“Who would’ve thought that when we met five years ago we’d be trekking in Torres del Paine together?” I say to Lindsay as we hike from Refugio Grey to Refugio Paine Grande in one of southern Patagonia’s most famous national parks.
Life, and the crossing of paths, is a seemingly strange and mind-blowing thing. Today, our second of five days in Torres del Paine, my mind traipses through my story with Lindsay.
She and I met in August 2012. I was fresh out of college and looking for marketing work in the social impact space. Lindsay was the national director of Right To Play – USA, an organization I was keen to work with. We initially connected through email, and then, when I was traveling through San Francisco, we met for coffee on a Friday afternoon at La Boulange. Our relationship, a mentorship and now a friendship, has grown from there.
“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” — Edmund Lee
I’ve been thinking a lot on connection and community lately and how important it is to surround ourselves with people, places and experiences that add value to our lives, that bring out the best in us.
I crave connection. Deep, meaningful, intentional, purposeful connection.
I want to surround myself with people who breathe life into who I am and who I am becoming. People who challenge and inspire me; who encourage and empower me; who see the good, the beauty in me and my dreams even when, especially when, I fail to see it myself.
Twice a week, I workout with a group in a park in Recoleta — a neighborhood here in Buenos Aires. I take the subway to and from the park and have to switch trains about halfway. From my door to the park, the trip usually takes me around 40 minutes. And while I wish it were a little closer to home, my workout commute has given me moments to explore and appreciate the various forms of art that flow through this city.
This evening revealed one such moment.
As I was on my way home from working out, I transferred from Linea H to Linea B as I usually do. And as I came up the stairs, out of the tunnel and onto the platform, I was greeted by something familiar, something that immediately gave me chills, pulled at my heart and set my mind in motion.
I think the way distance can affect relationships is one of the hardest parts of being here. I miss being able to just call my grandparents. I miss getting phone calls from them. Sunday is usually our day to connect, so I miss their voices the most on Sundays. But I also miss the surprise calls we give one another throughout the week.
Technology makes it easier to connect — and my grandparents are pretty up-to-date with technology — but it’s harder to get in touch with someone when they have to be at their computer and logged into X app versus simply dialing their phone number, it ringing and them picking up the phone.
I miss talking with my grandparents. I miss talking with them because I know time is precious and that it’s not slowing down. I miss talking with them because they’re a constant in my life. I miss talking with them because it is easy; it comes naturally; it is support. I miss talking with them because when we talk the world seems to stand still.