Earlier this evening, Abbey and I had dinner with three friends from our Boracay yoga teacher training days: Kaz, Kat and Rocky.
Kaz had arrived much earlier, and seeing her at our doorstep birthed a moment of cognitive dissonance. How could I situate the image of this lithe, exotic woman—whom I had inextricably associated with memories of sun, sand and surf—within the regimented and landscaped confines of my townhouse complex? Yet dissonance notwithstanding, there she was (gripping an umbrella even), voice already raised in the familiar melody of greeting.
We spent the next hour catching up on each other’s lives, and at several moments during the conversation, I found myself marveling at the twists of fate that had given me friends like Kaz. (Well, just one twist of fate actually: the moment you choose yoga as an indispensable part of your existence, it opens the door to the most unexpected experiences and encounters.)
The thing is, I’d spent most of my life admiring the nomads and the wanderers, the people who struck me as the ones who were truly living life to the point, who weren’t squirreling away bits of time in the abstracted form of money, who were intent enough on asking their questions to forego the certainty of answers. For the most part, I was surrounded by a culture that was aware enough of its existential dissatisfaction to voice the occasional complaint, but not unsettled enough to abandon the conventional route of making money first and asking questions later.
Then I started doing yoga, and since then, the peripheral has moved to the center, and most of the things that I consider normal and customary have been shunted off to the sides of my own existence. My initial wonderment at knowing people like Kaz (who’s been on the move almost constantly the last nine months) has shifted to a wonderment at my own life: that even within its seemingly regimented and landscaped confines, nothing is customary or conventional; that the normalcy I always assumed I’d possessed is, in fact, largely missing.
And the best part—the part that I truly love and appreciate—is that I’m not alone. I’m on a meandering journey marked by countless bumps, holes, twists and dead-ends, but whenever I look up (disoriented by the sight of my own trudging feet) there’s always a friendly face. Is it the journey that counts? Yes, of course. But the fellow wayfarers count a lot too.