Hello Lovers. While I still have Love Letters on tap regaling you of Italian adventures, reunions on the equator, and nearly a month now with the Earhart and Shoshin crews here in South Africa, this morning I come to you to talk the interesting phenomenon that is relationships in this life that I choose to lead. Friendships, dating, enjoying the company of another human, it all takes a little bit of a different mindset when you’re jetsetting to a new destination every month or so, let alone the fact that most of us are out here just trying to figure our own lives out, save what it means to attach that life to another.
I’m trying to live life under the philosophy that it is better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all, or, what Connor likes to call, being Squishy Pino versus being Past Pino. For those of you not intimately aware, Past Pino lived her life the way she wanted, with total disregard for the feelings of those around her and how they were affected by it. Even I was uncomfortable in that skin, because deep down, I really do care about those around me, consistently putting the needs of those I care about before my own, often to my own detriment. This version of myself, this Past Pino, led to a lot of internal conflict, most of which I tried to drown away with a bottle of whisky. Not cute. Or productive, and often leading to more problems than before I took the first sip of the sweet nectar.
Enter Squishy Pino, the one who lived deep inside all of the layers that had been built around her of decades of having to protect myself from the damages of my world. It took some time to knock down all the walls, glued together with hurt, anger, pain and distrust, but with the support of those around me, we got there. Once I began to embrace this me, the me that had been who I really was all along, I had so many come to me and say that when they first met me, they never envisioned us being friends, but now, now that I had stopped being the emotionally incompetent train wreck of the person I was before (I’m paraphrasing, of course), they were so glad I was in their life. Eh, who knew. Go forth and conquer the world Squishy Pino, open your heart, embrace those around you, tell them how you feel……… and get hurt.
For the most part, I have been so much happier being this better version of myself. I smile more, laugh more, drink less. I engage with the people around me without the cautious and distrusting manner I used to, maximizing the time that I have with them, which is usually limited, given my current lifestyle choice. So now comes the equation, one that’s difficult enough in a stationary situation, let alone one in which I and the people around me are in constant motion around the world. What are we looking for, how do we deal with it when it appears, and more importantly, what are we left with when it disappears?
There are very few humans I have met that aren’t searching for some sort of connection, be it actively or not. I’ve lost count of the number of Remotes (myself included) who say that connection, or the desire for it, is what will eventually ground them from this nomadic lifestyle. Sure, it can, and does happen on the road, but even then there are sacrifices made, albeit more willingly. There’s a myriad of methods to achieve this: Tinder, Bumble, Meetups, the trusty bar/club scene, etc. Personally I despise digital dating, favoring the dying art of the organic meet. I’m looking for a connection, a true one, not something manufactured through careful selection of 6 pictures and a few witty words that you’ve thrown together to be able to cast a wide net. Surely there’s another way to find someone who has a great smile, makes me laugh, and texts back in reasonable time frame, right?
So, what is one to do in this life, when we meet someone and it fires on all cylinders, but the sitch is fatally flawed from the get? And not in an I can’t stand how they leave their socks on the floor kinda way, but in an our lives aren’t in the same paths way, and though we’ve collided for a second, in a flash we’ll no longer be a part of each other’s worlds and I’ll be left with my heart in my hands, a tiny bit lighter from the piece you took with you when we went our separate ways. Do we steel ourselves against this pain, protect ourselves from the inevitability of it? Or do we throw ourselves into it, time and time again, choosing to fall, choosing to care, to give pieces of our hearts to those who come into our lives willing, embracing the pain that come with their departure?
Past Pino, or Squishy Pino?
Stay Squishy My Loves,