been nervous about flying out to spend the weekend with someone who I hadn’t considered to be my close friend. What would she think about me asking? What if we didn’t get along as well as I’d hoped? What if after all this time we really don’t have that much in common? What if? What if? What if…
Looking back at this weekend, nervous didn’t even have an opportunity to cross my mind. Not when I stepped on the plane. Not when I met up with her and we chatted the entire car ride back to her house. Not when we went to Boulder in the pouring rain to walk around for a place for dinner, not when I met her friends, or rafted through white waters, or hiked on a mountain trail, or rode passenger up the side of a mountain as she drove, or walked through Red Rocks Park, or ate lunch together, or watched movies, or shared music tastes, or talked through heavier topics, or planned our next trip, or flew home.
What I did feel was excited. Charged. Inspired. Adventurous. Happy. Glad that I’d made the decision to just go with it. Bettered. Overwhelmed by the beauty of Colorado. Humbled by the whole experience. Grateful. Appreciative of my friend’s attitude/her ability to host/her personality/life stories/faith/insight/friendship. Connected. Thrilled. Elated. Fortunate. Thankful. Impressed by everyone’s ability to roll with the punches provided by the inclement weather. Encouraged by the positive moods around me.
I had an amazing time. And to think I would’ve missed out on such an opportunity if I hadn’t allowed myself to unfold and live in the now/act spontaneously/embrace the unknown.
I’m already brainstorming our next trip together. Exploring Michigan’s finer offerings. Letting her in on some of the things I’ve come to appreciate in our mutual home state. And I’m looking forward to keeping in touch. To keeping up with what we’ve set in motion.
In 2010, I’ve come to remember so much about myself that I had forgotten somewhere along the way. I’ve learned and I’ve grown. Remembered and modified. I’m happy. I’m happy with where I am and where I could be in the future. It’s open-ended. Not to say that I don’t have things I need to work on or fears I still want to overcome. But I know that I can face them. And I know what I should work to change and what I don’t want to change. And if I haven’t considered it yet, I know how to consider it. It’s not that Colorado changed me. But it made it very apparent to me that I have changed. And I’d like to think it’s for the better.