Sometimes I wake up and forget where I am. I forget just how far away I am from those that pull most on my heart strings, those who have known me through so many seasons of my life.
I have these moments sometimes throughout my day-to-day where I have a flash of memory of some shared moment with a friend or non-notable corner of town I’ve often run past and I feel, for a moment, that I could just step outside my door here and be there. And then, like suddenly awaking, I recall that I’m thousands of miles, and a fraction day ahead on the time zone line from all of that.
But this is what happens when you go chasing after something grand and scary. Something you’ve dreamed of but also feared. Something which feels right but is also so…so very hard. There is distance – geographical and more.
Sometimes I wake up from my work, from my academic routine here, and forget utterly where I am. I feel that I must be asleep because surely I cannot actually be here, doing this writing business, this PhD thing, at last? Surely not. Impossible. Dreamlike.
I forget just how distant I am from other versions of myself. These versions aren’t dead, they are just on a shelf somewhere. The “I work outside” version of myself. The “I write poetic prose” version of myself. Those are selves that won’t always be on shelves. But, I forget how distant they are sometimes. I miss them like old friends I haven’t seen in awhile.
I wish it were possible to divide yourself. To be both within and without such moments and in multiple places at once. To be your multiple selves at once (but perhaps there is a season for that too, where the you that is You is multiple facets in one…at last. All your onion layers held together in one root vegetable).
If I may make a confession – I fear so much losing relationships I cherish. I fear it because I’ve committed to something I feel called to and feel fulfilled by, but this has called me a great distance away from relationships that so fill me, so make me who I am. What if they decay and rust and fade?
This includes the relationships with those other “selves on shelves” – I fear losing them. I fear they will wilt. I fear they were only temporary or are threads that I won’t be able to weave into the tapestry that is me.
I am not willing to accept that, and I think that says something – that I want to fight for all these relationships to remain…if there is fight, there is a very likely possibility that they can all remain rooted in one longing heart. But, I fear it just the same. I think your personal life tapestry – the various components of YOU and the others that make you YOU can be as cohesive or non-cohesive as you choose to fight for.
I know what I choose.