One. Year.

365 days.
44,995 more miles on my odometer (makes me want to take a little drive today to hit an even 45K).
416 friends.  And still counting.

One year ago today, I headed north on Pacific Coast Highway for the first day of an incredible journey.  One year later, I look back at the beautiful landscape of this country and at the beautiful faces of the people I get the privilege of calling friends.  And not just Facebook friends. Real-life, face-to-face friends.  And I have to tell you, it doesn’t even compare to actually LOL with someone gasping at the same air to refill your lungs as opposed to writing LOL as a comment to a post.

When I log into Facebook (I’m still kicking it old school without timeline), I see my friends listed down the left border of the page and it’s rare to have a friend there whose face I haven’t seen in the past year.  It is incredible the level of community and hospitality and connection I have experienced in that time.  The support I received from near and far, from close friends and those I hadn’t seen in 10, 15, 20, or 25 years, has changed the way I perceive the world and my place in it.

I don’t think we ever know how much other people are willing to do for us until we’re needy.  And it has been so profoundly uncomfortable to be so needy for a year–to need housing and feeding and finances.  I had a lot of practice asking for things, but honestly, I didn’t get any better at it, or at least, I don’t feel any more comfortable doing it now than a year ago.  But I wonder if we’re missing out by being so self-sufficient, if we’re cheapening our human experience by not sharing the load, whether it’s mundane or much bigger.  I have seen a level of compassion and generosity that leaves me speechless (quite a feat for me, you know), and to be on the receiving end of it is so much more poignant.  Thank you, friends, for opening your homes and hearts and lives to me.

I learned so much from the friends I saw about how you were living out community in your lives.  And I’m excited to dig back into my community here in LA.  I will have a consistent address (though it still belongs to someone else) for the next two months. I’m hoping to blog more consistently and finish up visits with my SoCal Facebook friends.  And I’m considering different options and planning for what’s next.  It’s hard to follow up a year like this, but I have a feeling the weeks and months ahead will be a little slower and less mobile, yet more connected.  This past year has probably been the best of my life, rich and thick with the gooey goodness of life.  And I don’t think that what I’ve learned and the ways I’ve changed can help but stick with me in the days to come. Thanks for riding along, friends.

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2 Responses

  1. Fantastic! Can’t wait to go back and read from the beginning…

  2. Glad to be a part of it. Congrats on all you’ve accomplished.

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