Last night I returned from a 6 day trip to your lovely city. It was a trip to go back and visit people that I had met on my religious mission, people that I had taught and befriended. It was a trip that I was slightly scared of, and completely excited for. And it was also a trip flooding with a variety of different emotions and experiences. Dallas, you had a lot to say.
Where do I even start?
I suppose I’ll be totally honest and explain what I was scared of. While I was there I developed some health issues. It’s something that I’ve alluded to a lot in my writing, but I’ve never actually came out and said exactly what those were. I just don’t think I’m ready for that. You see, Dallas, while I like to be completely honest with people I’m also intensely private. It’s just one of the many ways I try and protect myself emotionally.
Anyway, I was afraid that I’d have some sort of relapse. I was afraid that being in those surroundings again would only bring forth bad and hard memories, that it would be terrible. And though there were some very hard moments, those moments had nothing to do with what I’d thought they would.
Overall, the trip was absolutely incredible. Being back there, I found the biggest sense of peace and belonging. I had many spiritual experiences in which I just knew that God was looking out for me, and that He loves me very much. What an amazing thing that is, to have such experiences.
We visited many museums, we shopped, we ate, we talked, we laughed, and we mingled with people who have come to be a very big part of my life. What I find so interesting about traveling is that we always seem to discover things, and not just in the obvious ways but within ourselves. Perhaps that’s why so many people long to travel.
While I was living there, Dallas, you taught me many things. And when I returned to visit this past week, I learned many more things. Things that I’d wanted to know, and wanted to feel, but hadn’t. You told me many things this week.
Dallas, you helped me discover that it’s okay to be me. It’s okay to have the struggles I have and to work on them at my own pace. I don’t have to justify my struggles or experiences to anybody because they are mine and nobody else can understand what they were meant to teach me. I discovered that sometimes you feel as though you’re full of holes in the best possible way – sometimes you leave bits and pieces of yourself behind when you go somewhere and that’s the best thing you could’ve done.
I discovered that the parts and pieces of our personality, our loves and our passions, are completely crucial to who we are and that they are not an accident. It is so important to follow the things that tug at your soul. I discovered just how glorious and beautiful this world is, and that we have an equally glorious and beautiful part to contribute to it. And that in itself is a miracle.
I also discovered that sometimes it doesn’t work to try and fix things, whether within us or with others. It doesn’t always happen in just one conversation or one trip. And as hard as that might be, it is the way it is. We can only hope that with time, God will help fill the broken places until they are gone. I rediscovered what it means to have a truly enlightening conversation, one filled with ideas and hope and one that gets your mind going as opposed to a vulgar conversation that you are forced to listen to. I probably don’t have to tell you which experience I’d rather live through again.
I think, Dallas, what you were trying to tell me this last week, in many experiences and many ways, is that there is hope. Hope for a bright future, one of healing and happiness, hope for an immediate future with more strength and courage, and many happy moments. The trick is to just walk that path rather than any of the others, tempting as they may be. Walk the path of hope
This last week, I visited you, Dallas. And really, Texas hasn’t changed that much. But I have, for the better. So thank you, Dallas, for the things you told me this week.