I’m scrolling through Instagram this morning and see a post from my favorite blogger (follow this girl here: http://www.hannahbrencher.com).
All the caption says is “I’m driving all day today – call this number and tell me good things.”
I stared at the number and realized how crazy this was, that not only was she brave enough to post a burner number for her followers to call her throughout the day, but that I had the chance to talk to her.
Actually. Talk. To. Her.
And I know this isn’t like meeting a celebrity, but I think whenever someone’s had an impact on your life, especially someone you’ve never met, there’s an innate desire to find some way to thank them in person.
So I called the number.
I’d closed my eyes when I called this time, hoping she’d pick up. But when the static cleared and I heard a voice, my hand was over my mouth and I was fighting tears.
“Hannah?” I was in legit disbelief. Maybe I’d typed in the wrong number and was talking to as stranger.
“Oh my god, hi!” I started shaking. “My name’s Emily. It’s so nice to meet you.”
“Hi Emily! Thank you so much for calling.”
I think I said “this is crazy” at least five times. She laughed.
“So where are you from??”
“I’m from Atlanta – I just moved back home from college for the semester.”
“Wow, really? How do you feel about that?”
We talked for ten minutes.
In the mess of my bedroom from unpacking, I had a heart to heart with one of the most authentic girls on the planet.
What’s funny is as awkward as it felt, because yeah let’s be honest, I was talking to a stranger, she talked like she knew me. I told her how much her words have impacted me and spurred me on to create my own blog and write words, and how that’s shaped my story. I told her how God’s changing my path career-wise and what I’m wanting to pursue now.
And she listened. To every part.
She didn’t have to post a number on Instagram, or she could’ve ended the phone call at two minutes and said “Sorry, other people are calling and I need to talk to them. Nice to meet you” and hang up.
But she invested in me, no matter how small of a way, just by listening. She didn’t need details; I didn’t need encouragement.
It was just this sacred moment where our souls mingled over radio waves, sharing fragmented bits of our lives and stories of how we made it through the woods.
I think as humans that’s one of the most holy interactions we can have with another human. I don’t mean a religious interaction, but there’s a reverence for the moments when you share your story with someone, when they care enough to listen to your words, even if they don’t know you well.
That’s how best friends begin, do they not? Someone opens up first.
And just because we share our stories with someone or someones doesn’t mean they’ll become our best friends; what I mean is we’ve all lived some life, faced some storms, stood on some mountaintops (which means we’re all more relatable than we think). Yet in that present moment, you’re linking your soul with another person and being present with them. You’re being. You’re existing.
And though they’ll only ever know the present you and not who you were “then”, they’re catching a glimpse of what has made you who you are.
Why wouldn’t we value that?
But I think that’s what we miss out on, these rare moments, when we don’t pick up.
When we don’t reach out.
When we don’t take a chance.
When we’re afraid of what could happen.
When we’re paranoid of what has happened and the fear it could happen again.
We miss out on so much because we’re dictated by our pasts, yet we forget we simultaneously have incredible futures ahead if we’re okay to let go and pick up.
That’s one of the reasons I like Hannah so much – her most recent post was about her blog turning five years old and how 2016 will be “a love song”. I think at some point we all need a year like that, where our hearts are allowed time to heal and to love ourselves and other people again.
Because let’s be honest, you know what I’m talking about. You know how the weight feels when, even though you’re driving into the future, you’re glancing in your review mirror and constantly reminded I can’t trust people anymore because this happened I’ll never amount to anything because happened. I don’t think I can handle this because this happened. I act this way because this happened.
Be more specific?
I let go of people because I’m afraid I’m going to get hurt, and I have the need to control my relationships, so I have to be the one to let go first. Because it terrifies me to be let go first.
I have a hard time trusting men because of something that happened years ago, so I’m suspicious and over-analytical and insecure.
I struggle to make decisions because every time I make a decision, it’s always the wrong one.
Until we stop letting “because this happened” be the anthem song of our lives, and instead replace it with a new song, we’re not going to move on. We’re not going to be able to pick up and be for someone what someone else was to us.
Because do you know what all of those things I just listed above are? They’re fears. They’re insecurities, and essentially they’re controlling my life and how I interact with people in the present.
Our pasts will always be dotted with skeletons and ghost stories, but I wrote about this in my last post, how if we want the ghosts to be gone, we have to stop telling their stories. We have to stop talking about them, talking to them.
And once we do that, we have this amazing capacity to impact someone else.
I finally understand the concept of paying it forward. When someone is willing to invest their time, time that let’s face it, never feels like is on our side, and their thoughts in you, value it. Maybe it isn’t who you thought it’d be, but it means someone sees you, yeah? Someone sees what you’re feeling and understands.
That’s what picking up means.
You’re not just listening on the other line; you’re understanding. You’re accepting. You’re loving.
That’s when the celebrations can happen.
When we celebrate tiny victories.
When we celebrate being taken out of the woods.
When we see growth or healing or closure.
It’s not just about calling and telling someone else good things. Let them tell you too.
Tell me something good.
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