In this blog post, I want to talk about the importance of friends, though maybe “friends” isn’t the best word. Sometimes people who connect with you on a deep, soul-level can do wonders to lift your spirits. I’ve been here in Quito for 2 weeks (and two days) and for two of those weeks, I’ve had language classes. (Today is my last day of language classes and tomorrow I leave Quito to go to Cotopaxi.)
I had been feeling a little bit discouraged, partly because I think I did not get enough time to relax when I moved down here. I literally started language school the very next day after I arrived, so despite this big change in my life, I did not give myself any time to relax and just walk around or enjoy myself with nothing to do. And language school for me was very rigorous because I had 4 hours of school, then homework (1-2 hours), then 1-2 hours of prep that next day before class. Also, I don’t know anybody, and I was a little discouraged that I wasn’t talking with locals as much as I wanted to because of my language skills being so…low.
Anyway, much of my attitude and outlook changed two days ago because I met two people named Daniel and Becky. They are a couple from Australia and Canada, respectively, and Daniel (at least) has been traveling for about a year and a half. (Becky has been traveling with him for a couple weeks.) I was excited to hear about Daniel’s way of dealing with traveling for such a long time because a year and a half IS a long time. He worked in a hostel in Guatemala for 3 months, among other interesting experiences, and I was thinking about working for a hostel also!
I think the most uplifting thing for me, though, was talking with him about psyche discussions: for instance, what grounds him and gives him stability in the midst of an ever-changing life – ever-changing locations, ever-changing relationships, ever-changing jobs. Mostly, he talked about things that I had already thought of: finding stability in a daily morning routine (for him, stretching; for me, stretching and working out), in an activity or two that one did at home (for him, guitar; for me, reading philosophy books). I easily envisioned myself finding difficulty finding a center in the midst of an ever-shifting environment, and found the conversation with Daniel to be uplifting because he had had some of the same struggles as I had (and was imagining having) and had come up with similar ways to cope with them as I had imagined.
Not that I was doing any of them! Although I will say that I’m focusing anew on making a morning ritual and I already have some philosophy books to read that I purchased on amazon for my kindle. But being able to talk about ways that we both find joy, or ways that we both think about volunteering in developing countries or dealing with people back home, and constructing one’s life anew…having this conversation meant a lot to me and uplifted my spirits. I don’t think I’ll see them again in the recent future (after tonight), but I do plan on staying in touch via facebook messenger and who knows what will happen! Sometimes one conversation can really make a difference for one’s soul. I’m grateful that I’ve found people that I connect with really well. 🙂