Tag Archives: friendship

my best adventures

I’m bored.

I hate saying that, because I usually think boredom is little more than a lack of imagination, and I don’t fancy myself a person who lacks imagination and natural curiosity.

But I’m bored.

I’m also a little bit intrigued by it, because when I poke at it, slide up close and tuck myself beneath its arm, I can’t help but notice that it comes from a really unexpected place.

See, I think it’s the introverted part of me. I spend 40+ hours a week, every week, playing the role of an extrovert out of necessity and some days I find myself wondering how they, the real ones, aren’t bored out of their minds.

Which is mildly hilarious, given that I was in bed by 6pm last night, happily reading a book written by a monk and drinking unsweetened hot tea. 

Still. In the same way my extroverted friends often wonder how I can be so satisfied with a night like that, I often wonder how they operate. Because people are like a treasure hunt for me. Every single person is an adventure. And when I know too many of them, when my days are filled with too many of them, it feels like I don’t get to REALLY go on any of the adventures. It feels a little bit like going to Europe and spending two hours each in a large number of cities. Two hours in Rome. Two hours in Paris. Two hours in Barcelona. Two hours in London. Two hours in Amsterdam. Two hours in Dublin. Two hours in Athens. Two hours in Edinburgh.

Two hours in, you’re just arriving. You’re barely even there.

Sometimes, teaching feels exactly like that. Like there’s all of this opportunity at my fingertips. There are all of these huge adventures. But I’m too busy trying to get from city to city to really experience any of them.

Then I get home, and I’m so absolutely exhausted from all the traveling and all the cities and all the disappointment over all the missed adventures.

So I miss out on a few more, because I’ve already given every ounce of energy I possess.

And some days, I simply don’t know if I’m built for it.

I’m built for digging deep into dirty soil. For long conversations and eye contact and noticing everything remembering small details. I’m built for holding space for people, for their messiness and madness and brilliance. I’m built for uncontrollable laughter and ugly crying and knowing that both are of equal value. Both are terrifying and both are sacred.

I was thinking earlier today about money, and how if I had enough of it, I would never stop getting on planes. I would never stop getting on planes that land at coffee shops, planes that drop me off at tables with uneven legs, across from the people who were and are and will become my favorite explorations. I would never stop showing up for anyone who needs to hear someone say, “You are one of my best adventures.”

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tiny blue teacup

I love that little teacup.

It is, by far, the most fragile one I own. I have no doubt that if I were to drop it, it would shatter. The lip of it isn’t round, and it’s not square; it’s a little misshapen and uneven, with not a straight edge to be found anywhere on it. The design on the outside is really lovely, in various shades of blue and white, but it’s mismatched and patchy and a little messy. The handle is placed awkwardly low on the bowl, so a full cup requires two hands.

It’s not symmetrical, or flawless, or anything you’d expect from a well-crafted china teacup.

But it does have one big thing going for it; fortunately, the one thing it does well is the one thing it’s supposed to do well. It embraces and holds and keeps space for whatever, whenever.

And I love it.

Because it’s me, and it’s all the messy, unexpectedly beautiful people I love the most.  Fragile, with uneven edges and its fair share of design quirks. But I’m learning slowly that there’s beauty in nothing more than embracing and holding and keeping space.

The one thing we do well is the one thing we’re supposed to do well, I suppose.

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to say less and hear more

I want to be a person who says less and hears more.  Who hears people without instinctively attempting to explain their own words and thoughts to them.  Who doesn’t interrupt or assume or deconstruct.  Who lets people tell their own story and walk their own journey, who is content to simply walk it with them and maybe ask a few good questions along the way.  Who doesn’t sit waiting, quite impatiently I might add, for the opportunity to throw in my opinion.  Who is comfortable in the silence of “I don’t know.”  Who feels no uncontrollable compulsion to require or offer explanations.

I am, by both nature and raising, a little opinionated and a lot loud.  And sometimes the opinions and the volume cancel out the listening, the hearing, the understanding, the side-by-side companionship.

I want to be a person who says less and hears more.

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