"the ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned."
for those of you who read my VERY first blog post--a detailed account of my last
minute, completely spontanous, barely twenty four hour trip to los angeles when i was 19--you've probably realized the following about me:
i can be a little extreme.
i'm usually a pretty sensible person; the kind who thinks things through; who weighs the pros and cons; who never sees things in just black in white--but always recognizes that there's a gray area in between every decision, every opinion. but there have been some moments in my life--life-altering, life-changing--moments where i know that there is no need to THINK. there is only DO. i was unexpectedly handed one of these moments two sundays ago when i woke up and decided to buy myself a plane ticket home.
okay, it wasn't that simple. the short version of the story is that i had been
dealing with a lot of homesickness that past week that i hadn't really let anyone, including myself, in on. while i'm normally the last person to hold back any of my feelings, i guess i felt that if i didn't acknowledge these things buzzing around inside of me, then they wouldn't really be true.
although part of me always has a longing for the familiarity of the east coast, a
major factor that brought these feelings crashing down on me last week was some very specific things going on in my best friend's life. as you'll read from her recent blog post, entitled "let's get serious", sara is perfectly fine--however, she has had some health-related things going on in her life that have made me feel further away from her than ever.
the day she had her MRI, she said this to me,
"after hearing things like 'what you have is very rare' and 'we'll have to wait on
the results of your MRI to see what to do next,' i got in my car and just sat there.
i was in such a dark place and i felt so completely alone. right at that moment,
'take me with you' came on. it was like a sign that you were there with me."
"take me with you" is a song by one of our favorite bands: secondhand serenade, and it always seems to come on right when one of us needs the other one, but we're not in the same place. there's a lot of meaning behind it, but to us it's kind of the anthem--if you will--of our friendship, which has always been a promise to each other to be there through everything. it's a song about telling someone else every little thing about you, putting your heart in their hands, and trusting them that they will always be in your life. when i heard sara tell me how alone she felt in that very moment, something inside of me broke.
have you ever just needed to get to somebody?
i knew that i had to get to her, and there was nothing that was going to stop me. as soon as i let myself feel those far away sad feelings, i couldn't help but be overcome with homesickness for not just her--but my family as well. it wasn't that i wanted to be home, i HAD to be home. i HAD to walk through my parents' front door and feel their arms around me. i HAD to lay on that purple couch and shoo mango away from my dinner. i HAD to drive to south carolina and let sara know that she wasn't alone.
in an emotional tornado of uncontrollable can't-get-out-of-bed sobs, i
opened up my computer and bought the very first ticket i could find. luckily the very first ticket i found happened to be at an UNREAL price--which i knew was a sign. i also happened to select wednesday as my departing date, which just HAPPENED to be the 25th. and if you don't know what that number means to me, go back and read that very first blog post.
so i packed my things...
well, MOST of my things.
and headed back to the right side. i had one full day with my parents before heading one state down so you should know what pictures are coming next.
...i was so excited to eat the roast chicken and caesar salad i forgot to take a
and then friday came.
things i love about the south:
yep...that's banana pudding.
the surprise for sara was everything i could have expected and more. after conspiring
with her aunt, cousin, and mom about setting up a lunch date with her, i patiently waited at the
table of the italian restaurant to see the top of that little blonde head bobbing
by the window.and by
patiently waited--i mean, felt as if my heart was about to burst out of my chest.as sara walked through the front door, around the corner, and then two steps into the restaurant--she came to a dead stop in her tracks as our eyes met. the initial
shock swept over her face with a "oh hey fanny, what are you doing here?" kind of
expression, and then it hit her. and the tears came. for both of us.i couldn't have asked for a better moment. i
regretfully explained to her that we had just over a full twenty four hours together,
but that i was here to make every second count. so we did just that. we
woke up at 4:30 AM the next morning to drive behind her parents to boone--a place
that's very dear in the hearts of the mclamb family--where we then spent an
amazing day eating, shopping, and basking in the the simple joy of being just inchesapart.
we parted ways with tears in our eyes, hearts that felt slightly less
broken, and matching candy necklaces.
i also happened to leave with an extremely special gift. two years ago when i still lived in raleigh, i had driven to south carolina for the weekend to attend the annual blue crab festival in little river with sara. i had been searching for the perfect pinky ring that year, and luckily found it at a little jewelry stand near the fried shrimp baskets.
not only was the ring sized exactly to my finger, but it felt extremely important to me because it came from a very special day that i shared with my best friend.
about three weeks ago, i woke up to find one of my rings on the floor, and the
other (my pinky ring) nowhere to be found. although olive had never jumped onto
my TV stand and played hockey with my rings in the past, i guess she was trying
out something new. after tearing up my entire apartment (twice) i still couldn't
find my beloved ring anywhere. the blue crab festival happened to be taking place
that very weekend in little river and sara casually mentioned looking for the same
jewelry stand while she was there. i knew that my ring was somewhere in the apartment, but part of me had
given up hope and with every day that passed, i felt as though a little piece of me was missing.
as sara and i prepared to say our goodbyes in boone, she pulled out a card
and a small plastic bag.
the day i returned back to california, i had decided not just to unpack--but to
clear all of the clutter from my closet and storage spaces while i was already in
"cleaning mode." as i opened my dresser drawer to place sara's card inside, i moved the contents over with my left hand and lowered the card in. just as the card hit the bottom of the drawer, my pinky ring (the original one i had lost) fell out of the pile of clothes and bounced onto sara's card.
now THAT is fate.
now i have two pinky rings that both hold a special place in my heart.
saturday night, i returned home to have one last amazing meal with my parents.
and then i headed back for the west coast.
while most people might think that buying a completely unexpected, unplanned, last-minute plane ticket is completely irrational--i know that it was everything i needed. through the love i got from my parents, my best friend, and her family--part of me was restored. it was a short journey, but it was worth every penny and every second.
what did i learn?
sometimes, a phone call just isn't enough.
oh...and the st. louis airport has a bar in it.
how rad is that?!