.... and catch that beautiful butterfly, pal!
As kids we learned that lady bugs are a sign of good luck, lightning bugs make excellent jewelry (in the ring department), Midwest summers bring out the June bugs, and butterflies are one of the most beautiful insects known. I am sure I am not alone in saying I have done my fair share of capturing these mere insects and enclosing them in a jar for my pure entertainment, certainly not theirs …. Poor lightning bugs never stood a chance with a girl who loved “jewels” …..
Fast forward to the present day … how many of you feel Caged? Trapped? Locked up? Tied up? (Okay that one is wishful thinking) Discouraged? Fearful? I know in the past few weeks I have had a heavy heart for so many of my closest loved ones who have been hurting. For some, they have had feelings of loss; deaths of beloved family members, relationships shattered over unmanageable differences, people taken out of their lives by someone else’s choice. For others, there has been downsizing at their place of employment, loss of their job (or the dead end yet again to find a new one), pay cuts, setbacks, and discouraging days of hard work and little return. Many have cried, had feelings of doubt, wept at what the circumstances of life were bringing forth. There was worry, there is worry.
We worry too often about what other people think and their feelings; neglecting our own … we surrender to the comfort zones in life. We worry about how we can help the one we love for subconsciously we endure their pain out of the love we possess for them. We worry about how to provide, how to maintain, how to preserve. We worry about whether to go or stay, to walk away or run, to stand and fight or surrender … We flutter our wings and pray for an outlet but we are dying in the bottoms of our mason jars in life.
The poignant part? Most of us are refusing to embark on our true journey in life. We neglect to take chances, to break free, to move on. We have yet to taste the sweet sensation of open skies and wind in our hair. As the lyrics are playing in my head now … “I still haven’t found, what I am looking for” … I ask you the question, what are you looking for? And how do you prepare to at least reach for it? We each have a passion, initiative strives to excel and succeed, and we each have strengths and qualities I believe we have not tapped into. We are looking for the next step, seeking the next page to be turned in a new chapter of our lives.
With the permission of the wonderful back in the STL Ann-Marie, I am able to share the following with you – Thank you Ann-Marie!
Back in November, I took a road trip to the fabulous Las Vegas. I knew this trip was about to change four girls in a way that Sinatra changed the voice of music. We took the trip to move Ann-Marie into her new home; but we all new the 26 hour car ride would forever change our thoughts in life. I wrote to the three of them before we left:
From: Chrissy Kohler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Thu 11/06/08 8:55 AM
To: Ann-Marie (email@example.com); Jessica Thiemann (firstname.lastname@example.org); Michele Boyd (email@example.com)
So it is official - we are taking our girl, Ann-Marie, to Vegas in 15 days. All of us now have our plane tickets back, our bags kind of packed, and a sense of excitement that we cannot begin to measure. I thought I would send an email to once again let Ann-Marie know that we are here to help with anything - just ask .... This is an exciting time and we are here for you my dear. I also wanted to take a moment to put out there what we are all feeling:
Each of us is looking for something. Each of us are searching, are on a quest, to find peace. Each of us is trying to discover ourselves at a time that is crucial to us. Four of us will make the journey out there. The 1600 miles or so that will change the course of our lives for ever. Three of us will make the flight back home. Each of us will be forever changed; enlighten beyond measure of what the value of friendship means, what the strength of our inner-selves can provide, and what four days of inhibition and new sights can provide in our quest of discovery.
With that said, it is Vegas bound, and life ahead.
Last week I received an email from Ann-Marie:
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 20:13:16 -0800
Subject: No More Vegas...
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope you’re all doing well. I wanted to let you know that I’m moving back to St. Louis. My old job has requested that I come back, so with no job offers on the horizon (the one company that offered me a position went out of business the next week!) and the current state of the economy, this seems like the best choice. I even get all my benefits back right away – a very good thing for a diabetic who needs health insurance.
It took me a long time to come to this decision but I’m certain it’s the right one. I don’t want you to think that I just threw my dream of living in Vegas away…I learned a lot about myself while I was there, I don’t regret it, and I think I’m actually better for doing it. The psychic did say that moving to Vegas was good for me, I think that’s because it gave me a chance to figure out where I’m headed, etc. I guess that’s pretty subjective though.
My fear is that you’ll be disappointed that I didn’t last longer or think I’m stupid for moving without a job lined up. I prefer to think of it as ballsy, but I’m sorry if I let you down. Thank you for all your help and prayers. I hope you don’t feel like they were wasted.
See ya soon!
My response to Ann-Marie:
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: RE: No More Vegas...
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 22:35:46 -0600
I think I speak for everyone when I say this: The only way you would have failed us, is if you had not tried Vegas. When you made the choice to move there, you inspired all of us, and the wave of inspiration is not going to stop because you no longer have the NV zip code on your return address. In fact ... i think it will grow stronger. You know the one thing we said over and over again, on the plane ride home and to anyone we share our Vegas journey with? I wish I had a part of Ann-Marie in me; a part of me that faces the fear of the unknown, and makes something happen to our lives. The part that wants more, that seeks more, that FINDS MORE.
Now, on to my confession; A part of me is selfish and has missed you and will welcome you back with open arms and a comforting shoulder. True friends embrace every moment of your life ... and that my dear, you have found in me. I will never say that I lived in Vegas, and I envy you for that (you know I want to write NV on the damn address!!!) .... but I will say I had a friend, a dear friend, who moved there knowing little of herself, and came back a changed woman ready to embark on the next journey of her life. And in this journey, both near and afar, my dear adventurous Ann Marie ... you will always have friends supporting you and encouraging you to take chances, to be brave, and to chase your dreams.
Welcome back to the STL, and to the next chapter in your journey. Don't ever feel like you have let us down - our prayers were you find yourself, your happiness, and your place in the world ... and my dearest, if you read what you wrote us you will see - our prayers were answered.
See you soon ... let me know when you arrive; we will all be waiting with cocktails in hands!
Take from these emails what you can use. And the next time you feel trapped in a mason jar, play dead – they empty the jar to use it again, and you fly away to taste life ….