Every morning when I get up, after I make my coffee, I go out onto the patio . I’ve told you before about how much I love to sit outside and soak up all this crazy beauty that I now call ‘HOME”(big smile here!) . Well, don’t worry, I wont get into that again, at least not right now. But , one thing that I always seem to do first thing in the morning, as soon as I sit down is turn on my iPad and look to see if anyone from my former life in California has made any type of connection with me. I first check my email, then my Facebook, then my blog comment section, then I go to my favorite game on my iPad,Words With Friends, where I always have at least ten or fifteen friends from California who consistently play a word in the night while I’ve slept. It’s a silly little thing, I know, but my non-stop Scrabble games make me feel as though at least a few people have me on their mind (at least they have kicking my butt at scrabble on their mind!).
When I decided to move away and pursue this adventure, to start over and begin a new life far away from all I knew and loved, I expected to miss all the people. Sigh. It’s been nearly five months and that , “missing everyone”, part of this adventure is sinking in more and more. Of course life goes on, after I’ve left. Obviously, but there are certain times when my heart aches to feel as though in time I will have drifted into such a different life that most of my friends back in California wont really be able to relate to it. I mean, I’ve already begun to sense that my life has changed and I’ve had instances when I’ve been gushing to someone about my happiness and about the changes my life has taken just from not having to work anymore, about how happy and peaceful my life is, carefree and exciting, and as I pause for their response what can they say but,”that’s nice Holly.” What do I expect? I have no idea. It’s such a new sensation to be (for lack of any other word), detached from all that used to connect me to those back home. Our lives are beginning to become so different in so many ways. Well, their lives haven’t changed much but mine is nothing it used to be. As I enthusiastically attempt to share all that I am experiencing, I pause to catch my breath and suddenly feel awkward and almost as though I’m bragging….I’m not, of course but my enthusiasm may come off that way.
While we used to be striving for such similar goals, and sharing in very similar lifestyles, we are now on very different paths. I suppose I’ll have to adapt to the reality that in the past my friendships and the connections we had with one another had in common the “present”, what we were doing “then” and “there”. And now, while we no longer share such a similar life in the ‘moment’ and similar desires for our lives in the ‘moment’, we have a shared history. This shared history will be what keeps us connected and interested in the present lives we are now living apart from one another. This is merely a shift in my connections that , as I’m writing this, is becoming more clear to me. A shift, requires a bit of an adjustment sometimes. An adjustment, for me, in how I think and feel about my connections with my friends and an acceptance of the natural shift that although it’s a change, it’s not an end. Well, when I say it’s not an “end” I should say, the dynamic of our friendships may have shifted and I’m trying to adapt and accept the feelings of a different type of connection with all my friends. So the way we connected ‘before’ I moved may be gone and I’m adjusting to a new dynamic that at times is hard for me, but in time will develop into a new kind of normal.
Whew! While there’s so many things to adapt to and get used to here in this new place I now call home, this is for me, one of the more challenging aspects. Although there are unending cultural things to adapt to, language, food, holidays,behaviors, (that list can go on an on), I must admit that navigating this different level of connectedness with those back in California and figuring out how to maintain my connections isn’t easy. Or I should say, adjusting to the way that those connections are just naturally morphing into less “close” connections, but connections that are no less “important” to me. Just another aspect of this lifestyle change that while at the moment is a bit of a heartache, I have faith will teach me something meaningful about friendships and distance that before this Adventure I never would have learned.
Dear friend, our lives have been on parallel all the years I have known you:). And we have managed to nurture our connection despite our parallel paths. It occurs for me life time friendships are real. Richard is 12 years old, in 7th grade, playing soccer and practicing TKD. I have lived as an expat and get the challenges. Please keep on sharing, stay connected. It is a matter of time when many of our lives here will ‘catch up’ to yours. In the meantime, you get to be the ‘role model’ of what is possible when you set out to have an Adventure!
BTW, Halloween is it the same without you:). Miss you lots!
I envy you, although I know that it is wrong to envy, but you know what I mean. I want to get on with a move myself (Boquete area). I am newly retired, as is my husband. I read this quote on another site, can’t remember which one, but it moved me:
Panamanians have a title for retirees, third life. Make this a third life, a break from what was breaking you into something that can mend the soul and enhance your life tremendously.
I understand what you’re saying. And, I agree that it is a different kind of connectedness with friends, especially those we have through our previous careers. We stay in touch through Facebook, and we share different interests, now. But, it will probably never be the same as it was because our lives take different directions. We try to get together when we’re back in the states. It’s difficult. I know. But, once a friend, always a friend. We can be separated by distance, years, and interests, but our hearts remain connected forever.
Holly your writing is so beautiful and eloquent! I just love the way you are expressing yourself. I feel like during this part of your journey you are blossoming into more of who you really are. I remember a time when you got out of a toxic relationship and just took off and became such an artistic, beautifully expressive woman — I loved who you were before, and then loved who you turned out to be! I think maybe this move is producing the same kinds of changes in you — I can see it in your writing and hear it in your expressiveness. I can see your smile and your eye rolls and your sighs (yes, your sighs are visible!) as I read your blog. I don’t know about all your friends, but I know that I (and probably many others) who know you and love you, will feel filled with joy that you can continue to grow throughout your life! Even those of us who don’t want to move away in order to make changes, make changes nonetheless. There are probably even those who don’t make any more changes, and hopefully they’re happy with themselves (I’ll be happy when I get to that point! Yes, still working on my silly paper… that’s another story). So, your friends and loved ones should only feel grateful that you are able to change yourself and your life so much, and become who you are meant to be. I would love to be able to see you more often, but I am happier that you are not here and you are out being totally happy! Anyways, I love you and will be totally happy when I get to meet the new you! Don’t stop talking and writing about your “happy, peaceful, carefree and exciting” life — I for one love to hear about it!
My Sweet friend and big sister, you have always been my biggest supporter! We have marched through so many tough life experiences together and I can think of no other friend or relative who I would rather have had by my side during some of those most challenging of times. Just so you know, I too have such admiration for the way you persevere and follow your heart in order to be the You that you want to be. I’m always so proud of you and the accomplishments you work so hard to achieve. You and Mariah are the two most amazing blessings that came out of that yucky relationship, and so I can never regret having gone through that . Your the BEST! Thanks for loving me so much. H
Awww! Tears streaming!! Sniff sniff…
Have to weigh in on this one Holly. If you moved to Marin County, back East or to LA. Same thing Distance does separate us and one has to work hard to regularly stay in touch. You will find weeks can easily slip into months and then holidays with simple card. Also I wouldn’t say retirement but change of lifestyle. Retirement is for old people who have been pushed out to pasture Awful thought! See Liz this week Get to catch up on diving/rock climbing/ travels and that python that is outgrowing home
Sorry for my I-Finger typos