With the possibility of an imminent move (please God) I’ve been pondering relationships a lot lately. I’m a visual person so when something makes sense to me it usually does so visually. Thus the following visual metaphor.
Living in a place usually means we develop “roots” – social connections within a community that tie us to the people there. Of course, we’re born with certain familial connections as well. When someone in your family or a close friend moves away, they “root” in a new place and community and when they come back for a visit, it’s like they’ve become “transparent” – you can see them and talk to them but they’re not really there. They’re back in their new community in every way that counts except for the temporal aspect of their visit. The same thing happens when you move away and then go “home” for a visit – “home” isn’t really home anymore.
We’ve been in a somewhat unusual situation the last year. We’ve been living in the same place for 3 years and have developed some roots (some were familial and already here); however, since we’ve decided to move for schooling things have changed. We’ve become somewhat transparent. With our thoughts occupied by a new place we have forgotten or chosen not to “root” – “Let’s skip the BBQ this year”, “I don’t think I can commit to that since we don’t know if we’ll be moving” and so on. Conversely, the community has stopped seeing us as well. We are not called for this or that simply because in their minds we are already gone in a way so even though we are still here, we have become transparent. Surprise when they see us: “Oh, I thought you’d moved already”, “Why are you still here?”; none of it malicious but each time it points out that we are not really part of the community anymore….which makes us more eager than ever to move to the new community, where we can become “real” again.