Every Good Journey Needs an Origin Story

So I want to tell you a little bit about my friend and co-pilot, Jean. (I’ll blab about myself another day.  Maybe.)

Jean is a great example of how “internet friends” can become real friends. That’s something I’ve noticed quite a lot throughout the Supernatural fandom, particularly at conventions. People “meet” online — usually because of common interests — find a Thing To Do that they both like, and go there together. Or make plans to meet. Or just kind of accidentally find themselves at the same thing at the same time and go, “Whoa! It’s you! Cool!!” This, to me, is what makes the internet a Good Thing.

Jean and me with Louden Swain at a Supernatural convention – photo: Chris Schmelke

I had just participated in my second Annual Melee of Kindness (AMOK for short), which is an annual event that Random Acts does each year. It’s a time when participants spend a day, or a weekend (or one year, an entire month!) focusing on putting acts of kindness into their community. That particular year, there was a really high level of interactivity. A number of people on the Random Acts staff, as well as a few celebrity supporters, took to social media to share what they were up to and to encourage people to do their own thing.

In some kind of cosmic synchronicity, I had also recently discovered the song “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons. I can’t remember where I first encountered it, but something about it just really spoke to me. So I put out a request on social media for any AMOK participants who wanted to, to send me photos or videos of what they did for AMOK because I wanted to make a little recap video. Full disclosure: I either seek out or create a lot of stuff like this for when things happen in the world that get me down. I think it’s important to remember that there are good people in the world, purposely doing good things. That’s also why I’ll never begrudge anyone sharing stuff about an act of kindness they’ve done. It inspires me, and it helps pick me up when I’m feeling low.


Jean was one of the people who responded to my request. She had some great pictures, and she told me the full story about what she and her friend did. And it was one of those things where the conversation just kept going from there. You know when you meet someone and things just…”click”? Yeah. It was like that.

Since then, we’ve GISH-ed together a couple of times, and gone to a couple of conventions together. We live too far away to see each other regularly, but not so far away that it’s impossible. And we think the same way so often that as I’m writing this, I can’t even remember if it was my idea or hers to do this crazy road trip in the first place. But we both said, “sure, why not?” So we’re gonna.

Jean is honestly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She inspires me to be better. And though we joke about whether we can “endure” each other’s company on the road for a week or longer, I know it’s gonna be a good time.