I fell down the rabbit hole tonight. Past pages of texts and Facebook messages and photographs and people and places of days past.
It started with college and so many of the lessons learned, about myself and books and other people’s feelings. Lessons about true friendships and fake ones, trust and betrayal, brokenness and healing. I probably don’t give those years enough credit when I take stock of the past. They were tough and beautiful. They were an incredible struggle but also somehow so satisfying in their proof that I could trudge through on my own.
It was indeed a coincidence that led me to the next chapter.
It transitioned rather quickly into the life I lived surrounded by airplanes and humans who were gifted with the ability to fly. What a world that dropzone held, full of hippies and rich college kids, self-proclaimed sky-gods and the slighted that had found a place that welcomed their difference. A place that I didn’t think I fit, and yet somehow it was where I finally found myself. I remember some of the amazing people I came to know there, too, the ones who found me and held up a metaphorical mirror so I could finally see myself clearly. I can see their faces and hear their voices so vividly and in such detail, even after sixteen years. I met some incredible humans in that small desert town, a mere 9.1 miles from the only place I’d ever known as home. It was so close all that time, but I really did have so very far to go before I could really find my way there.
My time there can often be described as cinematic. Moments were so epic in lighting and cast and soundtrack that they couldn’t possibly be real. They had to be moments of fiction I wrote for myself to make up for the past. Sunsets and sunrises with strangers-turned best friends. Desert parties with zebra hats and RV hangouts. Houses filled with steady beats and black lights and body paint. Coffee shops and tip money and peanut butter wheat bagels. The mundane everyday mixed with the exhilaration of human flight. The joy of first skydives and the finality of death. Quite the dichotomy that was definitely not lost on me.