This weekend I had the good fortune to spend time with friends, one of my favorite things to do. There are few things greater than sharing laughs and good conversation with people you feel at home with. Connecting socially has actually been scientifically proven to boost one's physical and mental health. I always feel more complete after hanging with my pals, and, there's a certain sense of global wholeness that happens, too. Like, I'm a little more connected to the world. As though there's an extension of my self spanning the globe. I feel as though each person I get to know in the world (no matter how well) actually holds space for me wherever they are, connecting their space to mine. Consequently, this makes the world feel less scary, and provides me with a sense of belonging, no matter where I may go. Perhaps that's why I'm compelled to talk to strangers. I'm just trying to make as many connections as I can, so we can all feel at home here on this planet.
I also think people are AMAZING (interesting if anything), especially my friends. Maybe because I'm bias, or maybe because they are indeed super badass, but my friends, they are the shit. Seriously. I have friends who have raised children and then, decided to build careers, starting from scratch with their education. I have friends who have built their dreams, literally with blood, sweat, and tears, from the ground up. I have friends who put their community first. I have friends who continue to evolve and fine tune their crafts, talents, and hobbies to epic proportions. I have friends who feel confident enough to publicize failures and use themselves as models for perseverance (totally heroic).
So, with each person I liberally call, "friend," I not only have a connection geographically, but I also have an abundant source of inspiration. This past weekend was no exception.
doesn't sound like fun to me. He's confident, yes (he has to be) but he's also very aware of his journey which brought him to having such skills. He also recognizes there are others who have even greater skills than himself. And something even more impressive, if you love to fly, he would encourage you to learn. He'd tell you that you can. Awesome, right?
aircraft then in the Army Air Forces' inventory. This is the 1940's we're talking about, people. Very cool, Nancy Love. Very cool.) Anyway, he loves everything about flying, from the flight itself to the history of aviation. He even made his own plane. Everywhere you look, aviation station. And musical instruments. And a couple of skeletons... So. Rad.
That was Saturday.
Sunday was filled with just as much awesomeness. Totally different flavor, however. There were several friends that I got to spend time with on Sunday, but I'll just mention a particular couple.
Like I was saying, it was Sunday, and I went to a music festival that hosted several bands ranging from blue grass to Cuban. Each group possessed epic levels of talent, and produced shows you couldn't sit still to. It was great fun and I have the sore hip to prove it! ...well, the folks who were primary sponsors for this gig happen to be friends of mine. They also happen to be some of the most well traveled, laid back, and professionally and personally successful people I know.
shop, selling imported clothing and jewelry. They traveled the world, looking for beautiful wares to share in their home town, here in Midcoast, Maine. Having three children didn't slow them down, either. They raised these three beautiful golden haired love-nuggets while traveling southeast Asia. And they didn't glam it up. I love their stories about the crazy places they've stayed, or how they'd travel, with their family of five, on two motor bikes. Craziness.
Today, they have several large stores filled with the most beautiful things from clothing to home goods. They're carrying on many of the same relationships with the weavers, tailors and designers they did when they first started. These relationships began as business, but have transformed into friendships in places like Bali, India and Thailand. If you aren't familiar with their store, you should check it out. It's called Mexicali Blues. And their children, who are now adults, are continuing their own adventures across the globe, spreading their own brightness. Stellar family. I'm lucky to call them friends.
Now, there was a time when I would have either A. felt jealous or envious of my friend's coolness, or, B. felt like a complete loser because nothing I could ever do would be as cool as what they were doing. But somewhere along the way I had the good fortune to receive an attitude adjustment. I couldn't tell you how or when, but it happened.
I stopped comparing things. Honestly, the difference between people is not all apples and oranges. It's more like apples and squirrels and oranges and screwdrivers and mason jars and... It's all so different. We're so different. That's their passion, not mine. Do I love to fly? Hands down, yes. Do I love to fly enough to devote all my time and money into the skills? Nope. I love global travel and textiles. Am I going to start my own imports shop? No way. I love painting. That's what I lose sleep over. That's what I'm willing to devote my time to. Not crafting the best beer, not running a marathon, not playing the piano. Painting. Painting's my jam. But to have friends who DO these things is an extraordinary gift! I can absorb thier excitement when I ask about their jam. I want to know all about their passions, and why. It's like I get to share thier experience. I also like asking people about the stuff they're passionate about because the energy they emit is contagious, it fuels me. ...and I totally gain coolness by their extension.
So, if you're feeling like you're kinda stuck in the mud, go find your friends. Ask them about the stuff their excited about. Or, share your exciting stuff with them. Create a big buzzing community full of the coolest people you know!