I learned a very valuable lesson today and I wanted to pass it along. Just because you do not see someone all the time, it does not mean that you (or they) have been forgotten. Case in point: I am leaving in about six days to start my Epic Journey and my lovely and beautiful extended family organized a get-together to wish me well on the trip.
As a child, I attended many family reunions and always enjoyed seeing my Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. We would always have a good time and laughed a lot. There never was any drama and everyone always got along. There were no fights, like you hear happening so often.
Then life stepped in and things got complicated. People married, babies were born, jobs were taken, bills had to be paid and family reunions were put on the back burner due to everyday time constraints. I know this is just a process that happens to all families as priorities shift and free time becomes a premium. I did not see my extended family very often over the past years. Christmas cards and funerals seemed to be the common ground for a time.
Then the magic of Facebook reunited me with a couple of cousins, then more were friended. Then there was a forum that we found to re-connect and become involved in each other’s lives again. It was great. As my trip started to come to life, my lovely family stood behind me and offered their support. A group of us met today and even though many (many) years had passed; it was actually like no time had passed. We hugged and kissed and laughed and talked about everything. It was purely magical.
I realized on the way home, talking with Mike, that bonds that strong do not just simply go away. They continue, maybe dustier than before, but they stay strong. I have many friends from a past job that I have also kept in contact with and when we meet it is the same…like we still see each other every day.
Growing up, I loved and adored my older sister (I still do by the way). She was ten years older than me and she made the decision to go into the Air Force when she turned 17 (almost 18). She left home when I was young. She traveled the world and lived several places abroad. Her life was the life I lived vicariously through. I could never have done the things she did and her strength inspired me to believe I could take my trip now. The point is we have not seen each other a lot over the years, but yet when we talk or email (sometimes that is all we have time for), it is like we have never been apart. That is amazing to me the bonds humans have.
Today, I realize just how blessed I am to have family and friends who truly care about me and whom I care for in return. Time passes, but those bonds do not pass. Today we have unique opportunities for reconnecting and I now realize the value that those opportunities hold. As my trip progresses, I want to keep in touch with my loved ones as I realize this trip is not just a solo journey as I originally thought, but a journey involving many more people than I ever imagined; some I have known all my life and some I have yet to meet. I get it now; I used to think if you did not see someone that they were out of your life. I could not have been more wrong. Minor pauses, if you will, are all the time apart is. Today I vow to turn off the pause button in my life and really start re-connecting with loved ones, friends, myself and God.
Thank you for listening!