Holiday goodies 🤍✨
Black Friday Sale in the shop tomorrow! 835 Main St. Chico, California 👌🏽
Mountains, clouds, and sky
I guess I can finally share this publicly with a very small risk that she’ll see it. This is EVERYTHING:
The last time I wrote out those words was in 2018. I remember because that was right before a friend deactivated her Tumblr account. September 2018 to be exact. At least that’s according to the date I can barely glance before the inbox glitches out on my phone because it’s deactivated. While I can’t see the exact message, it must have been around the same time.
In any case, I remember how I felt after wrote it. I remembered that I was trying to avoid those words from at least some time by then. I could feel it, I could always feel it. It was never about the heart though. I noticed my own hypocrisy as a direct or indirect result of my mom who completely looked past me and ignored who I was. Those words came so naturally to her, but in a few weeks, I saw how little I meant as a person to her. Her hypocrisy wasn’t even hidden, but out in the open. My words heard, pretended to be recieved, and then later spit back from her perspective as if I never said them…as if she never wrote them down.
That was in 2017. At some point, and I can’t remember if it was an exact moment or not, I just stopped saying those words to people. I then stopped writing it out to people. Then I stopped writing them out at all. Then a few months ago, I stopped writing out the middle word and started censoring it.
I knew what those words meant to me. I knew how often I would write about the concept. I had a very clear philosophy about it. It had depth, it had meaning, it had power. That one middle word was ultimate Truth. It was absolutely EVERYTHING. I dreamed of ways to show it, to pour it out, to give it nonstop, to live a life in utter pursuit of that one word.
The problem? I wasn’t living. I was trapped inside a box I refused to leave. I looked back at moments in my life I would choose my own convenience over that word. I knew that in that place, that word, those three words held no practical meaning to me. It was all theoretical. It was something I dreamed about, something never practiced.
Until I took a leap outside of that place, no one would see or hear those words from me. Then sometime last year someone by the initials S.R.M started to make me believe I could live my life. I never could have expected it to happen, but I knew I felt that way before. I knew I could get caught up in the feeling of progress, without any progress.
It was nothing they did but engage with me in conversation. It was seeing their words and their story. It was seeing them be and exist that sparked something inside of me.
We didn’t communicate all that well and she suggested we video call. I said sure, after I leave home. After I did the hardest thing that I felt they were inspiring me to do, I’d do the other scary thing. There’s a lot of irony in that.
It was February 29, 2020 when they said they could use a friend and asked if we could have that call. I saw their message, I thought about pretending I was asleep and reply in the morning. Then I realized who I wanted to be. And I rushed out of the house that night and pressed the call button. It was a way too short conversation about nothing too deep, but it was the first real decent conversation I had with another human being in years if you don’t count small talk. It was the first real chance I took in years. It was the first time I felt like I was an actual friend to someone in years.
I put on this necklace I wear after that night. I always wanted to put it on after. I took a chance, a step towards who I wanted to be. I was so sick of hollow gestures, I needed it to mean something. And I realized I just did something worthy enough to put it on.
The date was also significant for another reason, but that’s another story.
Over the next few months, I kept facing more fears and taking more chances trying to be the kind of friend I always wanted to be. I remember early on seeing how much they ran from people, how much they have been let down, and how lonely they were. I remember explicitly telling myself I can’t give up on them. There were times I thought about giving up on me, but I couldn’t because it would mean giving up on them. And giving up on them would mean I was giving up on the person I wanted to be.
At some point, those words kept bubbling up to the surface. At some point, my heart wanted me to say those words. As a friend, I wanted to let them know they have me. I remember they told me something back in May and I knew in that moment, they needed someone to just mean those words completely. I wanted to say them, but I couldn’t. Until I left that box, those words only came from the heart. I refused to speak those words from the heart. They couldn’t have possibly known it then, but they were inspiring me to be the very thing, perhaps in a very different way, they told me they might never find. I held onto words as too sacred to say unless I knew I could mean them completely. I think about that a lot. I think about their words a lot and how I was fighting, because of them, to be that kind of person.
I kept saying those words in different ways, skirting around the sacred phrase, trying to let them know I was there for them. I remember often questioning my words. I had a huge distrust inside of me because I lived inside a box where it was easy to speak from the heart. I’ve said those words to many people, but how often would I have actually meant them? How often would I actually take the ONE leap that scared me just to prove them?
I remember earlier on, perhaps April-May, I knew inside of myself. I knew that if they told me they needed a friend. If they told me they wanted me to show up, I knew without a doubt that I would. I look back at that certainty and I question it. How could I have been so sure when I knew myself? I was certain and hoped they would tell me, but also hoped they wouldn’t. I knew that I would take that leap, but it still scared me. I now knew the ONE thing that would get me to leave.
In September, I decided I needed to leave. I had stayed in that box for too long and I needed to be the kind of person and friend I always wanted to be. So I set a symbolic date (9/22) and let them know two weeks in advance that I wanted to hang out with them if they were up for it. I counted down the days with fear and trepidation. When the date arrived, I was packed. I sat in my car and I knew for the first time in a long time exactly what I would do…if they wanted me to show up. Not leaving that day did something I didn’t expect. It reinforced my intentions. I wasn’t going to put pressure on someone who at this point I wasn’t even sure how strong our friendship was.
I found myself drowning in parts of who I never wanted to be. I saw those three words in the various ways I had spoke them. They were promises that I knew if I stayed, I wouldn’t be able to keep in spirit. So a week later on the 29th, I took that leap and headed towards Austin to find a way to be myself and grow becaus I made promises that I was going to prove to myself I would keep, even knowing I might never get the chance.
Why Austin? Texas had a bunch of coincidences and then Austin had a few things I thought I might be interested in doing someday. I found a boat on Lake Travis that I thought I might want to live on as a start of a crazy new life too. The boat didn’t pan out. After a day in Little Rock where I found a lady who I helped try to get back home, I made my way to Texas.
After spending a night in Irving, I set my gps to Lake Travis towards where I thought would be my home for the forseable future. The GPS dropped me off at an intersection. Go left towards The Oasis. Go right towards some parks. I chose right. I saw a sign for a park that I was thinking of turning into, but missed it and kept going. I saw a sign for Bob Wentz Park and thought I was heading there, but turned out it was actually Windy Point Park. I checked in walked up to the cliffs and looked out across the lake. I made it. I finally made it. I felt for the first time in a long time that I was finally home.
After a short while I went back to my car to get my journal and my speaker. When I made my way back, I nearly broke down. I saw EVERYTHING I was fighting for carved into a rock. Those three words I’ve never told anyone in years. Then I saw something crazier. S R. I saw the initials of the one person who made me believe I could someday speak those words with meaning, with truth, with depth. I saw the initials of the very person was worth the risk of not knowing what the heck I was doing or where I was going just to be a person who could be the kind of friend I’ve always wanted to be.
My heart screaming out those words led me to the place where I saw them carved in stone. I never intended to say those words to anyone specific. I just knew I had to leave before I could say them. They later became a baptism of sorts. Uttering them to another meant dying to who I was. it was an initiation into a life lived in completely pursuit of those words not just to the person I say them to, but to all. When S.R.M. started to make me believe I could say them, it only made natural sense she would be the first one to hear me say them. It only made sense that when I met her, I would tell her the sacred phrase.
You might be asking, why S R and not S M? Well, the thing I haven’t told you is that there are three S M’s in my story all with the same first name. One of those passed away on my 22nd birthday. The other is the reason why I chose Texas in the first place. Why S R? My brain trying to make sense of something that I can’t imagine to be just a coincidence would say to not get them confused. There is only ONE S.R. in my story.
But seeing that rock and seeing her initials carved right there, could there be anyone else to first hear those words? I kept listening to the song “Dear G-d” by Being as an Ocean trying to believe that “Only L**e could have brought me to this place.” I kept trying to rationalize what I saw. Surely it’s just a coincidence. But how? How could the VERY thing I was fighting for be right there? How could the VERY words that were screaming inside of me be carved in the ONE place I finally arrived and felt like home?
One day, I was at a gas station getting something to drink. I was sitting in my car listening to “Dear G-d” over and over again, trying to believe. I was so directionless and panicking that I had no idea what to do or where to go. When I finally decided to go to a random park, my car wouldn’t start. Luckily, I found an app that let me get someone to help me jump start it. When I finally left, I saw a man carrying a sign that read “❤️ 1 another.” With “Dear G-d” blasting in my speakers, trying so desperately to believe that “Onlhy L**e could have brought me to this place,” I had to talk to him.
I turned around at a Tesla Dealership, parked outside a fast food restaurant and walked up to him. I’ll never forget Eddie’s story or how he gives most of what he gets. I’ll never forget how he taught me that l**e is about knowing the people around you and not being afraid to look silly. The more he gave, the more he seemed to recieve. His needs were fully taken care of.
He told me that God was going to bless me because my heart was in the right place when I saw his sign. He gave me this hat that I’ve been wearing to try on when scavenging. While we had a misunderstanding that cost me a sense of companionship, I wear this hat as a reminder of the things he taught me. It’s a reminder to give freely and to not be afraid to look silly for the sake of l**e.
I was never looking for a specific person to say those words to until S.R.M. made me believe I could say them. I was never looking for a specific place until I found that spot where I imagined I’d “scream it til my face is blue/there’s a point to all of this/and it’s always been You.” And sometimes I’ve wondered if maybe I’m just waiting for the right time.
I keep having my doubts and lately I’ve lost all hope that this friendship will even be able to be repaired. I’ve been losing sight of faith in some perfect plan. I’ve been wondering if everything has just been random coincidence. I feel like my story with S.R.M. has ended before it ever began. And now I even wonder if it would be possible to say those words without any hint of impure motive, any hint of attempting to repair what has broken. I refuse to speak them for any self gain.
I also kept wondering about power. I’ve been reading the Time Quartet books and those words have tremendous power in A Wrinkle in Time, but more so in A Wind in the Door. They have the power to break people away from mental snares, to “name” them, and to rip them away from their own demons. What if saying those words for the first time is as powerful as in those books? What if it isn’t? What if they are just words that have no power to change and heal and redeem others?
Then I look at the words I’ve spoken. I look at how the only reason I am here, on my journey fighting for consistent growth is because of the words I uttered to another human being. If my words are so powerful they can rip me from my own darkness, shouldn’t they be able to have as much power to cover another in all the warmth light I’ve been fighting so hard to embrace?
Perhaps EVERYTHING is a coincidence. Perhaps I’ll never get to tell S.R. those words in truth. Perhaps I’m making the biggest risk in the world to let her ears be the first in years to hear them uttered from my lips. And perhaps now I know that there might never be a time when she’ll be ready to be friends and hang out and meet me in that place. Perhaps S.R.M. was never meant to be that big in my story. Or rather I was never meant to be a big part of hers for she is the ONE person or thing that changed EVERYTHING for me. She’ll always be a huge part of my story.
I’m sitting in a park in her hometown of Denver after being here for weeks after things fell apart in Austin. She said the words she had no friends around and I decided to take the chance seeing as another friend was also in her hometown. She wasn’t here at the time, but taking a chance on that other friend was the start of the first real solid friendship I made outside that box.
I have my theories why, but I must have overwhelmed her before she decided to block me.
Perhaps EVERYTHING is really NOTHING. Perhaps, L**e didn’t bring me here. Or perhaps I’m still waiting for the right timing.
All I know is that I won’t ever give up on her, I’m actually kind of proud of her for shutting me out believing with everything inside of me that she felt she needed to, and I know I could have been less overwhelming.
I know she knows about the words, but I wonder if she has put the pieces together that I want her to hear them first. I wonder if she has any idea of what I want to show her in Austin. I wonder if has read my posts on here and tried to connect the dots with more precise detail.
The thing that I can’t shake? If I didn’t believe with everything inside of me what was carved into that rock, I wouldn’t have saw it. Some things truly have to be believed in order to be seen.
Is believing in this awkward time a sign of stubborn stupidity or a sign of faith? Perhaps the reason my heart isn’t in shambles and that I haven’t been panicking is because of L**e. Or perhaps it’s a sign of the apathetic side of my heart rearing it’s ugly head. Or perhaps it’s something else.
I don’t know what to believe, but I know that those words are not to be uttered to anyone at the wrong time. If L**e is truly guiding me, He will make a way. He will make sense of what I haven’t been able to make sense of this whole year.
Some cool pictures