Friday, December 03, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 3 - Most Alive

Today's Reverb10 prompt:

December 3 – Moment.
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
(Author: Ali Edwards)

I walked off an airplane and into a hug.  Into the arms of someone I'd never met.

I spotted her as I was walking up above, before leaving the secure area. Nerves hit and I ducked into the bathroom for a moment to collect myself.  One last whispered, "I hope this wasn't totally crazy, be with me in the coming week" prayer, and I emerged, descended the escalator with my bags, and walked into that hug.

I was dressed for traveling - jeans, a coral colored hoodie, my favorite white scarf, running shoes.  Practical clothes.  Comfortable and warm for an airplane environment that is never comfortable or warm.

I was in desperate need of an escape, and we'd become close friends via blogging and emails and a few gmail chats.  When I wrote asking if she was up for a visitor, and she said come, I did.  Booked tickets and packed a bag and got on a plane.

I don't do things like that.

I spent the flight figuring out new things.  First international border crossing on my own.  Navigating a new airport.  Figuring out customs declaration forms.  Convincing myself that the idea quite a few people around me had deemed crazy - getting on a plane to spend a week with someone whose voice I'd never even heard - wasn't actually crazy.  And sorting out contingency plans just in case it was actually crazy.  (I do do things like that.  I'm all about the contingency plans.)

I've been hanging onto the memory of that hug and the week that followed.  All of the laughter and tears and conversation it contained.  It was a week that I hoped would lead to time to think and pray and make decisions.  All of that happened, and my life has taken a positive turn because of it.

Because I got on an airplane and did something I just don't do.

Because I spent a week with a friend, laughing and eating and touring and getting to know the in person parts of each other, past the written stuff we'd spent the previous two years sharing.

That week, I felt alive.  Walking through the mission gardens, standing by the water, riding "Pirates" at Disneyland, wandering the garment district, eating new foods - Mizithra, steak, Monte Cristo sandwiches, and Godiva cheesecake.

In a year that has been full of the miserable moments, that week is special.  That week I had time to breathe and regroup.  That week was the beginning of this whole new work that God is doing.  His timing and hands were in it, and I'm so glad I went with the little part of my gut that said that getting on the plane - that thing I just don't do - was the best thing I could possibly do.


Schmutzie said...

This is exactly the kind of story I like to hold up when people say that internet friendships aren't real.

This fellow #reverb10 person thinks your moment is fabulous :)

Lisa said...

Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I do not even know you, but your story just made me stand up and cheer.

You are very much alive!

Lizz said...

Excellent! I too have crossed international borders to meet someone I knew online! I got my husband to drive with me from San Francisco to Vancouver, British Columbia to attend the wedding of a friend I'd met and gotten to know online. And she's one of my dearest friends on Earth today!
A great moment that this fellow Reverb10 participant appreciates fully!

floreta said...

this is great! i definitely had a moment like this when i met for the first time in 2 years one of my blog friends from the philippines. i never thought we would actually meet because i never thought i would be here! we're great friends now and i just spent a week at her apartment to visit her and the city!

StarletShay said...

WoW! That was something indeed crazy, but sometimes our gut just tells us to JUST DO IT..and I'm glad to hear that you did!

Amanda said...

So brave!

christianne said...

I'm so glad you had that experience this year. I totally know what it's like to meet people online and develop real friendship there ... and then to meet in person and have it be just as magical and real.

Mizithra, huh? You just made me miss California. Oh yes, I will be eating at the Old Spaghetti Factory when visiting my family in CA this Christmas -- mizithra and browned butter sauce -- YUM! :)

Lisa said...

Christianne - you're making me jealous, visiting your family in CA this Christmas. I was hoping to make a trip back there around Christmas this year, and it hasn't worked out. I hope your trip is fabulous!

And I'm totally jealous of the mizithra and browned butter sauce - though, I have to admit that we do have Old Spaghetti Factory in Calgary, and so I could go out and get some fairly easily - though it's just not the same as eating it in CA where I discovered it! :)