Keep those Allen wrenches in your life

There are many things we don’t like to hear people say to us (e.g., “We need to talk”), and some of these things come in the form of questions.

Like, “Will you help me move?”

I hate moving. It’s seriously one of the most frustrating and often stressful processes, and it’s definitely not my ideal way to spend a Saturday during college football season—or any season, for that matter. So, I can imagine the excitement of the crew I asked to help me with the promise of zero monetary compensation but maybe some food. I had a solid team, though, and all of these gems were willing to offer their man (and woman) labor. I had my dad, my sister, Theo (my sister’s boyfriend) and my friend Laz to help load everything from my old apartment to the moving truck and my dad’s car, and then my friend Kiet and his son replaced Laz to help unload when we got to my new apartment.

You might be wondering why I simply didn’t hire movers. Easy. 1. They are expensive. 2. I had a horrible experience with movers a couple of years ago, and that ruined it forever.

Instead, I make people I care about suffer. (Just kidding—I don’t think it was that awful for them.)

This move ended up being not too bad. We started at 11 a.m., and I needed us to be out of the old apartment by 12:30 p.m. so that we could be to the new one by 1 p.m. at the latest. My AT&T setup window was between 1 and 3 p.m., and I just couldn’t risk it. I think the best thing about the entire move, though, was the people I had with me that day. They all played vital roles to help me, and it’s warming to think how much they genuinely care.

tools
We didn’t get a group pic, so here’s my pink tool set

Mr. Meticulous — If you ever have to move (or do anything that involves strategic planning and orchestration), then you want my dad there. He just knows things and makes things magically fit places you didn’t think they would. He also spent a great portion of the day disassembling my bed frame and then putting it back together. Granted, he did get a bit upset with me when he found out I had a set of Allen wrenches in my tool box after he’d been asking for one for a while. I’m sorry, but I didn’t know which one was the Allen wrench. Yes, I put my bed frame together with my own two hands, but it’s from IKEA, so there are only pictures and no words. I know what the wrench looks like, but I had no idea what it was called. But, regardless, my dad came in clutch on Saturday (thanks in part to my pink tool set). We all need people in our lives who want to make sure things are done correctly—not because they want credit or self-satisfaction but because they truly care about us.

The Decoy — My friend Laz is one of those people you want in your life. Always. He’s trustworthy and energetic, and he will make sure to make enough jokes to keep everyone laughing. He picks on me more than I can explain, but my dad says it’s good for me and defends him. He makes situations that aren’t necessarily fun seem more enjoyable than you’d ever imagine. He even started calling himself “THE CHAMP” as he and Theo were carrying my sofa down the garage ramp. (It didn’t fit in the stairs. Picture the Friends “PIVOT” scene.) As soon as Laz would make a trip downstairs, he’d be right back up asking, “What do you need me to do next?” He may treat me like a kid sister he can pick on at will, but he’s one of the best friends I could ever ask for. We all need people in our lives who makes us find joy amidst the struggles.

The Silent Force — Theo is a pretty quiet fella sometimes—especially compared to the aforementioned one—but his positive attitude and kind heart are louder than any words a person could say. He just kept moving stuff without being asked and helped my dad with the bed frame. He’s also an engineer, so he’s kind of a genius when it comes to making sure everything fit in the moving truck. He didn’t have to be there that day, but he was. I’ve always known he’s a great guy, but he keeps showing more and more each day just how big his heart is and how wonderful he is to my sister and all of the people in his life. We all need those faithful people in our lives who remind us what love is and what love does.

The True Ones — Kiet and Tanner (his son) showed up at my new place and didn’t waste any time in helping us get things unloaded. My dad was so impressed with how fast they were able to clear out the truck and his car. Kiet is absolutely one of the most genuine and caring people I’ve ever known, and it’s obvious that his son is a direct reflection of him. They are both so thoughtful, and Tanner is more polite than any high school boy I’ve ever known. We all need people in our lives who remind us that, while there’s a lot of bad that happens in this world, there’s a lot more good out there that doesn’t make the headlines.

The One Who Keeps You Going — I’ve mentioned many times before how important my sister is to me. One thing she’s always been so great and consistent at doing is giving me the best pep talks that ever were. She’s straightforward but not in a way that makes me ever feel bad. In fact, she makes me feel more confident. When I thought we weren’t going to finish in time and that I would have to make another trip out to my old apartment to finish loading things and to do one last sweep through before turning in my keys, she stopped and looked me in the eyes like I was crazy. “What are you talking about? You’re not coming back. We can get this done. Go grab some clothes to put in Dad’s car. We’re making this happen.” And she was right. Whenever I am overwhelmed with life or feeling down about anything, my sister has a way of making me remember that I’m stronger than I think sometimes. We all need motivators in our lives to be there with us when it feels like the world has turned and walked away.

The people in your life have been put there with specific purpose. No, it’s not so they can help you move or to benefit you somehow. It’s so you can have a community of people you deeply care about and who deeply care about you. It’s so you can know the true meaning of love and what it looks like in action. We all have our own roles we play in each other’s lives, and we need one another. I need my Mr. Meticulous. I need my Decoy. I need my Silent Force. I need my True Ones. I need my little One Who Keeps Me Going.

And you have people you need, too.

Life isn’t meant to be spent alone. No, we don’t have to be besties with all of the individuals we encounter in our daily situations. But when we find those special ones who warm our hearts and challenge us to be better people, we need to hang on to those ones. They are the keepers. They are the Allen wrenches we’ve been searching for.

And they will forgive you when you don’t know what an actual Allen wrench looks like.

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