My lovelies, I know you’re excited too, but I have been building anticipation for this Murica trip for OVER A YEAR, and it’s *so* close I can taste it!
When I pause and think that IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS I will be on the plane…and that in less than 26 (all things being equal), I will be beginning my trip with (I have been assured) THEE BIGGEST HUG EVER from Samara, and from there, I have a positive WHIRLWIND of bloggers to hug, places to travel to, and people to meet. THROUGH IT ALL, the red threads of love and friendships nurtured over years in this World Between the Wires, have woven words, hearts and minds closer and closer together, and TOMORROW, a big, shiny silver plane (I want it to be silver, and it’s my post, alright? If I lie to achieve alliteration, does it really matter?) launches me into the final steps – meeting IN REAL!
I’ve been asked and asked to share my itinerary and to let you all know where I’m going, and what places I shall visit when I’m there, and to these questioners, I reply “Do you not know me AT ALL?!” I am most certainly NOT going for the views and landscapes. I am going for the PEOPLE!
Accordingly, my itinerary shall be people-centric, in order of visiting, and explain precisely WHY I’m looking so very forward to meeting them (not ALL for the first time) and making that final connection – the physical, IN REAL one.
(For those who wish to know – the states I think I’m visiting, in order (though don’t ask me to match up the two lists – I just can’t even!) are NY, NJ, VA, MD, OH, IN, IL, MO, OK, TX, FL)
So here’s the list (in order, I think) of people I’ve hardwired my heart to (and if I miss anyone, I’m SO SORRY – it’s really really late, and look – there are SO MANY of you!):
Precious – I am SO SO PSYCHED that my trip begins with Samara. I wrote about her yesterday, and I think she’s the perfect person to meet first. She has a beautiful soul and a shed-load of edge, and outpourings of glorious, golden light, and addictive writing. And no, in spite of what *some* people might say, I have NOT built a shrine to Samara, and I am NOT on my way to Murica (simply) to claim her as my own…probably. But I do love, love her to pieces, and she’s someone who is as much a part of my In Real as anyone here in my *actual* In Real.
Ivy – My dear fellow bard, and runner of the delectable Six Sentence Stories community, I have had many long, deep chats with this wonderful lady, and many off-the-wall BONKERs ones, too. She’s always happy to teach me a bit about the meaning of life, and I’m very very thankful for her support, her snark, and her hilarity.
Clark – Guru extraordinaire, observer/examiner of the human condition, instigator of Big Ideas (FRIST, anyone?) and founder of The Wakefield Doctrine – a personality theory which not only holds water, but has stood the test of time and usefulness. Try it!
Suheiry – look in the dictionary under ‘sassy’, and she’s RIGHT THERE!! She’s unapologetically pro-human, and doesn’t have time for little things like ‘toeing the line’.
Val – we play some fierce rounds of Words With Friends, we both love writing our lists of Thankful at the weekend, and like me, Val’s soul-space is by the sea.
Jen – dedicated gardener, awesome vegan chef, and a dear, sweet lady who is endlessly supportive of her friends.
Kristi – writer of all things under the sun, including (but not exclusive to) her son’s special needs; her best seems to happen under pressure, and when it does, it’s breathtaking. Meanwhile, Kristi is smart, searingly funny, and someone I’ve known long enough and thoroughly enough to trust with soul-deep things. She’s been there for me in some excuciatingly low moments, and has rescued more than one of them. Kristi writes to change the world, having created Our Land – the land of compassion, empathy, and wonder – where we all could do with living more frequently. And for purposes of entertaining vignettes about my trip, she is the first person I’m scheduled to sleep with…
Denise – might well be framed through the Wakefield Doctrine (see, Clark) but is infinitely more, both in person, on video, and in subtext, which is where most of the important stuff is anyway.
Dana – beautiful writer, list-maker, wonderful friend, fellow shoe-lover, and holder of my hopes from waaaay back in a time when they were too unbearably painful for me to hang onto. She still has them.
Sarah – my wonderfully goofy, singing sunbeam, whom I shall feel utterly comfortable being AWKWARD around, because we both do it very well indeed, but we shall SING!
Lisa – so stubborn (how long before we got you on Facebook?) but so kind, and a fiercely loyal friend who, once she’s in your corner, will STAY there. She is a staunch TToT and 1000Speak-er.
Lindsay – hmmm, an anomaly, because Lindsay is a non-blogging, but blogging-nonetheless friend, who I met through Hasty, and who is primarily a Facebook friend with whom I share long chats and mutual emotional support and encouragement. She has a GORGEOUS cat, and walks to fund-raise for the American Suicide Prevention fund.
Kitty – Ohhh where to begin with Kitty, my Kitty who has snowball fights and tickling fights and plain ol knock-down-drag-out (til she cries and I relent) fights; who shares peanut butter crackers and hot cocoa by the fire in winter (whatever the season); who can’t decide if she’s more funny or more encouraging (she’s both); who teaches me about God and life and LOVING IN CAPITAL LETTERS and SO MUCH EXCITEMENT…and who I think is going to knock me over with a full-body-hug, at least once.
BTFFFL – I am Scott’s BBFFFL and we have a friendship which left blogging behind a long time ago, and moved into a wonderful place of complete acceptance, mutual encouragement and support, and deep-chats-and-shallow-ones. And Stormtrooperiness. It went there, too.
Michelle – My sisterwife; a hilarious, determined, maybe-guru for getting it RIGHT, in spite of all the everythings. She is indomitable, kind, and just wonderful.
Christine – I MET HER ALREADY LAST YEAR! Oh, and she is WONDERFUL, and my respite on this trip, from any NEW newness, because we’ve done the ‘do I need to freak out here?’ bit already. She is kind, hilarious, and one of the parents who gives me absolute hope for this world. Hers was my very first blog-crush, all those years ago.
Chrissy – Another sisterwife, but this time a bright, determined, super-flexible (no, I’m not envious? why do you ask?) friend, who lives life through sunshine-tinted glasses.
Joy-to-my-world – funny, sweet, caring, determined stander-by-principles, and unapologetic stander-upper-for-what’s-right, Joy sends me glitterbombs, encouragement, and wonderful friendship. She really does make my world brighter and better for her presence in it.
Dyannedelion – another who has been with me through some of my darkest times, and who has reached into the blackness with outstretched hands, and more often than not pulled me out on the end of a rubber-tree plant. We go back a loooong way, and I adore her.
My BlogWife – the more time passes, the deeper we fall in friends, and there are small-things-and-big-ones which seem to show we’re absolutely right for each other. I still don’t know how I got so lucky to fall completely and irrevocably in friends with Beth, and that we ended up accidentally blogmarried (and thrilled to pieces about it) has been one long Thing Of Utter Beauty And Delight. She’s funny, kind, generous, deeply caring, highly irreverent, and I trust her implicitly. She’s one of the best people who ever happened to me, she’s safe space, and she’s like the ocean – she helps me breathe. We’re commemorating my trip by getting tattoos together (not identical ones – we’re not *that* bonkers…well…) and planting a rose bush. We make sense to each other, and that’s really all that counts.
Sunset – my 1000Mile Heart, and possibly the other half of my own self; she is one of the most incredible women I have ever had the pleasure to meet. She writes impossibly beautiful poetry, is generous to a fault, and is absolutely determined to change the world for the better, for her daughter’s sake. And she’s doing it. A constant wellspring of inspiration, encouragement, and all the very most soul-deep feelings, I feel connected with her in a way which transcends any other, and she is more a part of my Real and everyday than most of my offline friends. She is the person who first taught me that it was okay to love my friends out loud and without fear, and has been central to some fundamental changes in my outlook and character and the way I ‘me’. As I write this, it’s *so* late, and I am utterly bereft of words to explain to you how deeply I love her, but suffice it to say when we meet In Real, it will be a final puzzle piece shifting into position, and I shall feel like I am home.
Squishy – she shall be mine and I shall call her Squishy and she shall be my Squishy, and she IS! Right down to the beautiful sparkly jellyfish hanging on my wall, and my sky-full of stars necklace, and the way certain songs on the radio still shimmer her name into mid-air. She writes so I’m *there*, and she dances, and is full of light and sunshine and SUCH determination. My muse, my friend, and giver of some of the best Comment I’ve ever had. Still.
G! – I maintain that if you want my opinion on something important, she’ll give it to you. G is a stunningly beautiful writer. And person. And friend. And my only fellow extro amongst the Sisterwives, so we will be trying to keep each other in check, whilst spilling out in laughter at all the edges, and desperately hoping we each don’t completely freak the others out.
Gigi – One of the four people whose brains I want to lick, because she manages to write her real in a through-the-looking-glass cerebral-beautiful, deep-thoughts-and-shallow-ones kind of a way which makes my whole brain tingle. And she sings, she whatsapps, and is a genuinely COMPLETELY wonderful human in a way which is unapologetically all her very own.
NinYa – She’ll write a life so wild you’ll scarce believe it, and is an ardent goat-lover, and British Lady, doncherknow!
Renee – A sisterwife I’m still getting to know, but who is constantly encouraging and understanding and kind towards me, which is something I always appreciate. She writes without shame, and with determination to show her ‘real’.
Jesi – My Pinky, my wonderful poet, and fellow combatter with deep thoughts, dark shadows and tough realities. I just love her.
Erin – who exploded into my world in a cloud of *twinklysparklygoodness* and has remained, periodically setting off ALL THE GLITTER all over again. And who keeps me whipped into shape about getting my TToT done on time.
My Darling American – My final stop, with whom I will (maybe) fight about glitter, but not about anything else, because we will always have #kissingthefrog and the time we spent the night together, and so many wonderful bonding, important, soul-deep moments besides. She is one of the most warrior-y warriors I know, and ‘steely resolve’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. Nor would it be entirely fitting for someone so kind and generous and utterly, completely un-bull-shitty. I absolutely adore her, and bless her boots, she’s going to be the one with the unenviable position of having my final goodbye, and watching as I realise it’s really all over, and my glorious, wonderful, connection-filled trip is at an end, and there are no more people and I have to go home again and leave them behind. Wish her luck.
Now it’s nearly 5am and I was meant to sleep, but HAD to leave you this, so you know a tiny, tiny smidgen of just how very important this trip – and this opportunity to meet these wonderful people – is to me.
The whole thing will be COVERED with red thread.
MURICA, HERE I COMMMMMMMEEEEEE!
Now all I need to do is get my hair cut, finish packing, double-check everything, get road-tripped to the airport by mum and WonderAunty and Vince (who’s holding down the fort while I’m gone – cheers, Soulie), and GET ON THAT PLANE!
For updates, follow me on Instagram, because there will be NO MORE BLOGGING HERE TIL I RETURN (though hopefully one or more of my people ^^^ might write about their experiences of me, so keep checking their sites)