But things started to flow, and I met some wonderful people. I would list them, but I wouldn't want to list names without permission. Needless to say, everyone was really amazing, friendly, and fun.
After some delicious food and conversation, the karaoke came out, and I sang showtunes and James Taylor and more with D. from "No Day But Today", and though I couldn't always hit the highest notes, I still thoroughly enjoyed myself--I should go to a karaoke place sometime.
After we rang in 2009 with sparkling cider/juices and a toast to our host, we settled in to a game of Catch Phrase. I thoroughly enjoyed this--some of the highlights included one of Scott's boys saying "it's something you hang up at christmas", and accepting the answer "Holly Berry", when the phrase he'd been reading was actually "Halle Barry"; and a clue to get "gizmo"--"It sounds like that prison in Cuba". Hilarious times.
I was graciously allowed to spend the night since I had 4+ hour drive back to St. George. Alan from Scrum Central was also staying, and I was privileged to share some thoughts and feelings about the church and my life path. Having the opportunity to discuss things with someone who understands the intellectual and spiritual perspective with out translation was so cathartic--I'm sure I'll enjoy discussing it with my therapist on Monday.
One of the things that's interesting is that Alan has kids, and part of me is incredibly jealous that he has a family, something I've always wanted and continue to want. Yet, he is jealous of me, and my coming to terms with myself at a young enough age that I'm able to choose a path o my own. The grass is always greener on the other side? Well, frankly, it all sucks, but we manage to make it work.
We must remember that the situations in which we are placed are exactly what we need to experience to grow into the person that God has in mind for us. If was placed into Alan's situation, I might not be able to handle it, I might snap--but the converse is also true--Alan wouldn't necessary be the man he has become had his situation been different.
In the end, I am so blessed to have been able to attend. On my drive home, I reflected on how far I've come, what I've learned, how much I've changed, and overall--how happy and at peace I feel.
It was an amazing moment, and as I drove home thinking fondly of all my new friends, the sun setting on the first day of a new year spoke to me so feircely that I pulled over and took this photo stitch.
Here's to a new year of beauty, happiness, and joy.
PS: I thought some of you fellas were really cute... you probably know who you are... :)