New Networks

I thought I should be alone.

The introvert’s dream of discovery along a lonely trail, was enticing. Enticing enough to make me postpone a semester of school, and leave.

I thought I should figure it out, it all out, alone.

So I got on a plane with a half-baked plan and a fully-raw notion of what it meant to be lonely. Self-discovery was in my path, I knew it. All I had to do was keep moving, fast, just fast enough to ensure my constant state of alone-ness.

But I never got this chance. I quickly found that my introverted quest was intricately entwined in similar quests of others. These vagabonds also thought that they should be alone. In our demand for loneliness we discovered its myth. I found the growth I was searching for in the fourteen hour bus ride conversations, the delirious hunger on a snack-less hike at 15k feet, and the frigid plunge into a glacial stream. On this quest for myself I found others.

I fulfilled the extroverts dream of discovery along a trail walked by many.

I bought this necklace with my travelmate Zoë, who became the first to show me the depth of self-discovery found in the presence of another. Like few I have met in life, her presence makes me understand the universe, and my place within in it, just a bit more. We bought these matching necklaces in a crazy Peruvian beach town we were itching to leave. We travelled to the mountains together, the city, the ocean, then eventually split ways. I have no doubt our friendship, our soul-friendship, will remain, perhaps forever.

I wear this necklace to this today because I like its aesthetic and it makes me laugh. It make me laugh because of who I used to think I was and who I am now excited to discover. The networks of love and connection I have found tucked away in Ecuadorian hostels and Rhode Island lecture halls are what give color to what would have otherwise been, a pretty lonely trail.

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