The Long and Windy Road of Knowing
A sixteen-hour long drive home was accompanied by a friend who flew into Nashville to ride the tail-end of the journey from North Carolina, specifically Charlotte–the journey in which I’d know when I arrived why I went there in the first place. That journey.
I haven’t shared much of the trip as it is hard to articulate. But I will try, with likely too many words in doing so. Anyway, on with the story…
With miles in front of us, occupied with songs and stories and too much coffee and water, which required too many pit stops, we played the game of question, “Would you rather?”
She asks, “Would you rather be bit by a zombie, or a vampire?”
I guess there is no right answer, just a preference. So I choose a vampire. She says a zombie is a better choice because vampires know what they are doing, but zombies go around clueless as to the people they kill. I reply in turn that vampires are more attractive, something vain like that.
My questions are more like, “Would you rather love and lose again, or never love at all?
That being said, would you rather go on a journey, travel many miles and multiple states to arrive at a tiny answer, more like a clue, or would you like a billboard blaring your destination, all spelled out with a phone number included?
I drive to a conference in Charlotte, arrive on Friday morning five minutes before the onset, and sit in the parking lot. I am on the waiting list, and wonder all along if this is the reason I am nudged to go there.
Only to get there, go in, and discover there are twenty-two people in front of me, and there is zero chance of me getting in. “Ok.” I respond as I walk back to my vehicle and fight off already forming tears, wondering why I am here because this obviously isn’t the billboard moment I am dreaming it will be.
“Don’t cry Josie, you didn’t even want to go.”
I arrive at Starbucks down the road with book in hand, a book I read when it first came out in 2014. One I hardly remember, but when I see it sitting out know I need to bring it with me. The day is beautiful, so I sit outside and decide to read until I know what else to do with the next two days I marked out for the conference.
My sister-in-law booked a resort for me two days from this day, one tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville. But that is then, and this is now.
Fighting disappointment, I pick up the book. Read the first sentence,
I didn’t start thinking about my hang-ups regarding intimacy until my fiancé met me in Asheville for a long weekend. I’d rented a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains…
What? Here I am, sitting in Charlotte, with only an hour ago planned trip to Asheville, located in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, when I read the first paragraph of a book about him being in the same place?
Peace settles over me.
I notice my handwriting on the side of a page near the end of the book, where the author speaks of having a ninety-day plan, I write a question I likely never answered at the time–
“What is my plan in this new adventure?”
Plan? Do I know me at all, I can’t plan twenty-four hours without anxiety settling in.
But, plan I do. When I return, the plan will begin on August 5th. A grandiose one like on New Year’s Day, I tell a couple friends, hoping to have accountability tag along so I don’t tap out before I actually begin.
Nope. Just me. Solo. What is my ninety-day plan you wonder?
I went thirty-six days before. Until I drifted into a unwanted pit stop.
I arrive home, Day One in front of me I find myself on a site specifically for challenges of the sort, when I see to the right, as bright as a billboard, the words,
Write for Us.
Immediately I submit a couple writings on the subject, and after a bit of back and forth, they wonder if I would be willing to write through the next ninety days of my journey and at the end use some writings to encourage another at the beginning of his/her journey?
Do you know that is my sweet spot, to walk alongside others and encourage them, whether it is off the ledge, or something less sensational–to point to their underlying potential they do not yet see?
It brings me great joy to walk alongside people and help them succeed.
So, did I just travel all the way to Charlotte, North Carolina, to be disappointed, to pick up a book I read but hardly remember, to travel to Asheville to see something I wrote about ninety-day plans, to come home and nearly give up at the onset of Day One, to make my way to a site with a billboard of an opportunity shining brightly as billboards often do, to submit a writing right then and there, to wake up with a resounding “yes” in my inbox, specifically wondering if I write through the next ninety-days?
I think of before I left for Charlotte, the words spoken to me from one of my girls from God above, given to her, to give to me, “You will know when you get there.”
Yes I know.
And, at the end of the ninety-days (Today is Day Seven), who knows, maybe it will be a book in and of itself…