I took my Nepali language book off the shelf yesterday just for fun and to remind myself of what I know (somewhere deep in the back of my brain). When I opened it, I found this inside:

If case you can’t tell, that’s a post-it note with a drawing of an eject button on it.

For a good, long 5 seconds I couldn’t recall what the world this was, or who drew it, or where it came from or when it was in my life. Then, aha! I remembered. I was working at Hallmark, and my friend John and I were having lunch together at a Japanese restaurant. I remember him asking me questions about what I wanted in life–with my art, with work, with my lifestyle, and with love. He was always one of those friends who held me to being completely honest and real at all times. There was no saying, “I’m happy!” if I wasn’t. Not with him.

I want freedom, adventure! I responded. I want to play and create and not feel like a rat in a cage. I want love to be peaceful and quiet and fun. I want to travel. I want to be in the mountains.

Well, then, he said. Sounds like you’re finally ready to go (meaning, quit Hallmark and leave the midwest). Now is your time.

But I felt stuck, and he knew it. Everyone needs permission sometimes, right? A push. A button to remind themselves it’s that simple–that you make your own choices, and, that you can make your own choices. And so, he drew this Eject button for me. Not an escape-button, but a LAUNCH button! It stuck to the wall in my cubicle for not-too-long before I pressed it. And, all of a sudden, I was free. I was on my way to Nepal, to the mountains, to play and to love and to live how I wanted to. Thank God for good friends who draw you an eject button just when you need it most.