“Can miles truly separate you from friends….If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?”
– Richard Bach
I was thinking about this quote, and to some extent, I agree. Though largely I disagree.
Two months ago I moved from Sydney, Australia and I have been living in San Francisco with my husband Dave, and his business partner, also called Dave. (Dave squared as I like to call them). It was two months ago that I left my family and friends and went to a place where I knew no-one.
I am more than grateful for technological advances such as Skype, where at a moments notice you are back in the familiar living rooms, having face to face time with the ones you love.
The past two months have been an exciting, scary, exhilarating and joyous time. To be honest, it has been one of the best things I have ever done. From learning new cultures and idiosyncrasies, finding my way around while driving on the other side of the road to changing my name from “Amba” (as the Aussies would say it) to “AJ” so I am not asked 3 times in an awkward introduction what my name actually is.
On the other hand, it’s been a time of looking at friendships new and old and seeing who has ‘stuck around’. For those of you who have lived abroad, you will know this time that comes. The people who you thought would be around forever and would be in contact each and every day seem to be distracted with their day to day lives, and if you’re not there with a thumb in their diary, you become an after thought.
Then there are the wonderful surprises, which are the people who you thought were good acquaintances but you never realized the impact you had on these people. I have had 3 or 4 of these moments. Be it a Skype call, emails back and forth or just a note “I’m thinking of you”. These have been such a beautiful thing in my life over the past two months.
Then, thirdly, there is a soul mate. This is where I can agree and disagree with Richard’s sentiments. Yesterday at 11:00am there was a feeling inside of me that I haven’t been able to experience over the past two months. This was the time that I saw my bestest friend walk through the arrival terminal at the airport. She was no longer a smiling face on my computer screen, no longer an email or words on a page. There is something about that moment when you are face to face and in the flesh that can’t be replaced or bridge those distant miles. There was never any question about the distance and whether the friendship would sustain itself. There is that quiet contentment that through thick and thin, moments of joy and moments of sadness that there is someone in the world to walk this road with you. How nice it is all the more when you’re walking side by side!
There really is nothing that can replace human contact is there? Although there is technology and ‘social networking’, there’s something magical and I think irreplaceable about being face to face with the ones you love.
Are you caught in the (inter)web of social media contact? When was the last time you reached out and contacted a friend who is living away from you or meet up with a loved one face to face? Who is walking this life with you side by side?
A soul mate is…someone whose way of viewing life is not necessarily the same as yours but complements yours, so that there is not a compromise, there is a complement.