Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Go to Seek a Great Perhaps

This quote was first introduced to me in John Green's novel Looking for Alaska.  John is not only my favorite author, but he's honestly one of the people who has had the largest amount of positive influence in my life, even though I've only met him once.  He didn't do anything extraordinarily profound and his books didn't trigger anything particularly spectacular within me, although they are all amazing.  No... all he really did was make videos with his brother Hank.

I started watching John and Hank's videos around April 2007, a few months after they started their year-long vlog project, Brotherhood 2.0, in which they eliminated all forms of textual communication for one full year, in an attempt to get to know each other better as they lived their own lives across the country from one another. They each made alternating videos every weekday for the entirety of 2007, and they've continued to make regular videos several times per week every year since then.

They gained a massive following, and while they were the two who got us all together, the community that began (called Nerdfighters) is what has always been completely awesome.

This community does more good than most people will ever knew. Because it's so huge and spans across the entire world, we really have been able to make HUGE changes and contributions.

This post wasn't exactly aimed at being a rundown of Nerdfighters, but more-so some reflections before I leave on a crazy awesome journey, yet another thing that solely exists because of some videos from five years ago.

First of all, Ahren and I met because of Nerdfighters.  We both used to log into the Nerdfighter chat on a daily basis, in early 2009.  That's where I met him, along with many other friends of mine, some of whom have become quite close.  My IRL best friend Julia and I started talking to Ahren a lot and we decided, pretty spontaneously, to go to Washington state to visit him over our Spring break. A week later, I met Ahren for the first time and honestly my life changed because of it.

Now Ahren and I are preparing to leave on a trip that I still can't believe is really going to happen! We're going to Germany for three weeks, leaving this Thursday.
There are a few reasons for this trip.
1. I've always wanted to go to Germany. My mother lived there when she was young and she always told me that she would take me there. I don't blame her at all for not having been able to yet, she's a fantastic mother and I know that priorities do not include European travel. But I've still always wanted to go, so I'm THRILLED that it's happening!
2. We have friends there.  In the same chatroom where Ahren and I first met, I met a guy named Alex. I've known Alex longer than I've known Ahren. We've been chatting and calling for over three years.  Alex also has two brothers who I met in 2009. I only really talk to ALex and his brother Tob but they've become good friends to both me and Ahren so I'm really, really excited to meet them in person and actually HANG OUT with these guys who I spend so much time with on Skype.

This will be the first trip I've taken outside the country (I've never even been to Canada).
It will be me and Ahren's first trip together, excluding trips to visit family.
This is the trip that I'm sure will finally make the world feel more accessible to me.  Before I took the trip to WA, it felt like the East coast was my limitation. I wasn't even sure if I'd ever go to states like WA, OR, or CA.  But that first trip made the U.S. feel completely accessible. So long as I had the money (which always is the biggest issue) I could go wherever I wanted.
I'm hoping this trip will give me that feeling.  I hate feeling inhibited by fear of sticking out, getting lost, or being alone in a new place and I'm sure this will break down some of those inhibitions.

Tying things back to the name... A few years ago, I was trying to figure out a new email address/user name.  I wanted something that spoke to me and about me, even if no one else knew it. I played around with different thins, and then one day remember this quote.  It was perfect.  I've always been restless, wanting to go somewhere, wanting to see new things, wanting to eat new foods, or walk new street. I always want to go, and I always hope to find something great, even if it's small.

This restlessness has changed my life in a big way once before, in my first trip to WA.  And while I love my life, and I'm not looking for any large changes, I am going on this trip with all of my heart, and I do seek a great perhaps.

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