3 words that really don’t exist in my vocabulary. Why? Because I don’t let them. I don’t let those 3 statements get in my way. If I want to do or try something, not much stands in my way. I have heard so many people use those as an excuse to explain away why they let the love of their life slip from their life. I have heard those words used for a reason why something in their life didn’t happen. I have heard those words uttered too many times in thinking back on how someone shoulda, woulda, or coulda done something that would have made memories.
Just over 6 months ago, I got thrown into a chat room online. I had followed a number of the folks in that chat room on twitter. Then one day, one of the woman asked if I had kik (an online chat messenger app). I answered with a yes and the next thing I knew I was I a chat room called jabbajaws. There were about 30 of us in there and the conversation moved fast! For many of us in there, that was the first chat room we’d ever been in. I LOVED IT!! There was lots of laughter. Lots on bantering. Lots of fun. But out of that chat room, I ‘met’ some of the most amazing people.
One of those people has become one of my best friends. We have never met face to face. We have chatted lots over kik though. From there we migrated to another app called vox. The best way to describe vox is that it is a walkie talkie that allows you to talk with people without the long distance charges. That was how I heard her southern accent for the first time. And where she giggled over my Canadian accent (which I still think she is crazy for. I don’t have an accent). And from there we have talked on the phone, having real time conversations. We have also skyped a few times as well.
About 3 months ago, as Rach and I were messaging, she was telling me how she was headed to Nashville with some girlfriends for a girl’s weekend. I told her that would be so much fun and I should hop on a plane and come down for a visit! “So why don’t you?” was her response. Yes, why don’t I? “Seriously?” was my reply. “Hell ya girl. Get your ass on a plane and come down!” Rach told me.
Nashville has always been on my bucket list of places to see. I have never been to the Eastern side of the United States. I really want to go. I should just say fuck it and go. I would love to meet Rach for some real face to face time. I could just look at how much a plane ticket would cost.
So I did. A few days later, when we were talking again, I asked her how serious she was about me coming for a visit. “Very” was her answer. “Ok then, I am coming”. That was 2 months ago. In 3 days I will board a plane bound for Nashville where we will spend 4 days together. She will show me the sights and sounds. We have a few things planned that she has never done while in Nashville. Other than that, we have left things wide open to doing whatever the hell we please.
Some of my ‘real’ life family and friends have raised their eyebrows at me. “But you don’t know her” I have been told. “What if she is nothing like she is online?” I have been asked. My response to them is “so what. If I don’t go, I will never know”. I have explained it like this… did you ever have a pen pal as a child? Did you ever want to meet that pen pal? Have you ever talked with someone for business over the phone for what feels like a million times then finally got to meet them? Well, that is what this is.
Now, I could have played the shoulda, woulda, coulda game with myself. But I am not. I am getting on that plane in 3 days to go and meet one of the most real people I know. I am not going to sit there this time next month, next year or for the next decade and think “what would have happened if I did go?” I will be sitting here in the future smiling at the memories that I am about to make.
In the process of all this planning taking place, we have invited a few others in the area to come join us for a drink on Saturday night. Some of them will be playing the coulda, woulda, shoulda game days after as we are going on and on about all the fun we had. Not could have had, but had.
I, for one, will not be experiencing those regrets. I will be nursing a hangover and sore abs from all the laughs that I know are in store!