Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I'm documenting my volunteer work and travels through a series of letters to family and friends while on the road. I hope you can stay a while - make yourself at home. 

Connor - 7,543 miles, 428 hours

Connor - 7,543 miles, 428 hours

Dear Connor,

To say this letter to you is long overdue is rather inadequate. In fact, what I want to tell you dates much further back than any letter I've written while on my sabbatical. I just couldn’t quite bring myself to write you a letter without saying exactly what I’ve needed to say for so long, and so here it goes.

At its most basic level, I just want to say thank you. As you may have been able to gather from some of our more recent conversations before leaving Chicago, I deal with a fair amount of social anxiety on a daily basis, and at times it can take a toll on my relationships with friends and family. In particular, I find myself unable to bring the truest version of myself to social interactions, which in turn sends me down a path of even further worry and at times depression. At its absolute worst, I will attempt to cope with everything by shutting out those individuals who care the most about me, and that’s where I really feel like I’ve endangered our relationship over the last few years.

Since we became roommates in 2014 you’ve been first in line to experience whatever version of Jonathan decided to come home from Madison on Thursday. With a whole week up in Wisconsin to sit and stew in my own thoughts, there was no telling who would show up. But more often than not, it was a guy who was unable to make time for his roommate, and who continued to work away at his issues by closing himself off from a friend.

Luckily for me, you were not someone to give up on me so easily. No matter which version of me came home each week, and no matter how disinterested I may have been, you were always there for me, bringing your best self. I truly thank you for that. As I begin to work through and unpack everything from the last few years, you stand as a great reminder that life is inherently good, and worth spending every minute we can enjoying it.

Perhaps an upside of my anxiety is that I find myself having the utmost attention to detail, even when it comes to the smallest of things. I often quickly pick up on people’s habits and idiosyncrasies, and I’ve come to adore many of them. I never have the courage to tell anyone but I’m working on it.

My favorite of yours? Since getting to know you, you’ve never once left a one-on-one conversation of ours without saying I love you buddy. It’s short and automatic, but each time I hear it, it sounds as sincere as the first time.

Thanks for always being there for me, and I’ll keep working to do the same. 

Love you too buddy,

Jonathan

Beau - 7,672 miles, 500 hours

Beau - 7,672 miles, 500 hours

Zack - 7,484 miles, 388 hours

Zack - 7,484 miles, 388 hours