I am writing from Eve’s bed, on my last night in Atlanta. This week flew by, but at the same time it felt as if I have always been here. That is the thing about true friendship; even when you are geographically apart, your souls are together. Being in each others’ physical presence does not paint a new picture, it completes the puzzle. It is always amazing that we can change and grow so much as individuals, yet some things, like your connections with your true friends, stays the same. I am especially amazed and inspired by how much soul searching and learning all of my friends do. Sometimes, it can seem like I am an island that I am so busy exploring, I forget that I am part of a chain of beautiful islands. Friendship is a boat? Or a bridge? Or maybe we send messages across the water and the waves spread our love and our light. Anyway, I feel so rich in love. I am truly blessed with the best friends and family. A special thank you to Eve and Raina for being such remarkable people and for making my week in Atlanta truly amazing.
The first thing I did in Atlanta was go to the Center for Civil and Human Rights. I wrote a blog post about the experience last week… if you have not been to the museum (if ever you find yourself in Atlanta, it is a must-see) I did my best to put my experience into words for you. I went to Eve’s apartment after the museum, where we crammed in a lot of life’s happenings before heading to yoga. Eve goes to a beautiful yoga studio and will soon be in a teacher training program! So exciting. We had a lovely class, then we went to a restaurant called The Porter for some delicious food and beers. I cannot have gluten, and do not often see gluten-free beers offered, so I was so happy to have some! This whole week was filled with delicious yoga and incredible food. On a few nights, I went into Carrol’s Street Cafe, where Eve works, and hung out with her while I ate, drank wine, and drew.
The weather in Atlanta this week was just beautiful. We strolled around a lot, had a picnic with Eve’s friend Kieran (who is also an amazing massage therapist), and generally sat in the sun outside of her apartment whenever we could, where Eve often encouraged me to play the ukulele and sing to her, which was nice. The uke is meant to be played in the sunshine (at the beach, if possible, but I’ll take what I can get). Eve also took my to the home where she grew up, where I met her parents and had some nice couch-time. It was nice to be in someone’s home. It felt like love and family, and though it made me miss my own, it filled my heart just a little more.
One night, we went to the opening of a store that sells goods for witchcraft. There were beautiful wands, stones, oils, and other miscellaneous witchcraft items. After that, we went to an Art Papers Auction. It was fun to people watch and talk about art (after we ate a lot of free barbecue) I really enjoy seeing art cultures that are alive and thriving like the ones in Atlanta (as well as the River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina). Another thing I love about Atlanta is that it is so colorful! There are so many murals everywhere and it makes me wonder why there are not more murals in every city.
This week in Atlanta: color, ukulele, beer, art, food, laughter. I feel as though I just got here, but also like I have always been here. But, I’m leaving early in the morning to drive to Houston to stay with family before I go to Peru! Surprise!
I decided rather last minute to meet some friends in Peru, and am flying down on Wednesday for a week. One of my best friends, Connor, and his brothers, Kyle and Ryan are spending a year in South America filming a documentary to share the stories of individuals with disabilities. These guys are some of the most amazing people I know; you can read more about their project here. I am so excited to spend time on the beaches of Lima and the mountains of Peru, especially since it is so last minute! I am so grateful to be able to do such explorations. It is hard to remember just two weeks ago, when I had been essentially alone for a whole month and felt rather lost and morose. I have been thinking often about how we live through ups and downs, and, though the lows can seem so awful and endless at times, we need them in order to learn, to fuel us to reach our peaks where we may reflect and embrace all of the lessons. I will end with something I wrote earlier this week.
What peaks and valleys make up the topography of our lives! But who would wish flatness upon us? We are mountaineers.