Every once in a while I look over my blog journal and pull out a theme that’s been running through my entries/notes but hasn’t quite made it into a blog post yet. Here’s what’s been lurking around lately.
Why and how does time fly by so fast? I’m looking at less than a month until I go back to the States. WHAT? WHEN did that happen? I’m not dealing with it right now. Nope. Not gonna.
I talked about it the other day with a coworker on the metro, and he said part of it has to do with the fact that we have such a long commute each day. It takes me on average an hour to get to and from work, from the moment I step out my door to the moment I walk in my office, and vice versa. That’s two hours a day. Then there are meal times. I lose about two hours a day just sitting at a table eating and talking, more or less. Okay, so there’s four hours gone. Then the eight, eight and a half hours I work. Then factor in six to seven hours of sleep. Then it takes me about an hour to get out the door from when I wake up in the morning. That leaves me with FOUR FREE HOURS each weekday. Granted, my weekends are entirely free. I have no homework. It’s amazing. But those days pass by in the blink of an eye! What gives?
(Side note 1: how do we feel about all caps? Is it an effective tool to add emphasis? Or is it cliché?)
I think it also goes by faster when you already know everything- when you’re not learning the culture, the customs, the language, the metro, the neighborhood. When you already know all of that, you cruise, and then it’s almost like living anywhere else.
So how do you let go of worrying about time? How do you really live in the present? Do you just ignore how quickly time is flying by, keep living your life the way you usually would, and then when it’s time to leave, besos, chau chau! Do you make an extra effort to take advantage of EVERYTHING to the point of exhaustion and remain hyperconscious of time? Or is it a zen vibe, where you just find the balance and somehow find yourself liberated of the pressures of deadlines and departure dates?
(Side note 2: can you tell how exhausting it can be to live in my head?)
I can already see that it’s going to be harder this time to leave. I still want to go home. I miss summer. I miss the festivals and the long days and the grilled food and the pool and running and shorts and so much more. I miss my family and my friends. But my roots got even deeper this time. It became a little bit more like real life. I built relationships here that will continue when I go home, but they won’t be the same. Don’t underestimate the importance of place to a relationship. I’m already trying to figure out when I can come back again. I wonder what a longer- as in, a year or more- stay would be like. And I ask myself what I would be willing to give up in order to make that happen.
No, dears, before anyone gets worried: I am not having a wild fling with a Chilean, I haven’t been offered a job, I have nothing to keep me here yet. But I think that these are questions that we ask ourselves when we live somewhere else, somewhere that is not “home,” for a long period of time.
One big thought that I had today while outlining this post was this: people keep on living their lives when you’re not there with them. And you must keep living yours too.
This whole concept of time and distance and growing up and what happens when they all mix together can be overwhelming for a highly analytic and hyperaware person like myself. Writing about it helps me. I truly appreciate how you all listen to my stories and stay interested in what’s happening in my life. Thank you.
Everything is great! If it weren’t, I don’t think I’d be so concerned with how quickly time is flying by. Let’s focus on the good little things to close this talk out, shall we?
The heating pad on my bed (you do not know what comfortable feels like until you rub your legs against warm sheets. It was a revelation.). Ponchos. Parkas (There’s a theme here.). Agua de hierbas. Carbonada and cazuela. Instant oatmeal (I’ve been cold, okay?). The buena onda of strangers and new acquaintances. Having neatly painted nails. Piscola. Scrambled eggs, Chilean style (I’ve almost got it down and I’m thrilled.). Warm, dry hands. New boots. Clean towels. Skype.
As always, thanks for listening. I love hearing from you, so please do not hesitate to leave a comment or a question!