At 2 am this morning I packed up my car and my dog, leaving Charleston and the uncertainty of Hurricane Florence for my friend's home in the upstate. Driving in the dark through South Carolina, a storm at your back, is a time of uncertainty. It is impossible to know if I made the right call in leaving, if my home will flood, if everything will be alright. There are endless possibilities and it is incredibly exciting. This drive is a parallel for my life really, it began with concern and some fear but continued on with hope and joy at the unknown. There is an excitement at approaching the world not worried about what you can't control, a joy at unpacking the surprises of life. As luck would have it today's connection would be one I didn't think would happen for some time. It was absolutely a gift and further proof that nothing; not hurricanes, their evacuations nor the adventures that come with them, is a coincidence. It is all with purpose.
Sara Albiach has been one of my greatest supporters in the project. She has been reading since the beginning, a true believer in what I am doing, an incredible support and a person whose comments I always enjoy seeing on LinkedIn. 100 Connections is what linked us, and it seems only fitting that it is the thing that allows us to connect and build upon that social media interaction.
Sara grew up in Spain and now lives in California, so we conducted our connection with the aid of modern technology, creating a "virtual coffee" meeting. It's an interesting test to see if you can form a connection through a screen. You absolutely can. Sara's warmth and wit come through the screen, a comforting presence even from a continent away. I have followed her Coffee Chat series for a little while now, so I have an idea in my head of her voice, of how she carries herself and how a conversation with her will go. It's a testament to her amazing ability as a writer that the impression I have gotten from her writing sounds like her in reality.
Sara and I have several things in common. We both love Berlin, Don Quixote, Hemingway and travel. We are both writers, and we both know the anxiety that comes from putting your work out to the public. Sara and I are both in unknown places in our lives. We have both left unhealthy situations professionally, and are now on the unknown path that accompanies pursuing your dreams. The pursuit of dreams is the most concrete uncertainty you will ever encounter.
Talking with her is a joy. It really is. We have so many topics we slide in and out of with ease. I am reminded of seagulls in flight, gliding easily, then diving to the water, floating across its surface for a while only to take flight again. it is the same movement with us, but our flight glides over places we have been, or would like to go, on to Lorca, to art, to the need for voices, to our beliefs and their roots in our upbringing and then back to our current projects. It is an amazing aerobatic display of wit and wisdom, it might be the most impressive thing about Sara.
The Sara Albiach that I have come to know, the one whom I have shared brief exchanges on social media with is a loving person, an source of encouragement, a connector. You can feel her heart in her words. The Sara I spoke with today is that, but to a greater intensity. She is loving and kind. Her first words to me are about the storm approaching my home, if I have any news about its strength and if I am safe. During a crisis you hear a lot of people ask about your safety. We are conditioned to do so, but from Sara this question is honest. It is a deep and sincere concern for a friend, because once you have talked to Sara, shared a moment with her and allowed yourself to be vulnerable, you are friends.
Sara loves to build others up, to explore hearts and dreams with people. As she goes on her journey, I wonder if she knows how naturally at ease she can make you. As brilliant as she is, there is always a sense of calm about her. I do not know how you could be intimidated if you open your heart, and yet I am sure many are. We did not have nearly enough time today, but I relish the time I get to wait until our next discussion.
Sara and I are both on journeys that we have no plan for. We are walking into the unknown, and we are sharing the stories as we walk. It is incredible. I have so much more to learn about her and that is the joy of relationships, learning more and more.
For now I know this woman with her heart of love, her amazing and graceful wit, her brilliant mind and her adventures ahead.
I cannot wait to see more of this marvel, this wonder of the world.
Favorite Dinosaur: Brachiosaurus
Why: You have to keep your eye on the big picture