Yesterday I had lunch with a dear friend, she is moving back to Curaçao. She has had it with the hectic life in Miami and decided, very wisely, that she should go home. Now, for me, home is where I am at the moment. This is the result of having lived most of my life away from the country of my birth. Understandably, I am jealous. We all want to go back, at one point, don’t we? but go back where? to find what? and why?
For generations, people used to stay in their own countries, the same city, town, village. There was no moving far, no marrying foreigners or studying abroad. That is a world long gone. Nowadays, we move from here to there, marry into other cultures and move to other countries for work. Where we are born, where we live or where we work are completely different places, for some the last two change constantly. So how do we keep family and friends close? and it is possible?
For years, I have followed: Nomadic Matt. A blog by a young man from Boston who has traveled around the world documenting his adventures. He said he has made friends everywhere, shared experiences with so many during the years he has traveled the world; but doesn’t want to go back to those places thinking to relive the experiences or meet the same people. Going back, in that sense would be like chasing ghosts, he writes. I understand this, so clearly: you cannot go back, make it as it was, no matter how hard you try.
When you moved around, leaving your own country and becoming a citizen of the world, you keep some friends, always. The ones that you can share your secrets with, the ones you have fun with, the ones you can cry with. They are always there, in your heart, and you miss them. When you meet them, you pick up the thread of your lives with ease. Of course, you remember the others you met along the way, the ones that are glad to see you when you visit and whose company you enjoy when you meet. You are glad for what you shared, but do not miss them….not really. There are also the ones you remember occasionally, but never see again.
Then it is the matter you know so well: out of sight, out of mind. The same thing happens to you. For many, you become the one friend people miss and think of fondly. The one they want to keep in touch with. For others, you’re the one people remember at times, the one they are glad to see only occasionally. You have no control over this, it’s just how it is. The only thing that is certain is that for most people you have met, you become a ghost. As they become ghosts for you! How truthful…..
Talking to Joan, I realized this is happening again! It is a cycle and it repeats itself in our lives. Our friends move away, or we move away. We get involved in our new home and we make a new life. Our friends will do the same, it’s just how it is. So if you are chasing ghosts, remember that we cannot recreate what we had…even home will feel new! It is all part of this life we have chosen. So home is where we make it! We must enjoy everything when it happens, then keep the memories, share them, treasure them. They enrich our lives like nothing else.