I am writing this piece while sitting on a bus in Dublin, Ireland, making my way to the famous seaside attraction known as the Cliffs of Mohr. It is early morning, the sun just barely beginning to creep up, and I am lost in my thoughts and emotions. It is going to be a beautiful day no doubt, witnessing one of the world’s most renowned natural phenomenons in the best conditions possible. However I am not esctatic, as I usually am.
The trip costed 40 euro, but that is not why I remained restless in my bed the previous night, indecisive until an hour before the bus departed. I remained restless because I am utterly in love with two of my friends.
Their flight was a day before mine, so I had a full day to myself. Leaving for the cliffs, an entire day excursion, meant leaving them before their flight departed.
Why was it such a tough decision, you may ask? Because the alternative of being with them for a few more hours meant being alone the entire day. Travelling solo, in a foreign country, with no security or cushion of joy that a group of friends so rightfully supplies.
The fact that I fell in love with these two people is not surprising. They are amazing in every aspect of their being. I admire them, find joy in them, and can seek comfort through them, and just the thought of our friendship opens my mind and brightens my mood. The truth is, I have fallen in love with every single one of the friends I have met abroad. It is something that seems to occur regardless of my intentions. Whether I have been extraordinarily lucky in consecutively meeting the most amazing people on this planet, or I have a tendency to learn to believe that the people around me are wholly wonderful, the facts are there: I fall in love.
And so it follows that I am heartbroken. My heart is strewn across the earth because I cannot mend the fact that it is impossible to spend every waking moment with the people I adore. My body trembles and aches at the reality that says separation from those you love is an inevitable and reoccuring experience in life.
And even though I am able to grasp the fact that I will see these two people within a week, that all of my loving friends back home in Sweden are just a day’s comfort away, and all those I love at home in the states are still alive and breathing, I left for my trip across Ireland in a state of utter shock and grief. Shock at how horrible I felt, physically, and how drained I felt, mentally. Grief at the invisible loss I had somehow experienced in the wake of a brief separation, and terror at the moments of separation that await me in the near, distant, and never-ending future.
But as I took in the quiet, lush, evergreen landscape that swallows the continent of Ireland from one coast to the other, I began to think of the past few days we spent together. Taking Christmas ornaments from various pubs around Dublin, laughing at every site and restaurant we stopped at, hiking around the coast and overlooking the village of Howth at night. I felt nothing but joy at the fact that these people existed in my life, nothing but excitement at the future moments we will share together. And that’s when I remembered a conversation we had earlier in the week.
A wise friend of mine once said, separation is the root of unhappiness.
And that is why it is so important to recognize the brilliant miracles that exist in the moments we share with the people around us.
To appreciate instead of ruminate, and trust in the knowledge that we are loved, will love, and will always be loved.
In order to take part in a life that is free from the anxiety and pains of separation, we have to redefine what separation itself means in relation to our present experience. By experiencing things separate we are able to recognize how happy we are to know these people, love these people, and interact with these people.
Instead of focusing on the time we are apart with those we love, we can choose to focus on the timeless moments we created together. The experiences, memories, and growth we indulged in side by side. And maybe then, we might realize how lucky we are. How happy we are. How little separation means, amidst the joy we made while together.
Happy to be able to share our lives with the people around us, and lucky for them to be willing to share their lives with us.