Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Unexpected

It really is a pessimist who finds comfort in moving on from a period in life that is full of new friends and travels with the resolution that never will such friends or places ever be found again (and finding more comfort in that than the hope that that depressing thought isn't true). But I am that pessimist. I put my bible school friends and our past adventures on a pedestal and sighed with romantic tragedy on exploring the rest of the waiting world alone and bored.
Thailand 2012
Life doesn't turn out the way you plan or deeply hope. Sometimes this is devastating, and sometimes, now most times I'm finding, it is so right. Because sometimes, most times, you need that unexpected journey and that unplanned friend to give you something and push you to a better that you did not have the goodness in your own heart to gift to yourself. Either because you would not credit yourself to be able to rise to the challenge or you would not grant yourself such a simple joy. But Asia and my new friend Charlotte were just two of these gracious catalysts to evidence a goodness in my God's heart.

I tend to live my life like one gross epic novel, similar to an encyclopedia, whilst Charlotte here was a fascinating collection of narrative short stories on a fantastic tapestry. The minute we entered into travel mode, out popped her average day's tales in a fashion that had me wondering if my average day was as entertaining as hers. I grew envious of the characters that made up her life till I realized, hey, I knew those people too. Pretty soon I looked forward to any meeting with her during the JVMI clinic's days as she was bound to have a humorous and intriguing tale about these short story characters that had come to life and were passing me in the halls of the hospital. And I don't mean gossip. I mean she has a way of seeing that which makes people fascinating and memorable. In her story book, no character is inconsequential.
Everywhere we met was a story time campfire, the people we were meeting were members of our indigenous tribe, and she was the tribe's historical and mythological orator.
 It was starting all over again; the feeling of being in a Mark Twain novel with an adventurous friend that made you eager to only ever make it your life's goal to put stamps in your passport with this kind of person in the seat next you on the plane.  

Pretty soon the idea of going home and being surrounded by self portrayed perfection and nothing but first world distractions was the most depressing of thoughts. True, adventure is obvious and addicting in the scenario of wanderlust with a wise tribal orator, but I suppose to face what you begrudge and find difficult, like going home to work and school, are also the chapters of awesome adventure that you rise to the challenge of a story teller and character. And that, my dear past pessimist, can be evidenced in both her climactic short stories and my epic novel. Don't despair and don't shut the door on God's goodness.  

 Asia is a really hot place so when posing for pictures this is about as much contact as you want to have with someone. Even if they're your new best friend.

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