Medellin: Innovation & Transformation

Saturday morning. 4:30am. Medellin’s main bus terminal.

I’m trying to catch a semblance of rest after a sleepless night on an overnight bus, when a police officer taps my leg. I swipe off my sleep mask, guarded, and meet eyes with the uniformed young man no older than 22.

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A Letter To You.

Dear You,

Thank you.

Thank you for being my friend. My lover. My sister. My brother.

Thank you for being everything.

Thank you for being there for me.

Thank you for supporting me, especially when you didn’t realize you were.

I know we don’t hang out as much as we should, or talk as much as we’d like, but just knowing you’re there is more comforting than you’ll ever know.

Thank you for reminding me that community is all around and all I need to do to feel it is to Take A Step Back. Observe. Realize. And Be Grateful.

Thank you for all the times you answered the phone when I needed to talk.

Thank you for all the times you didn’t answer your phone and let me leave a voicemail. Because you knew what I needed was to talk it through.

Thank you for letting me talk it through.

Thank you for telling me to stop talking and to just listen. To hear not only my words, but the words and subtle messages all around us – the hymn of the wind within the branches, how much is said without words.

Thank you for teaching me your mother’s way of making quiche and your father’s way of brewing coffee.

Thank you for showing me how to do a handstand, how to change the flat tire on my bike, how to take a good photograph.

Thank you for your patience. Because of you, I never want to stop learning.

Thank you for approaching that group of guys at the bar with me, and thank you for telling me that they weren’t worth my time. That I was better than that,  then them, even if, maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t.

Thank you for holding me to higher standards.

Thank you for questioning my morals. Thank you for questioning my beliefs. Thank you for redefining who I am.

Thank you for challenging my world-view and for shifting my perspectives, even when I was stubborn and stuck and you couldn’t stand me.

Thank you keeping me accountable to becoming a better person.

Thank you for pushing me to my limits and empowering me to exceed my own expectations.

Thank you for never letting me forget my dreams and for helping me to dream bigger and bigger, year after year.

Thank you for reminding me that no dream is too outrageous and that it’s all within reach.

Thank you for experimenting with vegan brownies and taking 1am photo shoots on North Capitol and driving to the beach in the middle of the night to watch the meteor shower.

Thank you for being ridiculous and child-like, for embracing spontaneity and for making me laugh.

Thank you for brightening my world.

Thank you for helping me cultivate Self-Love.

Thank you for making me vulnerable to Love again – for inspiring me to continue opening my heart. To stay open.

Thank you for loving me for me and for making me promise to never change.

Thank you for letting me fly. Thank you for stumbling alongside of me. Thank you for letting me fall.

Thank you for leading me to exactly where I am now: single and sober and bursting with twenty-six years of patch-worked insights and experiences and heartache and scars.

Thank you for encouraging me to keep on the path I’m on. I know I’m not an easy friend to have, but I’m so, so grateful that you’re willing to sacrifice and make space for me, for us.

So Thank You. Thank you for helping me through these last twenty-six years. And Thank You for being a part of this next journey around the sun. Twenty-seven. 365 more.

I couldn’t have made it without You.