I think we have all been in that place in our life where our optimism is wavering and we feel like we keep trying and trying, yet keep coming up short.  It can be easy to feel that way about love if you have been putting your heart out there, only to have it returned to you sometimes a little more battered and bruised.  When that happens, we are left feeling tired. Broken. Wondering, is this ever really going to happen for me?  Asking ourselves, why can’t I make something work when so many others can?  Sighing to ourselves and wondering if maybe it is time for a guyatus.

This story about my friend (let’s call her M because not everyone on earth wants to put their soul on a platter, like I do) is not only one of my favorites, but it’s also a great reminder of how the life you’ve been searching for sometimes shows up in mysterious ways.

Back when we were in our 20’s, M had just gone through a break-up and was feeling pretty down and out.  She was in a “pit stop,” and she wasn’t sure what to do next.  I suggested a canoe trip with a couple of my guy friends for a little fun and sun on the water.  As “fun and sun” as we get in Wisconsin.

Enter, my awesome friend Jason.  He was a friend of mine from camp, a true kindred spirit and the kind of guy that you just want to be around.  He is a great listener, easy to laugh with and makes sure that no one is taking anything too seriously.  When we were 15, we were put in the same group at camp and I instantly liked him.  It would be the start of a long friendship of borrowing our parent’s cars throughout high school so we could visit hometowns, dating each others best friends in college and numerous late night talks contemplating life and love.

M had met Jason a few times but had never had the amount of time that sitting in a canoe for eight hours was going to bring them.  It didn’t take long for Jason’s charm to work its magic.  I could see M bonding with him and soon even heard fun fake names that they had created for each other.  Throughout the weekend, they shared stories, teased each other and had delicious, easy fun.  I could see a lightness in M that I hadn’t seen in awhile.  It warmed my heart.

But after the trip was over I started to worry a little.  I knew that Jason had a long distance girlfriend and I didn’t want M disappointed again.  But when we spoke about the weekend, there was nothing but a smile on her face and a lesson that has stood the test of time for me.  When I asked her how she felt, she had these wise words to share:

“I know that Jason is taken and that is OK, because this weekend he made me remember that there are great guys out there that I can connect with and get excited about.  He gave me something to look forward to.  Everyone needs a Jason.”

As I go through life and love, this story sticks with me because I have been at that “pit stop” many times, and it is wonderful when someone shows up and gives me that reminder.  Even though it can seem  like a bummer when you connect with someone who is taken, it is one of life’s great gifts to be reminded that we can feel that way again. That there are people out there who can make us laugh, think, dream, hope and love.  These Jasons help you see what a great guy looks like when he shows up.

Who is your Jason?  Do you have a Jason story?

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