Lately, I’ve lost sight of how strange and astonishing it is to be alive. I tried writing a few words and out came a new rambling…
Hey you. I know. You’re on your phone (or whatever) reading this. Maybe you’re thrilled out of your mind just to be alive. Maybe you want to hug every living person. Or maybe this is the worst day you’ve had. Maybe your heart is cracking in a new place each time you exhale.
Guess what? You are here. (Read that again till it hits your little human head.) You are scrolling through your phone looking for something: temporary distraction, subconscious searching, a momentary celebration of other people’s lives. You’re mindlessly scrolling and you’re open-armed reaching. Here’s something to grab onto:
You are here. Since you first took breath, you’ve been here. Put your hand on your chest. Feel that? Yeah. I’ve got a secret: You are someone’s absolute favorite human being. You are someone’s best day. Their most adored memory. You are a reminder to someone that people can be homes. They can be a safe place. A blanket of love and hot chocolate and popcorn with a movie. Do not convince yourself to blend in. Stand out. Someone needs you to so badly.
These days, I’ve been losing sight of how strange and astonishing it is to be alive. All too often, I forget I can turn around and choose to be my true self. My favorite self. The self I am in life’s most cherished moments. The self I see reaching up to hold God’s hand as He grins right back with such raw love and glee. This world asks so much of us and it takes some guts to say, “No guys, THIS is who I am…”
And so, I am slowly wandering back to an existence that doesn’t ask for attention. A faith that isn’t flashy. I’m re-picking up my life and building dreams that don’t fit on one page, one post, one display. I am living a story that doesn’t ask to be understood, just felt. And I am thanking a body that breathes each day to life. A spirit that’s always sparking. A conscience that resides in the deep end (often times sans floaties and lots of flailing).
So here, now, I’m reminded that my heart is inside a frame that still allows it to beat. Just like I am inside a hardened world that still allows me to be soft. It’s encouraging. So much so…I think it’s always beyond worth sharing.
Aly Johnson is in college pursuing a career in botany. She attended G4G Youth Adventure at NBR for two years. She has ventured through Yellowstone, Yosemite, Moab, Oregon, and the Minnesota Boundary Waters…hiking, biking, rock climbing, canoeing, and backpacking.