Navigating Desire: Loneliness & Connection

4
7 AM at JFK International Airport after a red eye from Denver, CO

lone·li·ness

ˈlōnlēnəs/
noun
being without company

As I gear up to head back to Denver this coming week, I’ve been meditating on loneliness and connection while on the road. Prior to my morning workout, I relished in my inactivity and read an exclusive George Clooney interview published in the The Hollywood Reporter. What most struck me about this piece were Clooney’s remarks on loneliness;  “Most striking of all, despite his legions of friends, Clooney revealed that he, like most everyone else, experienced bouts of loneliness. “Anyone would be lying if they said they didn’t,” he observed.

Over the past two months, I’ve had the privilege of making connections with fascinating and inspiring individuals from all over the globe. Yet even in the midst of making new connections, there’s a part of me that occasionally craves the connection that is bred from long-term exposure, from a sense of familiarity. So, I went through my photos in an attempt to evoke the sensations and emotions that such instances produced; the stories shared below.

 

“Acknowledge your craving for connection.” Danielle LaPorte

 con·nec·tion

kəˈnekSH(ə)n/
noun
a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.

Earlier this year, I reconnected with a guy whom I knew in my youth; my last memory of him was around the age of 12. Re-connecting with someone after more than a decade is not very different than meeting someone for the first time. While their appearance may be familiar, whom they are in the present doesn’t necessarily equate with your memories (or projections).  A military officer, a seasoned traveler, getting ready to go live in Okinawa, Japan. I found it admirable of how sure he appeared to be about what he wanted (Aside from a love of travel, we had very little in common). It was through this encounter that I began to try to uncover my true desires. Questions around my core desires began to plague me: What is it that you truly desire? What is at the core of your heart? How do want your relationships to look like? How do you want your life to look like? Are you living life in alignment with your truth?

From that point forward, I decided to travel with desire leading the way.  At times, desire looked like making my way to a high peak right after landing. At other times, desire looked like going straight to my hotel room for a nap. At times, desire looked like sharing my location via photographs in social media. At other times, desire looked like complete disconnection from the virtual world. Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” As I continued to travel in an attempt to truly understand how it is that I want to spend my life, I often found myself returning to spaces and places of the past, riddled with memories of what once happened. It is in these places and spaces that I’m uncovering those core desired feelings.  Here are stories that reflect some of these feelings – the stories that I promised above:

1
My best friends and I in Downtown Burlington, Vermont (2016 – hence the winter wear!)

Core Desired Feelings: Connected. Grounded. Adventurous. 

Jalon and I drove through a relatively unpleasant snow storm to make our way to Burlington. As we drove through desolate roads in Upstate New York, I felt a sense of tranquility come upon me. Halfway through our drive, we stopped on the side of the road. In the midst of total darkness, a piercing chilly wind, and blowing snow, we shared a moment of complete silence and communion I will never forget. The kind of silence that can only be shared when two people are soulfully connected. Upon arriving we were greeted by Cmack’s warmth and unparalleled hospitality. We convened, cuddled each other endlessly, laughed, and made our way to that other-worldly land – the land of dreams. We woke up to a beautiful, godly breakfast (maple was involved) then off took for the day; An antique shop, an 11AM tap room visit, downtown Burlington.  That night we met with another friend, Nicole, and had an unforgettable night.

2
Sugar Bakeshop in Charleston, South Carolina

Core Desired Feelings: Nourishment. Freedom. Abundance.It was my second trip with Chris.  We were working in downtown Charleston for the day and realized we were ahead of our timeline. “Want to go for a walk?” A quick Yelp search led us here. We both ordered a honey cupcake because this shop makes their own honey – right on their rooftop!

3
Sunset in Isabela, Puerto Rico

Core Desired Feelings: Vibrant. Blissful. Expansive.

I had just landed in Puerto Rico from Hawaii. In less than 24 hours, I had managed to catch 5 flights and my energy reserves were running on low. However, I was greeted by family I hadn’t spent time with in nearly a decade. I also met a lot new people, whom I hadn’t met before. My aunt’s fiancé suggested we head on to the running track/a nearby trail in Isabela town. After a few minutes on the track, I ran into my former nanny’s daughter. “What are you doing here?! I thought you were in Hawaii!” We hugged, we laughed, we shared stories – we (re) connected as the sun set.


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