"You take a snapshot of your life
the last time you leave someplace, and,
I don't know, it's dumb,
but you think it's never gonna change."
[Party of Five]
For the past two months in Colombia I felt ecstatic at the idea of coming home for the holidays. I couldn't wait to board that plane back to Minnesota and spend "the happiest season of all" with my friends and family. I was excited for good friends, good conversation and that warm, fuzzy feeling that reminds you that distance doesn't mean anything when compared to life-long friendships.
In fact, I was so [naively] insistent upon this fact that I finished my family's 2010 Christmas letter with these words:
"Looking around I realized that these people sure don’t look like the ones from Christmas card photos past, but we remain forever connected in a way that truly only we will ever understand. So in 2010 that’s what I learned about time and distance – that your mom might not make your lunch everyday and you might not wake up the sound of your dad’s coffee maker but it doesn’t mean they are any less a part of you than they always were. Your family is your family and you are inevitably tied together by the memories you have from then, and from now."
I wrote that at the beginning of December when I could not wait to be back in Minnesota. Exactly halfway through my twelve day vacation here I frequently wonder what I was thinking. Why do we romanticize the past? Why do I think I have all these great relationships to come home to? Why do I keep trying to pretend that we all still matter to each other more than jobs, more than money, more than significant others or potential significant others, more than selfish pride? I mean, yes, some relationships are as good as they have always been and I love them and appreciate them more than I can ever express in writing. However, a distinct several are nothing like they once were.
Turns out time does change everything. So does distance. And you can't pretend you're 13 again and none of it matters. Cause it does. It matters a hell of a lot.
So in summary....Merry Christmas. This year I learned that Thomas Wolfe may have known a thing or two about life when he said you can't go home again.
Hurray for life lessons, growing up and adulthood.