Family and Distance

I was just reading my mother’s blog. She was talking about letting go of family that is leaving, specifically me. I knew that having me leave would be hard on my family, but didn’t think to long on it. I already live 2000 miles from my parents and 2600 miles from my brother/sister/nephew. I call my parents every week, and I talk with my brother when I can (a 1 year old keeps him pretty busy). I’ll have Skype and a number that forwards to Skype, probably.

I guess that my mother likes knowing that I’m in a town that she loves, and she does love Portland but who doesn’t? Distance seems to grow farther due to borders. I guess that Terminus, Greek god of borders and roads for the lazy, still holds some power over our minds. This seems to be a fairly American concept too. Our country is so large that going over a border means great distance. In Europe two country borders might only be 200 miles. That’s a little over double the distance my mother used to commute to the college she taught at.

However the distance from my brother’s place to Mumbai is 8000 miles. I guess that she does have a point. Let me also say that my mother is super proud of me and supportive of my desire for travel. She has always encouraged me to pursue my passions, being the only mother probably ever that encouraged her son to stop being an engineer and pursue a job as a craft bartender. I pointed out that being an engineer paid more, and she pointed out that it wasn’t that much more. Long story short I did not become a craft bartender, but it illustrates how my mother isn’t afraid to buck the mold.

My brother is much more centered these days in his 30’s with a wife, a kid, and now a house. However he is taking his summers as a teacher and writing a book. He told me not to hold onto my itinerary too tightly and welcome unexpected invitations to do random things. He also told me that if I needed to come back to the states that I could stay with them. That’s always a nice offer to have on the table. We don’t talk as much as we used to, but I still consider him a close friend. He’s also much better on Skype then he is on the phone, so that might end up working out for the best.

I also have all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I mostly correspond with them via email and Facebook, so those relationships won’t change that much. I’m also going to try to get them to come out and visit.

I guess if you aren’t in the same city as people then the amount of distance becomes arbitrary. Especially with the asynchronous nature of most modern communication (ie. text, email, social media).