My dad came to visit me in Spokane a couple weekends ago. Normally there is a distance of about 7500 miles or so between us, but now when he got to travel to this part of the world for his job he could make the extra trip to come and spend some time with me.
Living in another country far away from family and a culture that you feel more comfortable in brings many challenges. I have spent almost two and a half years in USA and visiting Sweden occasionally during a couple of my brakes in between semesters. The longer I stay and invest here away from my family and friends in Sweden the more I notice that I am not able to share and live life alongside them in the same manner as I used to. After I’m done with school here I will not have lived in Sweden for five years. These are five years of when I only occasionally could catch up and invest closely with those that I used to spend a lot of time with. It feels like there will be a five year “gap” when I move back (permanently or more hopefully temporarily) when I have lived away from those who again will be close to me.
This “gap” of time may seem like a time with people that is lost and cannot be retained. This is true in a sense, but it also comes with a lot of blessings. Perhaps I will develop those thought a little more in the future, but for now I would like to express a thought that now and then crosses my mind. When you bounce from place to place, from continent to continent, from home to home, it is easy to forget the place you just left when you are fully occupied in the life you just entered into again. Sometimes it is as if you aren’t sure what the place you left actually means to you. Sometimes it seems so distant in time and space that you feel very separated from it. Sometimes I am struck with a sense of loneliness because of this. There is really no person who will be able to understand my experiences that I go through since no one from one place will know me in the context of the other.
Then, when a person who is from one spectrum of life steps into my other spectrum, something happens. When there is a person who can see you in more than one part of your life, a bridge is built over the gap of separation. I find it incredibly valuable when a person enters my life that I have on this side of the gap who originally belongs in the past life I had where I first came from. These visits, although they do not occur very often, narrows the two worlds of mine and builds a bridge between them, reminding me that they actually do both exist simultaneously and that they are both a vital part of me. Equally so, all parts of life separated by space and time seem to get woven together more to actually form one story. This story develops from being a collection of random and scattered chapters to having a clearer story line with one common thread running through every chapter.
I hope this was not too confusing to relate to, but I think many of those of you who read can relate. Something I see clearer through experiences when my dad or other people come and visit is how valuable companionship is. Even though this visit was only a couple days long, it is still significant. To have people who are loyal enough to encourage and be with you through any aspect in life is worth so much.