It's been almost 10 years since I graduated and I'd forgotten what words I'd contributed to my senior yearbook. I was home a few weeks back and rediscovered it - the quote above by Tim McGraw -
We all take different paths in life. But no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.
Ever have a moment where you feel like your past self is sending you a message? This was it for me. Re-reading this quote, especially as I've been refocusing on what matters most to me, really has gotten me thinking: what are the things you take with you when you start a new chapter in life?
Our friends Chrissy and Pearce have really inspired me to think about this question. They're married and they made a very powerful, life-changing decision just a few months ago. Five years post our college graduation, they decided to resign their positions in Washington, DC and spend five months in a charitable internship in Uganda, and when they return they'll be moving back home to North Carolina.
This was a decision that was felt deeply in the heart and took much faith and bravery. It's one that inspires us on a daily basis as we hear from them as they work thousands of miles outside their comfort zones and have a truly meaningful, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I remember very clearly talking to Chrissy and Pearce the night before they set off for training for their internship. They regaled us with stories of some of the dangers they may face and the concern that Pearce may have to actually eat a vegetable instead of a milkshake (note: concern unfounded apparently - he found one within 48 hours of landing - milkshake, not vegetable).
One of the things that has really stuck with me is something Pearce said. He mentioned that a few photos from Gus and my wedding were a part of a few precious pieces of life back home that they were taking with them.
On this huge milestone journey, they took care to bring the most important things with them - mementos of friends, family, the things that matter most. As I think about our chapters to come, I can't help but think of this Tim McGraw quote and begin to build a mental collection for us:
What will I take with me? What will I need along the perilous, unchartered journey?
Though the contents may change - this photo or that prayer, an encouraging note from a friend, or a keepsake of my mother's - I know the uniting theme will be something to sustain me in the darkness and something to help me celebrate the great joys. Having these little pieces of each other makes life feel a little less daunting, a little more possible, and all the more connected no matter how scary or unknown the road ahead may be.
Whatever you are thinking about and afraid to do - if you went, do you know what will you would bring with you? Maybe you just need to pack your suitcase with emotional food for the journey to take the first step.