The Perks of Proximity
Being close is cool. Suddenly I can chat in the evening when it’s also the evening for family and friends gathered together today to celebrate us all being in the U S of Blessed A. Suddenly West Coast chums are watching the sun go down just as I am, even if it’s from California instead of Washington.
I’ve heard before that travel makes the world seem smaller. Maybe it’s my years of travel that make me giddy to be so close with those I love who are still not actually here in my new state.
Thank you, Skype, for existing. You made it possible for me to live abroad and stay in touch(ish) without those now antiquated 47-digit phone cards that Justin and I used to rely on for our once a month updates. Thank you, WhatsApp, for letting me communicate and also sound like a pot head juvenile when I say your name. Thank you, FaceTime, for encouraging others to surprise me with a ring-a-ding-video call when I inevitably look like the east end of a west-bound horse. Thank you, e-mail. You led us to create the Book of Momalard and Lizaleise when I first moved to college. You supplied immigration with enough proof of a Real Relationship while apart to score JD a Green Card. You provide a bridge between hand-written letters and c u 2morO asinine texts. Thank you, fax, for trying so hard. Thank you, even, to the aforementioned tricky international phone cards, for being just long enough to have dissuaded me from calling long distance when I probably shouldn’t have, and just expensive enough to let receivers know how much they meant to me. In other words, this is the best time in the history of the world to be far away from loved ones.
But it’s still better to be close to them.
That’s an insensitive sentence considering how many of my nearest and dearest remain un-near, some all the more un-near because of this move. The Lawrence’s remain equally far; the Vietnamese Friendly Friends are no longer neighbors; the Michiganders still have the Continental Divide to over-wagon (but are nearer nonetheless). But it is nice to be close(r) to at least some of the people I love. And all the better to know the one I love the most arrives in T-minus two weeks.
Hip, hip, high-five hooray! JD is 12-days away from being on his way!
In the meantime, I’m celebrating by having straight up phone calls with not one, not two but three of my best girlfriends (and my best brother) this week. That’s right – it was just a simple pick-up-and-dial situation. And suddenly they were there in real time; one, three hours ahead of me, the second, two hours ahead, the third in actual, same time zone. People from Michigan can visit with a – get ready for it – DIRECT FLIGHT, even drive if they have the time and the desire to see Glacier along the way. I wish my whole family – American, South African, soon-to-become-Australian could be so near because the perks of proximity are proving positively preferable.
To continue the alliteration, the “p”aradox of our situation has always been that JD and I love that we each love our families, love that we love each other’s and love that they love the other. But when families reside on different continents, proximity can only accommodate one hemisphere at a time.
To further complicate, my/our West Coast landing locale might seem confusing since. For normal people, this is far away from both homes. But when travel time has gone from 24 hours by plane to 24 hours by car, the Midwest seems suddenly more near the actual west than the mid. And multiple-full-length feature flying time remains normal to RSA. The Vietnamese Friendly Friends are missed on a daily basis. But the proximity to others so well loved is so well awesome.
Proximity is subjective, but the perks of proximity are promising.