So, cyber-therapist, I want to talk about two things.

I came to Ecuador by myself. And that was one of the best things for me thus far. The stability that is present when you’re with a companion is nice, yes, but when you’re alone, you’re forced to learn a lot about yourself. No inhibitions or wariness, just yourself and your time and what you make of it.

Okay, yeah, I just watched Eat Pray Love. Sowhatwhocares?

My big point is, choice is important. Whether it be picking out your clothes for the day or deciding to go to Ecuador for a few months, it’s important.

A few friends and I have been talking about the gravity of Agency and what it really means. I don’t think a lot of people comprehend what it is or what we need to do to fully understand and use it. I know I don’t. But I do know (or at least think I know) the importance of actions. Actions are manifestations of Agency. And recognizing the importance of acting vs. being acted upon. That one doesn’t need further explanation. It has enough weight in the phrase to smack me across the face every time I read it.

With choice comes the whole commitment thing. Mostly, be gutsy. I remember a few years ago I was sitting in a piano lesson, a jazz piano lesson specifically and my goal was to improv just one little solo. After tinkering around and hesitating about every single note, my teacher finally said, “Anna, play it…with BALLS.” No more commitment issues. No more pansy, wuss business. This is real. I AM GOING TO HAVE BALLS FROM NOW ON (FYI: this is a metaphor).

Let’s move on.

The power of support is something that I never really realized was so crucial to my happiness until I came here. I’ve always considered myself a fairly independent person, a floater of sorts. But I don’t know if that’s because I never realized the gravity of solace and my desire for until just now. Phone calls from home are good. Emails from Lindsey are necessary. And the friends that I have here might be the most important right now.

My fellow volunteers are my family. There’s something so invigorating about falling out of bed, eating some thrown together meal for breakfast, riding in a giant bus to an orphanage and knowing that you and your best friends are all going to work your asses off together today and we’re going to LOVE SOME KIDS. There is an unspoken power in brotherhood and in unity.

And I didn’t realize how good it feels to have someone who has your back. I don’t remember the last time I felt that.

I’m also realizing that friends can be good. And good friends are good for you. Companionship is important. Being a loner forever isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Social interaction with others is healthy (heh). And most importantly, I’m going to start expecting the best of everyone. That’s a loaded sentence. But I can do it.

These last reflections are in part because I'm saying goodbye to one of my best friends today. One of the best things has been realizing that I have one.

Chao, Anna. Te quiero.


Megan said...

Freaking come to USU and be my friend.

kelli christine case said...

u rock.

SOFIA said...


Erin said...

Anna, I am so glad I found your blog! I have been wondering how you are doing, so thank you for sharing your life in Ecuador with people like me(generally speaking) :)

Anna said...

Anna, I just saw this and my heart hurt. I miss my best friend. Thank you for this and for every memory we have together. i will cherish them ALWAYS.