Archive for wander

The End

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

Dan,

Today marks the first time that this name has felt like a weight to write down, not because it’s your name but because writing it feels incredibly final. I delayed finishing this entry as long as possible because there is so much I wish I could say but I don’t want to walk away from this project feeling as if a question was left unanswered. I want it to feel heartfelt and concise, because that’s the imprint the blog is leaving in my life.

This collaboration affected me more than I thought possible, I shared more than I ever intended and became more attached to this link of our friendship than I ever considered possible. We are better friends because of this and I think we can see ourselves more clearly when we reread our own words. What surprises me most though, is that I no longer hide from the hard moments.

T2C allowed me to have an outlet to voice my frustrations with myself and the world around me. It gave me a place to confess fears and hopes and it created a space where I finally acknowledged the pain I have felt and where I wanted to go from there. I am in no way done growing but I am more ready to acknowledge my own vices than I have ever been before.

This blog saw us through two years of consistent growth and lessons learned, it made us honest with what we wanted out of life and in collaboration. We became more patient and open to constructive criticism so we could create something we could look upon and be proud of.

I know our conversation isn’t over, it’s just changing focus and I know that when it comes down to it, your support will not stop when our project is completed. We’ve been through a lot, and you know more about me than most. In the future, we will share victories, obstacles and joyful moments so I choose to mark this as the first dog-eared page in our saga.

No amount of verbose language could properly describe that appreciation I have towards you for helping with the creation of something so completely personal. So I offer you my thanks and my love for saying yes to me that morning in Grand Central Station, though we were stationary in that moment it felt like our journey began.

Planning the next adventure,

Adair

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Wake Up

Dan,

The leaves are starting to explode into colors here in the Pacific Northwest thus confirming what I already knew, summer is over. This summer has been particularly busy and eventful for us both, it’s been the end of some things and the start of others and it is remarkable how much things can change in three months let alone this last year.

Looking back to last fall I am overwhelmed by the amount things have changed and the amount we have both transformed as individuals. We have been writing these letters for nearly two years and it’s amazing to see how much we have learned and how we have grown since that first “Dear Dan.”

We have created a collaboration that we both invested time, creativity and energy into and it has opened us up to the beauty of shared ideas. There are so many projects to look forward to this next year with each other, as individuals and with new partners. Working with you these last few years have been the gateway into feeling comfortable embarking on these new endeavors.

I look to the changes I know to be coming, changes in schedules and careers. New adventures both in person and on paper and the ongoing hilarity of my friendship with you.

I hope to continue to grow and support my relationships with friends and family, staying in better touch and creating wonderful memories with the vibrant people who fill my life. I want to continue to write, rewrite and submit the words I feel are so necessary to put down, I hope the despite not having this weekly commitment I remain steadfast in my goal to create.

Most of all I hope to seek out new adventures, to not shy away from what seems unknown or peculiar. I want to leap into experiences that bring me inspiration. I want to love and learn as best as I can and I want to tell whatever story I have to tell.

Hopefully the next year will bring us more experiences than we could ever have fathomed and maybe some of them will be together. No matter what, I know you will be just a call away.

Your partner in crime,

Adair

Life Is A Carnival

Dan,

It’s been four short years since I moved to the city I now happily call home, and I find it a struggle to recall how it felt to not live in this place. The years here haven’t always felt smooth but being a resident of Seattle has almost always felt “right” to me, as if I found the magical place where I belong. But no place is perfect, no matter how besotted you are with it.

In the last four years I have had one moment of doubt regarding my choice to pack up my life and drive to Washington. So here’s the story of how on day three of living here I nearly came crawling back to Montana.

I moved to Seattle with no job, no home and very few acquaintances. I left my family and the comfort of a place I had known for twenty-three years in the hopes that this city would become my new home. Three days into this adventure I came outside to find the windows of my car shattered and part of the car’s steering taken apart (not to mention a fair amount of blood on the interior).

At the time that I came across my vehicle I was on my way to meet my friend Megan, we had solidified our friendship less than 24 hours prior but she handled the situation like a champ. As we waited for the police to come file a report she helped me remove the belongings that remained in my vehicle and take them into my friend’s apartment. We then made phone calls to find a mechanic open on a Sunday and when my car was safely towed away she drove me to a job interview I had scheduled for later that day.

After the interview, she dropped me off downtown where I was staying, I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I felt like a part of me had been violated, knowing that a stranger had sifted through my photos and books (which was pretty much all I had in the car).

I came into my friend’s apartment and found it empty so I sat on his couch, looked out the window and wondered what the hell I was thinking when I made the decision to leave my home. I called my mother and cried, I told her I missed her and felt so alone and didn’t know if I made the right choice. I wanted some encouraging sign but I felt as if the city itself was rejecting me.

After I got off the phone, my friend walked in and took in the whole scene of me sitting in a dark living room and crying. Uncharacteristically, he hugged me and told me that it was just a bad day and offered to make popcorn and put on a movie for us. As soon as he went into the kitchen, my phone rang with a job offer and moments later Megan texted me with words of encouragement and it felt as if the puzzle pieces were coming into place.

My life didn’t come into immediate focus that night but as I sat on the couch next to an old friend, watching the ferries glide across the dark water, and texting my new friend, I felt like I could handle it. I had a support unit, a job and a roof over my head. And for the first time I really saw that there was potential of something great in this city, something I couldn’t yet verbalize but now recognize as finding your place.

Navigating choppy water,

Adair

 

 

Home from Home

Hi Lexi,

You touch on a great point regarding identity. I, too, had people asking me months before I came back to the States what I was going to do once I returned. I found it hard to answer because I didn’t have an answer. I know I want to live, and live passionately. I’m searching for my next opportunity to do that and I’m thankful I have a degree that will allow me to lead life with my heart. And I can only hope that I can be as happy as the Scottish grocery clerk you speak of.

In my transition back to living in Montana I’m realizing more and more that we are minorities. Especially in our big, low population, state. We’ve spent continuous months traveling the world and having cultural experiences. While I consider us lucky to be a minority in this situation I also find it difficult at times. We can turn to few friends to reminisce about long train journeys, flight delays in foreign countries, or trying to order a meal in a city where the only words you can say in their language are ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

In my twelve months of living in Switzerland I averaged more than one country every month. I’ve walked many historic streets and had much time to wander. I’ve developed into the type of traveler who would rather walk the streets of a new place to find cities best-kept secrets instead of riding the metro from point A to B. I have put in countless steps in some of the most beautiful places in the World. I once stumbled upon a park in Brussels that a local had never heard about. I sat in a restaurant in Rome over the Christmas holiday for three hours talking to the owners while drinking house wine. And I’ve walked the streets of Istanbul where suicide bombs went off just weeks before.

I’m overwhelmed. When I see people I haven’t seen or talked to in a year and they ask questions like “How was it?” How do I answer that? It was great! It was humbling. It was the best year of my life. Travel, experience it yourself! I want to share, but not too much. These memories are intimate and sharing too much feels like I’m giving my heart away. And then there are people’s reactions to what I share. Fear, awe, amazement, shock. To me, my adventures seem so normal so I’m finding it hard to grasp when people have such exaggerated responses.

The things I’ve learned are really important to me. I’ve learned to not take convenience for granted. Grocery stores being open all night, shopping on Sundays, and owning a car. These are things considered normal in our country and when I first moved to Switzerland I found it odd to not have these things. Now I find it weird to be able to shop on Sundays, grocery stores being open 24/7, and I miss my nine-minute train into Zürich. My thought-process is different now, I think differently. How do I take my newly wired mind and adapt to what used to be my normal?

I was telling my mom and her friend the story of terrorism causing me to have to cancel my flight from Prague to Zürich because of a layover in Brussels just five days after the airport bombing. While speaking about this I was reminded of something. These journeys and experiences made us brave, courageous, strong, fearless, and strong-willed. And whatever obstacles we face in our hometown, state, or country we can take on. I know we can because we’ve conquered other things with more barriers than I could speak to. We’ve got this.

I hope you enjoy those long talks with your dogs and I wish you luck in answering the “what’s next” question. Enjoy these moments.

All my best,

~Vanessa