The world, or more like, ‘your world’ does not stop turning when you leave it behind. I know I’ve just stated the obvious, but it doesn’t always feel so obvious.
During the 8 months I’ve been abroad this time, I’ve lived in 3 different countries (and visited 6). I spent three months in Italy, two months in Croatia and I’ve now been in Scotland for three months. Although I know I live here, I only just ‘realised’ it a couple of hours ago.
Knowing and feeling are two very different things.
When the way you feel conflicts with reality, it’s a hard thing to negotiate.
All of this became blaringly obvious after Skyping with a close friend and colleague of mine.
Things don’t stop happening when you leave
We speak frequently, but it had been about 5 weeks since our last Skype. He had been in Australia for 5 weeks and had a great time. He visited friends, saw amazing wildlife and made some great professional connections. It was the connections he made whilst on this trip that made me realize what I’ve failed to do here… I’ve failed to make connections and I’ve sucked at maintaining the ones I already have.
Things don’t stop happening when you leave a place. You may be living your life in a new location, but life doesn’t stop in your old one when you leave. On a similar note, just because you return to a place doesn’t mean that you can pick up right where you left off.
In previous posts, you may have noticed I was more concerned about the fact that I couldn’t pick things up right where I left them the last time I was in Scotland. I’ve made my peace with that and have moved on (finally).
I am, however, bothered by the fact that things are happening back in my home country and I’m missing them. I haven’t lived back ‘home’ for over a decade, so I’m not talking about one specific town or state, I just mean that things are changing, in general, and I hate that I’m not as involved as I could be.
And that’s my fault.
I’ve been living in the moment.
Tonight I realized it’s time to think beyond the moment. I’m not talking about anything extraordinarily long term – let’s not get crazy. The past 8 months I have missed engagements, weddings, births and the death of a loved one. Although I’ve made new connections, I can’t help but feel some of my existing ones have suffered.
I don’t believe that friends are people you necessarily talk to on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. I do believe, however, that a good friend is someone you can call up and no matter how much time has passed it’s like you haven’t skipped a beat. You just perhaps have more to talk about.
Most of my readers aren’t people I know very well personally but for those of you who I do know personally, I’d like to say I’m sorry.
I’m not sorry for living in the moment, because that’s awesome. I am sorry, however, that I’m not always around for the ‘moments’ (physically or otherwise) of my loved ones. I’ll try and be better about that.
Travel the world. Fall in love. Get caught up in the moment.
Just don’t forget that you exist outside of the ‘moment’. You exist in other people’s day to day, even if you aren’t always physically there.