This one is for the people in my life: each and every person that I have crossed paths with whether it be for a fleeting moment or a lifetime. Each person I have come across has left a lasting impact of some sort whether they realize it or not. Having the lifestyle I have I meet a lot of people and make quite a few friends…. That being said I have to come to terms with saying goodbye far too soon. I am always moving away from places and people I have grown to love not knowing when or if I will see them again. Though at times it can be a bummer I count myself lucky to live this life. I am lucky to have friends all over the states and around the world. So this is for you all, I want to say thank you. This is for the ones who made each adventure so fun and different. The ones who comforted me through homesickness, the ones who made me laugh, and the ones who had such a genuine soul I don’t plan on forgetting any time soon.
I credit my ability to going off into the world and be confident in meeting new people to my tribe I created as a youth. In college I found my humans. The people I surrounded myself with truly made my life better. My friends from freshman year have been there since the beginning – from the heartbreak to discovering what I truly wanted they allowed me to grow. To the girls in my sorority, they allowed me to be completely and wholly myself. I wasn’t scared to be a goofy hippie around them. I learned it was okay to join and organization with like minded women all while staying true to myself. To the other random friends along the way, you allowed me to play, exist, and thrive in school.
To the ones on a tropical island that stole my heart and hasn’t returned it: you taught me to love life and live with my heart WIDE open. Though I don’t talk to many of you anymore you made an impeccable impact on my life. You allowed me the room to grow and set roots. You taught me to be kind to everyone no matter how different their background. You taught me to respect everyone’s story.
To the people who opened their arms to me when I moved an ocean away from home: you allowed me to be completely and fully my goofy self. You became a family away from home. From being shoulders to cry on when it seemed like nothing was going right to providing endless laughs and nights out when I needed them. From the people I worked with to the friends I met along the way, you were the ones who made it so hard to leave the amazing country I called home for 10 months. Though you may not realize it, you taught me more about myself and the strong person I can be than the people who I spent my childhood with.
To the people who popped up when I least expected it: when an opportunity took me to the conservation corps I had no idea what to expect. I was surrounded by 30 or so like minded people in communal housing attempting to save the planet. We were the dirtbag gang cruising around getting excited by nature. You were the ones who taught me about the importance of being aware of our effect on earth. You are the people who would hike 3 miles from the store to a campsite to have a boozy night under the stars. The type of people who got stoked on improving hiking trails and identifying plants. The people who taught me that you don’t have to be the best at something, just care a whole lot and you will make an impact. You taught me that it is cool to rock a hard hat and work pants like a champ. You taught me it is perfectly okay to walk a mile to the bar and carry around a crazy amount of tree books, because KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. By meeting and working with you all I learned what I am truly passionate about, and that I can make a positive impact on my community and the environment.
It is interesting to look back on my travels and the people that I have met and I can’t help but be amazed. It is crazy to think about how such a diverse collection of people who you wouldn’t think would blend or even get along can truly help shape someone’s life for the better. People who I never would think in a million years I would have ANYTHING in common with, and yet here I am. I am friends with mothers, nurturing and kind. I learned from and looked up to women who had the courage to start their own business. I am friends with guys who can be very gruff and intimidating but deep down make me laugh till my sides hurt. I am friends with people of all race and religions. I have learned to open my heart to every person I pass on the street. I have danced with strangers for only a moment and after hugging heart to heart I knew it was a magic moment. When I would hitchhike across Maui the mere minutes I would spend with people would give me a glimpse into their soul. They would give me nuggets of wisdom that I needed to grow as a human.
The people you choose to surround yourself with at times help dictate the person you YOURSELF will become. They can add color and depth to your life. You can all learn from one another what it takes to be a decent person. So to each and every person I have come in contact with whether it be boogying at a Grateful Dead show or working together in some capacity I thank you. I thank you for bringing positive lights to my life. I thank you for being groovy. I thank you for adding a much needed fresh perspective to my life. The word community is one I throw around a lot. I am constantly looking for my community every time I move to a new place. I think a way to find that perfect place is to surround yourself with different types people. People of different backgrounds. People who might think slightly different than yourself. People from who you can learn and grow. I have definitely tried to do this through my travels. I can definitely say it is so worth the hard goodbyes to count the people I described above I as friends and my community of life.