Sunday, April 18, 2010
Hi, I love you
I’m sitting in my hotel room in Kandy – feeling a little lonely after ten days of hanging out with people nonstop. But I guess loneliness is sorta what I set out for, coming on a three month trip alone. Sometimes you go on trips looking for love, but not this time. For me I guess I came looking for the limits of love. It’s like we are all born when and where we are born and that reality affects all of who we are forever. But is it not true that we could have all been born somewhere else to somebody elses parents and we would love and worry about them just as much as we do our own now? What does that mean about the random man sleeping on my shoulder on the bus? Technically if I was born into his family instead of my own he would be my brother? Because of that should I not worry about it and just let him sleep on my shoulder, or because I have never met him before should I not feel any love towards him and only worry about whether or not he will drool on me.
It’s a complicated question and I can’t say I am finding any answers - only more questions. Okay, so don’t we all love kids? Like when you see a kid, no matter the country they are from, the language they speak, the amount of money they have, don’t we all just feel like, you’re a precious little baby and want to snuggle with them? So my question is – what happens to that love when it is baby plus three or five decades? It’s like sometimes you get those flashes of understanding – like you will see a random man eating an ice cream and you heart just beats an extra beat because there is something so sweet about it. Or when you can’t help but pat somebody on the back who is crying even though you don’t know them and you know it will be awkward. That is that baby love I think, the we are all in this together love.
But then there is also that unexplainable type of connection that is way more than an extra beat of the heart or a pat on the back. It is like upon meeting someone, instantly, it’s like you always knew that person. A lot of my best friends, my friends for life, I felt that way when I met them. It’s like no process of trust or finding out “what they do” or “where they’re from,” it’s just like boom. Sometimes it can actually be pretty awkward because it’s a little embarrassing to be like – Hi, I love you. I remember the first time I spoke to Mimi on the phone, just a week or so after meeting her, I said to her upon hanging up – “Okay bye, talk to you later – I love you!” It was SO awkward. I quickly said, “Opps, sorry, I mean, I’m just used to saying that to my parents and boyfriend etc.” She really laughed and then so normally said, “Love you too, bye!” When I hung up I felt like I wanted to crawl under my bed, but I also just felt like - well…it is kinda true, I do sorta feel like I love her. It makes me nervous/embarrassed to just recall it, but it is also so sweet to feel that way about strangers.
Even though I have only been gone for three weeks I have felt like that twice, I think I have made two friends for life. Yesterday in the shower I was thinking about how fun it was going to be to have Vositha come to my wedding someday and later that day when we were racing around Colombo in a three wheeler she turned to me and pronounced, “I’ll be coming to your wedding someday,” and flashed a grin at me. I smiled back, felt a little shy and was like, “I thought about that this morning. You are totally coming.”
Later that day I was talking to my new friend Akmel who is the Sri Lankan version of my high school friend Achilles. He knows everything about Sri Lanka and was helping me make my travel plans. We got talking about his family and he was telling me about how all six of his brothers and sisters are married and his family is sort of waiting on him to get married but he wasn’t really ready to yet. I tried to tell him twenty five years old was way young to get married and not to worry about it. It was sorta quiet and he was like, “Maybe you can come to my wedding when it happens.” I sorta blushed and was like, “Okay – I TOTALLY want to! ” We both laughed, sorta embarrassed.
For someone with so many of my own issues about marriage, weddings that day just made me feel like the world was going to be okay no matter what. It just makes me think, if I can set out on a journey with six outfits and a journal to a tiny island in the Indian Ocean and three weeks later I've met two of those instant friends, what else is out there in this big world?