Separation Anxiety

(halloween, 2002)

It's always when something sudden and unexpected happens that I am suddenly and unexpectedly forced to face the reality of my own beliefs.

Last night I was informed that one of our best friends was up and leaving for the Gulf Coast, for an indefinite amount of time. Perhaps a few weeks, perhaps months. Perhaps we don't know what will happen to change the timeline once he gets there. He found out yesterday afternoon, we all found out yesterday evening, and now he's on a plane to Louisiana. Huzzah. No time for any sort of going-away shindig.

Colin and I have been struggling over the last few months (maybe the last few years) to balance our social, recreational lives with our careers. A typical adult problem, I realize. Colin has it worse-- he spends his days in a design studio designing things for other people. In order to work on his own art and career, he must do so during nights and weekends. (Assuming the daytime gig doesn't run over into nights and weekends itself.)

I work perpetually. I'm never really "off" unless I leave the house and go somewhere, away from my supplies, away from my computer. (Which is a lie anyway, since I'm glued to my iPhone whenever I leave the house.)

We discuss this constantly. We feel guilty, isolated, and boring much of the time, holed up in our house, working. Yet, we know that we have to make a choice. We know we cannot do both all the time. We have to focus on our careers at some point, otherwise we never will. We were available constantly for "socializing" at other points in the last decade, and consequently we didn't get very much work done. Nowadays we enjoy working, and enjoy the ways in which our lives are changing because of it. Our goals are different, and we look forward to accomplishing them. The process is amazing to experience.

It's an odd thing to grow up.

We have been better about balance lately. We've had a very extroverted last 6 months. There were trips to take, shows to have, friends' weddings to plan, families to see, and various friends to visit. We've noted specifically that ever since we went to Yosemite the weekend of May 15th, we've seen a different set of friends every single weekend since then. Truthfully, I didn't realize I had that many friends. I feel very grateful for it.

Even so, there's always that twinge of feeling like you're missing something, especially with the group of friends we've spent the most time with over the last 10 years. We used to see them daily, then weekly, then monthly, now we're lucky if we see them once a quarter. If we can't be around all the time, then we can't be around all the time. We're okay with this, it's an understandable thing, we all have lives. It all makes sense to me and I don't usually worry about it. That is, until one of them up and leaves.

I've always been a fan of change. I encourage people to go off and leave the nest and fly far, far away. It's essential to life. I'm thrilled when people do so. I'm thrilled for Kevin, and I think this adventure in his life is going to be awesome. I'm both proud of him for taking this step and excited to see what will happen.

Yet I still find myself shocked, and wish that maybe, somehow, some way, I'd found time to be around more. I wish there was an indefinite amount of time in my life that would allow me to do everything and see everyone and be everywhere.

I really am happy for us all growing up. I love watching us all change. It's beautiful.

2 comments:

TheNikiProject said...

Ah, I know how you feel. It's always bittersweet when everyone grows up and away. I remember being young and thinking about how much I love my family and spending time with them, and I thought that I would always be able to be there. But, I grew up, got a job where I work weekends and moved closer to my job, which means further away from family. It's sad, but part of life. And it always makes me look forward to seeing them.

shayla said...

I'm usually the one who's always talking about moving away, pouring through the Hawaii craigslist ads, and scheming with my husband about how to put our future move-away-from-Orange-County plans into action.

Ironic.

... :o)