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it's half past midnight and i am supposed to be finishing up a document for a meeting tomorrow, but port blue is playing and it's making me all thoughtful and reflective... and grateful, really, for this journey i'm on. for the places i've been and am going, and the people i've met and am getting to know.
one of the things coming back to malaysia has really taught me in the past year is family. community. and family is wherever you are. it's the people around you that you sometimes don't agree with, or click with, or get along with. but people you choose to invest in because despite your differences, you share common dreams, goals, values. people you may not understand at first, but because you choose to invest in them, they eventually become people you find yourself being able to depend on, and people you grow to love.
as a great teacher (and acquaintance) put it: "...putting time/effort/money into something you love is never a waste. you will always gain something from it that feeds your spirit."
i've written a lot about my newfound obsessions in this season of my life. but what i haven't talked about yet is the people i've met through it - fellow travelers and wanderers, kindred spirits and soulmates. i don't know yet if i believe in soulmates when it comes to life partners... but i do believe that there are multiple soulmates out there for each of us - as in people you feel comfortable with, as though you've known them forever in another life maybe - people that you can instantly connect with, that inspire you to do more that you've ever thought possible. people that coming into contact with just sets your soul on fire.
lately, i've been realising how selfishly i've been living. i'd been thinking that for the important relationships in my life to work, i needed to cut back on all other relationships. for some reason or another, i felt like i had to segregate my life, my time, and my emotions, into different parts, for different people.
and then it hit me that living generously doesn't work that way. the more people you open up to and connect with, the more people you are able to continue doing so with. as tony parsons writes, "the heart always makes room." and vice versa - the more you live to please a specific amount of people, the more you please no one.
in the last few weeks alone, i've had conversations with old, longtime friends, and new ones. i've climbed with people i met through random circumstances and had coffee with people i've known for years.
and there's something so beautiful about watching someone's eyes light up, someone's hands gesture excitedly, someone's eyes meet yours knowingly, recognising someone else who has journeyed a similar path -
- when they talk about something they love, something that makes them angry, something that drives them, something they're looking for. i love honest conversations with people about the stuff they live for... or the questions they wrestle with when they wake up every day. is this the life i want? why am i here? is there more to this? what is my purpose?
i look around me and realise that so many people sleepwalk through life. they look good on the outside, things seem to be going well for them, they're the life of the party everywhere they go - but they live for speed, not direction. it's rare to find people who will go through the difficult, messy, oftentimes discouraging and painful process of searching and discovering where they fit into this world and what their life's purpose is.
to encounter people who are in that process of searching for and discovering the answer - to see the fire in their eyes and hear the conviction in their voice - fuels my own fire and strengthens my own conviction - that this life, although dangerous and wild, is so beautiful, and so worth living. this journey, this expedition, this climb, although difficult and frightening, is so satisfying, so worth the struggle.
most people want to be surrounded by people that make them feel good. that feed their ego or benefit them in some way. i want to be surrounded by people who scare me. who challenge me. who drive me to do difficult things. i want to be surrounded people who have set themselves on fire so i can catch fire too. i want to be surrounded by people who will change the world because they have the courage to change themselves so i can learn from their courage. i want to be surrounded by people who live, so i can be inspired to live too.