More from the heart of our resident guest blogger Amber Gruber


The most important words on a map are 'you are here.' Does it matter if "here" is where you want to be, where you thought you'd be, where people think you should be? Of course it does. It all matters. Every little bit of your story. But it's important to collect all the pieces of yourself into a duffel bag and arrive at that little star on the map even if you don't know or like the answers to those questions. Thinking about fully arriving in moments has always conjured up mental images of sunsets and babies and rainbows. You know, all the stuff that makes the crowd say 'awwwwww!' But anyone can show up for those moments. We center the plot of our whole lives around waiting for those moments. But right now I'm cross legged on the floor of an airport with a messy heart and a delayed flight and I'm looking at that little map legend that is doing its due diligence by reminding me..you are here. If I can't look this moment in the eye and be all the way in it, I'm robbing myself of the miraculous contrast those beautiful show stopping moments will have. So try to stop the mental backpedaling to get out of this moment. Because it's hard. Because it hurts. Your fear of the unknown does not negate your bravery in showing up.


I find myself torn between patting myself on the back for doing something I never thought I would have the guts to do and ugly crying at 32,000 feet until a concerned old lady gives me Kleenex. I chose ugly crying in case you were wondering. When we landed, the old lady said, "I hope it gets better." What I didn't tell her was that this IS better. I chose to arrive. Arrival in your moments isn't always pretty. And muddling through this train of thought has taught me something. A beautiful occurrence takes place in difficult moments. They leave you little choice but to arrive. They put you in a strait jacket, turn you toward your crisis, and say 'you are here.' It's kinda awful. And kinda amazing. Because ordinary moments don't force you to show up. Even beautiful ones have very Southern manners that give you the gracious option to arrive. But terrible moments are the rude boys of the emotional world and they'll be damned if you don't show up when they tell you to! So don't fight them. Be in it. You are here.


Now here's what I'm not saying. I'm not saying put on your favorite water wings and hop in a kiddie pool of misery. I mean, you can if you want. Wallowing has a place in everyone's story somewhere. But know when the moment has passed. I stayed in a kiddie pool of misery so long once that I was getting mail there. I don't recommend it. But be present in your pain. Be present in your beauty. Be present in the mundane. And resist the urge to use people around you as a catalyst for arrival. I have a tendency to put experiences in a purgatory of sorts until someone else acknowledges them. A place between their existence and their integration into my soul. Learn not to place life on hold for anyone. Learn to arrive, to experience, to process, to become on your own two feet. It's hard y'all. But it's the better story. You. Are. Here.


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Amber is a 28 year old Chattanooga native currently residing in the mountains of NC.  She’s a yogini, a chaser of good stories, and a lover of craft beers that are so dark they hurt your feelings a little.  Her spirit animal is a Waffle House waitress named Wanda.  More on Wanda later..Amber is a chronic over-thinker who is learning to let some ambiguity exist in her life.  If there is comedy to be found in dark places, she will hunt it down.  And if there’s room for sarcasm in the sacred,  she will squeeze it in.  Grace, tact, and diplomacy have beautiful places in the world too.  Employ any and all methods to lend buoyancy to life!

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