St. Louis for 7 Hours, Then Home

ROAD TRIP RULES:

#1 – The amount of time spent in transit must be equal to or less than the amount of time spent at destination.

#2 – Please refer to Rule #1

Okay, okay, I hear your guffaw from here. Yes, I am aware of the existence of other rules. Not to mention, there are suggestions, best practices, ideals. However, let’s be honest for a moment. If we are sane, rational adults, then this is the cardinal rule. With our busy lives, scheduled days, and limited vacation time, we must evaluate and weigh the options.

We must decide which trips are worth our time, our energy, our planning, our money. We compare flights, map out miles, and calculate hours. Do we fly to a destination, or drive? Do we drive ourselves, take a bus, carpool with a friend, or catch a train?

Months ago, when my dear friend Megan asked if I would take her to St. Louis in the middle of June so she could catch a flight home to Georgia, I happily said yes. Of course I can put that in my planner, take Sunday & Monday off, and meet with our friend Samantha. I would love to drive you! It is only a four hour drive one way, after all. No biggie. My pleasure.

Except, when the weekend came, there was an unavoidable complication.

Work.

I had to be at the hotel for breakfast Sunday morning, which meant we were unable to leave until after 10:00 am. And, as it turns out, there was a once-a-month, mandatory training I was required to attend, Monday morning, at 9:00 am.

Which, of course, left me with the decision of breaking the cardinal rule. I would have fewer than 24 hours to get us to St. Louis, visit in the city with Megan & Samantha, get myself back, and sleep before a six hour training.

Obviously, we hopped in the car and made the trek.

Can I let you in on a secret?

Come in close, near enough to hear me. This is one you won’t want to miss. I cannot promise you haven’t heard it before, but I can bet that you, like me, need a reminder every once in awhile. Are you ready? Yes? Lovely. Here it is:

People are worth it. Always.

Brene Brown puts it this way: “We are hardwired to connect with others. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”

January of 2013, after coming home from the World Race, and packing my belongings into a car, I moved down to Gainesville, GA to begin working with Adventures in Missions. I had never met Megan or Samantha before, but I found myself sharing an apartment, and we quickly became friends.

Fast forward three and a half years. We have moved out, moved away, moved back, and traveled internationally since then, currently landing ourselves far from each other, and from Gainesville, where it all started.

Yet, despite the distance (which has, at points, spanned oceans), we continue.

You see, there’s this common ground, this connection, this sisterhood bond that simply won’t diminish, or fade. We have put in hours, days, and years. There have been bouts of laughter, and long evening strolls, lake days, and snotty sobbing. We have seen each other in, and out of relationships (and, in my case, an engagement). We have battled insecurities, prayed for and with each other, sat together in silence when words have failed.

Being known, being seen, being heard – it is what we crave. We are designed to connect, we are designed for relationships, we are designed to love each other, deeply.

Seven hours in Saint Louis was well worth it. In a summer of non-stop work, 15-hour days, and a string of first date fail stories, it was an afternoon of pure bliss.

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For the three of us, rest looked like discussing work over Turkish food, and our love lives over iced lattes. It looked like tourist pictures at the Arch. It included a trip to Urban Chestnut, and the saga of my Tinder dating.

It felt like home, though. More like home than my actual bed, which I did not fall onto until past 2:00 am early Monday morning.

These women know me, my flaws, my character, my strengths, my shortcomings, and my thought-processes. They have seen the ins and outs of me as a roommate, coworker, girlfriend, daughter, and friend.

The time I spent with those two women was well worth the lack of sleep. It was refreshing, revitalizing, and rejuvenating.

This weekend, I broke Road Trip rule #1. I spent more time in a minivan than I did in St. Louis. I put sleep on notice, ignored common sense and threw logic out the window. What resulted, was an adventure of a day with two of my favorite people, and a heart filled to the brim with love.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

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