Saturday, November 12, 2011

To Dreamers

“…people are capable, at any time in their lives,  of doing what they dream of.”
~Paulo Coelho

I constantly find myself surrounded by people who take this philosophy to heart. If misery loves company perhaps adventurous, open-minded, life-loving people love company too.  I find myself constantly astounded by the incredible individuals in my life.

My friends are travelers. They inspire me to explore. Between all of us I’m sure we’ve covered most of the world. Solo backpackers searching for a slower pace of life, curious filmmakers and idealists following the call of the Alaskan wild.  They move to Spain and Iceland just because they can, to France to study a new language or to Korea to teach English.  Or they come to Canada after falling in love with it in a Canadian Studies class in Alaska.  Some have arrived here from Bangladesh, Korea or Vietnam oblivious of cultural differences and with just a basic understanding of English only to beat the odds and become successful, bilingual immigrants and students.  They are volunteers who nurse the sick in Ghana or deliver school supplies to Kenya. They show up in Haiti after the earthquake with no plans other than to help where needed. They book month long trips to Mozambique for vacation. They drive across Canada every few months. They take boats, overcrowded trains, sketchy taxis and they hitchhike.

They are unstoppable.

My friends change stereotypes.  They constantly revise my definition of normal. They live on the fringes; alternative lifestyles, currencies and ideas. They pursue unlikely career paths and apply to unknown, non-existent universities.  They are opinionated yet open-minded. They are comfortable with their sexual orientation and support their friends who have chosen alternative routes.  They are conspiracy theorists and protesters, well read and restless.

They are convincing.

My friends are lovers.  They stoke the passion in my soul.  They turn unlikely love affairs into beautiful relationships. They pour their beings into making long distance relationships work. They book plane tickets on a whim. They reignite old flames. They give all of themselves to their friendships, through late night tears, desperate phone calls and consoling support.  They are full of emotion and desire.  They are sacrificial, yet unwilling to compromise themselves and their own needs.  They are lovers of art. They start music careers instead of focusing on school, they take unpaid time off simply to write and compose. They take degrees in poetry. They are constantly contributing beauty to the world.

They are irresistible.

So here’s to one-way tickets, learning new languages, unexpected encounters with strangers, revolutions, good books, unrequited love, uncertainty and trusting that feeling in the pit of your stomach.

To those who constantly choose the road less traveled by, you inspire the adventure in my soul.