I’ve had a lot of distance in the last couple of weeks; distance from home, work, friends and family. But I’ve also had some great proximity to things like relaxation, lack of responsibility, and that familiar feeling of Kinsey’s friendship. It’s been both a great couple of weeks and then also not so great. I find it so intense that when placed in the middle of experiencing two extreme emotions at the same time it happens to be the same time that I can pull back and examine things and my relation to them. It’s a whole new location to gain some fairly large perspective on life.
Being away allotted me time to examine things like the path I am on job/career wise and how I might need to make adjustments to get where I’d like to be in the future. Things like that I left with a grandmother and returned without her and what that means for my family and I. Losing grandparents is a natural thing and it wasn’t that her passing was sudden or unexpected but it’s still a heavy thing to experience regardless. Particularly when you are separated from your family by states and hundreds of miles. While her passing was not sudden or surprising it’s still a heavy thing to acknowledge that it has actually happened and now our world has to go on without her. Having both grandparents gone now puts a whole new spin on things. My grandparents were the twin pillars that kept our immediate family standing, kept us all really connected so now we have to see how we handle ourselves without them around.
Another thing I discovered is that I have been using them as an excuse, not a major one but I think somewhere in the back of my head I didn’t want to get too far away and try to start a “real life” in case they got really sick or passed and I wouldn’t be able to make it back. There was some attachment there that I never realized or acknowledged but now I see that I held on to it as a reason, that wasn’t a financial one, to stick close to home. And I think the distance from the situation allowed me to see that and also see that given a little more time and hard work I can really move away cause mom has always expected it of me and will be able to travel and see me wherever I end up but that was never going to be the case with them. Saying a final goodbye to grandma is going to be a big event that could be the start of a course change on my path in life.
Seeing a friend in such an adult role was a good kick in the pants too. I am anxious for when my life resembles that, although it is likely to be totally different from Kinsey’s since I can’t even fathom doing the impressive things she does as a career but I can’t wait to have that in a job that I love and enjoy. How or when I will get there is still very much in the air but it was nice to get an example of what it can look and feel like. I think I was starting to lose hope that it was possible or likely for me given I feel a little stuck in a rut with the routine I am living, unaware just how despondent I was getting until I took this trip to get away from the routine and my typical surroundings. It was refreshing to be reminded and provided a little bit of that hope and dreaming I had misplaced.
Being in a stationary location isn’t even the best thought-provoking motivator. Never do I get more meta about life than when I am traveling. Something about airports and flying over places gets me thinking about how this world is made up of so many people with such varying stories. Flying down I sat next to a guy who was as nice as can be asking me about my trip, my degree, and my future plans and equally shared stories about his trip and what he does. I didn’t even get a name but I noticed he was reading a book on Barcelona and so I started thinking up a story for why he was; a future trip? A far-fetched dream that kept him going? Or maybe he just felt like learning about a foreign city. But I’ll never know if he gets there since I won’t see him ever again; and even still that doesn’t mean his story doesn’t go on existing and moving forward.
Another young man on that flight was flying for the first time and was nervous cause of his fear of heights but was also much more nervous cause at the end of his plane ride was basic training. I watched as his family tearfully said goodbye to him and as he took many deep breaths after deep breaths and it was really touching. I hope that he got to his base in South Carolina fine and that he made it through his training alright and that he can look back and smile at the fear he had while he left his home. I have no idea if he did but I like to think he did, the poor kid deserved an upturn in spirits after the nerves he dredged through to get there.
It’s like I love the window seat on planes, but most people do right? However while most people like them so they can see the view ascending and descending I love it because I love to watch as we hover at a distance close enough that I can make out cars or even sometimes people walking and wonder what are those people thinking at this exact moment? While I am up here hundreds of feet above them what is occupying their mind or their daily events? I am always curious about that anytime I fly and it’s what makes it that much more entertaining. These things that remind me why I like to tell stories; because I can get so invested in anyone’s that I want to create some that others can get as equally interested in.
Just think of the books a single plane full of passengers could fill up, even a dinky small plane like the one I was on. We had about twenty rows of three seats per row so that is roughly sixty to sixty-five people if you count pilot and crew and they range in age from young to old. Each of those people come with at least one if not tons of great stories from their lives and that is so freaking incredible it makes my jaw hurt from how wide I smile. And this is probably one of the greatest reasons I love to travel, outside of the whole traveling on its own thing.
The ability to lose myself in these thoughts for almost two weeks straight has resurrected something in me that I can’t quiet properly describe but I do know it is a good thing. I can feel it will most likely start to usher in a few changes to my life and if those changes work out like I want them to I am not able to say with confidence but it is the experience that is important. And I particularly enjoy that it is happening at the turn of seasons so it feels a little like a new start, or at least a re-start. I had eagerly anticipated this vacation because I wanted the break and I really wanted to see Kinsey cause a year a part is a stupid long time but I didn’t think I would be getting this much from it. And so now that it’s over I am excited to face my routine with a new energy and perspective. I’ll spend the next two days with my family and officially saying goodbye to my grandma but then I start to say hello to a slightly different world.