Someone recently asked, "What is it you want to do if you find the guy?"
That is a good question to ask. And I really don't know.
Ultimately, I'm excited to reconnect with an old friend. Especially because, HOLY CRAP I'M ACTUALLY IN NEW ZEALAND and NEVER EVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE. Nevermind that he even wrote that in the book he gave me, "be it in Minnesota or New Zealand" (maybe he has psychic powers?).
I also think it's a really cool story. Life is full of stories like these but it's what you do with them that count. Everyday we meet so many people who enter our lives in some way for some particular reason... some we just say hello to in passing while at the store; some who we may have nothing in common with but remain friendly; and some who we just really click with and who we know will be lifelong friends.
I don't know what sort of role Joe will play in my life. But I know we met years ago and maybe there's a reason why. I know I happen to be living where he is from so... why not try to connect? I won't deny the fact that I haven't thought about what it might be like when meeting him again. It may be just as awkward as my rec center encounter last month (see blog archive for possible sighting #2). Or maybe he's married with kids, too and we'll have a blast getting our families together? Hmm maybe he's homeless? But there aren't really many homeless people in New Zealand so that would be very surprising... Or maybe he lives in another country and won't remember me?
The point is, it doesn't matter. I can't predict how it will be or what I'll do. Right now, I'm excited to be on this journey, trying to find him.
Almost as excited as the day I found the New Zealand fifty cent piece he gave me in 1998.
In San Francisco, he gave me the coin because it has Queen Elizabeth on it. My official first name is Elizabeth, but I've always been called by my nickname. So in my youth, I collected various little items with my name on it. Super cool to have a coin with Elizabeth on it. And the fact that it was from New Zealand? Well, at the time I never even thought about visiting the very far away small island country so... why not hold on to it?
In May 2013, while unpacking and packing boxes before moving to this very far away small island country, I discovered a shiny coin at the bottom of one of my boxes. There it was. The fifty cent Queen Elizabeth coin. I gasped, sure it was a sign. I had forgotten about it. Why had I saved it for so many years?
I believe it certainly was a sign. A sign that this move was meant to be. A sign that we were on the right track and that all this hard work would finally be worth it. A sign that some people who come into our lives we aren't meant to only say hello to in passing. And maybe a sign that I'd see Mr. Wellington again.
So, I ask myself... "what do I want to do when I find the guy?"
I guess I can start by giving him his 50 cents back.