Six Degrees of Tony Stark

…Because why Kevin Bacon when you can have RDJ? Mmm…

I’ve voluntarily picked up the phone today to call some of the very small list of people my cold, dead heart (actually, more appropriately phrased, social anxiety) allows me to carry on a coherent conversation of longer than 30 seconds with and all I’ve gotten is voicemails, so I’m feeling a bit, well, eh…so instead of actually finishing some of the half written rants I’ve got saved here in my blog drafts, I’m going to flip it around a bit.

We all have some concept of the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” (if not, Google is your friend), or in this case, RDJ, because he’s just way hotter, but I digress.  As I’ve walked this journey the last few years, the people that God has placed in my path is absolutely not by coincidence.  Granted, I’m no closer to being chummy with Tony Stark…or am I?  Mmm… but…the people that have come into my path are nothing short of one of my greatest blessings.

I’m not a joiner.  I never have been.  It’s not in my DNA.  At the outset of this journey I made the commitment to God that it was wherever He led, I would be obedient.  Now, I never promised it would be without any kicking or screaming, but I would be obedient.  There’s that quote that “growth never happens inside your comfort zone.”  I have no idea where my comfort zone even exists anymore because I’ve been out of it for so long, I forget what it feels like!  However, outside of my comfort zone has brought me to groups, people, and relationships that I have never before experienced in my life and I absolutely contribute their impact on my life to the growth and changes that have occurred.

So how does this happen?  Sure, I had to take the chance to show up initially–whether it was a service club or networking event or support group or whatever–but just like those small goals I pursue daily have a snowball effect, all of those little actions and relationships have a HUGE ripple effect.  I tried to chart it out (yes, linear thinker, sorrynotsorry) and actually count the people that have made an impact on me in some way the last few years–big or small–and I had to stop because it became so overwhelming because of how one group would splinter into another group or relationship with another person or contact and the tangible impact on my life professionally, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and/or mentally is completely beyond what I can wrap my mind around.

The gratitude I have for these people can’t possibly be put into words.  They are people that would have probably never crossed my path in any other way unless I took the first step, but the relationships that have been formed are without question some of the most meaningful pieces of my life.  Not only have many of these people contributed to my life in great and small ways, made me think, learn, and grow in ways I never have before–but they have been there as a listening ear and people I’ve been able to be transparent with, and share those parts of me and my story that few know.  They listen.  Some pray for me.  And in return, I’m blessed with those relationships that reciprocate too and I get those bits and pieces of their story.   I am trusted with their struggle.  I don’t take that trust lightly, as I know how hard it is to trust.

As one of the most introverted people in the world, I often “feel” lonely.  There’s a lot of barriers inside my head to get past to reach out and ask a question, ask for help, even just talk.  I “know” all of the people that are there, I do, but sometimes opening my mouth (or message) is the most difficult move to ever make.  However, several years ago I never would have even had these people in my life–I would have pushed them away, or never even had the exposure to create the relationships with them in the first place.

So…I may not be best buds with the original Ironman in my pursuit of 140.6 (the irony is not lost on me), but if you know RDJ, I wouldn’t be opposed to a meet and greet–in the meantime, I’m just going to bask in the gratitude I have for the relationships I have that surround me today.

o0didpukwzonvcvrv6osLet’s just take a moment to appreciate Tony Stark, shall we?

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