Monday, April 21, 2014

For Tracy

You never recognize the big moments in your life as “big moments” until they have passed. Until you have a chance to look back at them, and say, “Wow, how did I miss that?” You never know them because they look like mundane moments. The ones you take for granted because you believe you’ll be promised a million more. We get so used to parts of our life that we stop calling them beautiful or special, or magnificent, and re-label them as boring, repetitive, and old. But this past week I’ve been going out of my way to remember what it felt like to feel/see/hear everything for the first time. And how incredibly special it is to be able to remember things just as they were and then be able to appreciate them as they come again.

I am constantly meeting kind strangers. I am an open book and I think people can sense my transparency. I began to take for granted these serendipitous meetings and treat them as ordinary happenings. So on Easter Sunday when my mom and I began talking to a perfect stranger, I decided to really bask in it all. To say my words carefully, to listen intently, and appreciate the moment.

After having an Easter brunch with my family, my mom and I decided the two of us would go to REI and search for some travelling essentials for my trip to Bali. We were going through a rack of clothes and after finding mainly bright, printed tanks I told my mom, “My tour guide says not to wear anything flashy or that makes me stand out.” And the woman surfing the rack next to us said, “Where are you headed?” I told her I was going to Bali, and she said, “Oh, that’s great! I go to Nepal tomorrow.” Intrigued by her destination my mom and I asked why she was going. She went on to tell us she’s a journalist, and she said, “I don’t really know if I should be telling you this” with my trip being to a foreign country and being a young woman, but my mom and I asked anyway. She continued on and told us how some Western travelers have gone missing in the Himalayas. There is no record of them, and no one knows where they may be. It started back in 2010 when one 23 year old girl went missing, and then she discovered four other similar, but separate cases. The families of these girl are demanding answers and this journalist is going to Nepal to get find the answers for them. We kept talking, about the missing people, travelling safely, our love for writing, and then I realized none of us knew each other’s names. After introducing myself she said, “I’m Tracy”, the same name as my mom’s, and my mom’s natural reaction is to cry and hug her (a genetic trait I swear she has passed down to me). Tracy says it’s “serendipity” and I find myself so overwhelmed with joy, and I just knew that this stranger was doing wonderful things in the world, and I felt so blessed to have met her before her journey. The idea that Tracy was going on this trip, with a family at home, just showed her kind, selfless heart. The idea of giving a voice to these travelers that don’t have one right now, touched me deeply. Despite the dangers of the trip I tell Tracy, “You are doing something out of the goodness of your heart, for the good of the world, and that’s why everything will be okay.” I say my words slowly, sending them each separately out into the air, praying that they are acknowledge and supported on the way of her journey.

This morning I woke up and Tracy’s travels where still so heavy on my heart. I thought of her noble decision to travel to Nepal and figure out what’s happening to the disappearing travelers that journeyed there. And I thought of how this one person is risking it all in the hopes of helping strangers. How often we forget that in the mists of what seems like our troubling time, there are people in places we’ve never seen getting hurt, or going missing, or simply being ignored because it is easier to pretend it’s not happening. I thought of Tracy’s brave soul and how she embodies the word fearless. And maybe she isn’t absent of every fear, but she’s facing them.

I think we too often forget that besides all the people who are negative and toxic to the world, there are people fighting and shining so bright to make this world wonderful. There are people every day who sacrifice their lives in the hopes of prolonging another’s.

For every single fall, there is a rise. Through every dark night, comes a bright new day. For every worry, sacrifice, and loss, there is hope, love, and a blessing. And for every person that makes you question human kindness, there is a Tracy.

My heart is with you in Nepal, my thoughts are all uplifting and empowering as you travel, and I know the universe is guiding you exactly where it needs you to be. Please keep Tracy and the families she is helping in your thoughts and prayers.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Monday xoxox

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