It’s an early February morning in 2014, and like every morning, I’m the only one at work. It’s the kind of early that only insane people are up and at work. I’m sitting at my desk pondering what they hell I’m actually doing with my life, when I feel my phone buzz from a text message. This is one of those moments that you don’t realize are life changing, until many years later when you look back and realize everything was tied to this one moment.
The text was from my friend Alisha. Like me, Alisha was in a bit of a rut when it came to life and career. I was the only other person she knew awake at that crazy hour, so, we would usually text about how much we hated our jobs, crap going on in our personal life, and just generally unload on each other. It was kind of cathartic for both of us. We both just needed someone to listen. But this text, on this day was completely different.
She started it out with, “Hey, I have an idea.” Alisha, while I love her to death, is one of those people who always has an idea. So much so, that at times my face would hurt from the of eye rolls. But I knew she meant well. This time started out the same, but ended differently.
She told me she knew a bunch of people at church (we use go to church together) that were feeling similar to how were, and she recently found a book called Pathfinders, and she thought it would be a great book for all of us to read together. My response was, “What? Like a book club?” You can almost feel my eye roll through my text. But, before I knew it, a bunch of people were on board, including my wife, and even more, the wife wanted to host it at out house. My anti-social introvert self was wearing a HUGE happy hat at this revelation.
Before I could even object the Pathfinders Group was created, and our house was the official meeting spot. Long story short, the book sucked (in my opinion) but the group was kind of awesome. It turned out everyone in the group was feeling lost in one way or another, and in desperate need of direction.
Fast forward 3 years later; we’ve read a couple other books, some members have come and some members have gone, but the group has become a constant. It’s no longer a book club, but a monthly meet up to talk about you; a support group if will. It’s probably one of the best things that has come into most of our lives, and it’s all because of Alisha.
Alisha is the kind of person you can’t help but be attracted to. She’s quirky and silly just as much as she is earnest and heartfelt. Whether it’s playing a practical joke to get you to smile, or just spending one on one time with you so had someone to have a cry with, Alisha seems to fit all molds. And this is why the Pathfinders idea worked.
Alisha just gets people. As someone who has spent a great amount of time the past few years trying to find her own path, she realized that she wasn’t alone on this journey. Her faith guides her a great deal, so it’s no surprise to me that she instantly looked to help others while she felt like she was lost. That’s just who she is.
My life has taken a ton of twists and turns over the past few years, but unlike in past years, I don’t feel so much dread from change or uncertainty, and that’s because of my friends in Pathfinders, and because of Alisha.
I admire Alisha for a lot of reasons. She’s comfortable in her own skin, she embraces her kookiness, she’s intelligent, has a passion for the environment and making it better, and she just wants to see people happy. But most of, I admire her for creating a space for other in probably her most difficult time. She recognized others were struggling too, saw a possible solution, and made it happen. I’m not sure I could have done that, but I’m thankful she could.
She might be weird, but she my kind of weird, and she’s a great friend.
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