It’s been a while (again) since I’ve been here, posting on the blog. Life gets busy. Time is moving a little too quickly and between driving kids around, convincing them to do English with me, and still not working out any more here than anywhere else, time for blogging is rare.
(Although, there’s time for everything depending on your priorities. Don’t blame it on something else, Izze, c’mon.)
Today I was walking across the bridge between Amelia’s house and my house (what people call the “old bridge”), dreading working with the kids a little bit, and I thought to myself “Okay, Isobel, let’s remember why you’re here, why this tough day is important to the adventure you’ve created.” I believe in the value of traveling, it’s an experience which I’ll remember forever. I’m learning a ton about the world and my relationship with it, and other such things. I’m here because I was tired of the classroom. Phew. Back to walking.
This got me to think about the other people in my life who have done similar things. I often think about how lucky I am to have a great number of these people in my life. People who are adventurous, who take risks, who create opportunities for themselves and take advantage of what they already have, who are living their best lives. People who, over time, I’m coming to realize, have deeply inspired this journey I’m on now. If I didn’t know these people, if they weren’t in my life, I wouldn’t be laying in my bed in a house in Spain.
So, as someone who values appreciation and acknowledgement, I thought I would give some of these people a shout out, words to say thank you for existing and for, in some way or another, directly or indirectly, contributing to this adventure. And posts to tell you all about some really cool, really special people.
First post of gratitude & love goes out to my longtime friend Soren Fuchs.
Gotta love that J. Biebs hair cut and cheesy smile.
I’m sure many of you know the bootylicious blonde I’m talking about. Everyone knows Soren – he’s an absolute people person, and he yells a lot. One cannot forget Soren.
Soren is one of the original homies. We have been friends since we were both in 6th grade at the Denver Center for International Studies. I couldn’t tell you how the friendship started – probably math class. But, through various classes and trips loitering at the mall, we eventually got very close.
We once flew to Washington DC together when we were 13 to surprise our friend who had moved away. On a fun adventure through the DC mall, Soren left me in a museum by myself, cellphone-less, and I had to use the phone at the gift shop to find him. He felt completely awful when he found me – I’m sure he didn’t want to deal with losing a whole person.
That’s one of my favorite Soren stories – we’ve all got one.
Any person is sometimes difficult to describe in words, but if I were to try with Soren, I would say he’s absolutely one of a kind. Soren has a huge personality, he’s big & loud and he loves to have fun. He does exactly what he wants to do, in a (mostly) constructive and determined kind of way.
If he wants to make money, he wakes up at 4 or 5 am to follow old white men around a golf course for hours in the heat of summer everyday. And then later gets a full ride to the University of Colorado because of it.
Soren & I graduated high school at the same time. From different schools, after he left me to go to East high – a decision I ultimately respect and know it was best for him (even though I no longer had my best friend roaming the halls with me and causing trouble in geometry class).
After high school ended, most of my friends & I did the classic college thing. A summer of lots of Target shopping trips, reading blogs about being a first year in college, getting out first tattoos because we were finally 18, our parents referring to us as birds leaving nests, and then parting ways for different universities.
Instead of this classic route, Soren got on a plane to go live in Peru for a year with Rotary. And, well, of course he did. Knowing Soren, it made perfect sense.
He’s an explorer, he asks questions, he is transparent about the things which he doesn’t know, unafraid of judgements that may come from others, and then he expresses his desire to know them. He never lets a minute go to waste – he ensures that every moment is alive and has the potential to be beautiful, or constructive, or memorable. Sometimes this means he stays out until 2:00 in the morning when he has work at 6:00am the next day so he doesn’t miss anything for something as trivial as sleep. In terms of his year abroad, this meant he took every chance he could to do something, learn something, create something, find something, or even eat something.
When he came back from his time away, his growth was clear. It seemed as if he took a long, deep breath, and a little more of his identity fell into place. He told the stories of his journey with such a wonderful light. While in Peru, Soren pushed his own boundaries, which were always stretching to begin with. It sounded like he was present, fully & completely, undistracted, simply absorbing the world he was in.
These are the kinds of things about Soren, about knowing him, and having the privelege to be his friend, which brought me here and which I have brought with me.
He’s taught me that every moment has the potential to be, and ought to be, alive and full. And wherever you are, be there. Don’t just watch, but participate.
He’s helped me keep my head on straight when it was shaky, like right before I left on this trip. He told me to enjoy it, to remember it won’t always be easy or great, but it’s all part of the experience.
So for that, and for a million other things, thanks Soren. You’re a really special human being, always looking out for the people in your life and reminding us to live.