Passing Ships

“Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.”

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Life is all about making decisions. We never stop making decisions until the day the curtain closes for good. Some require little thought, while others are life changing. Choosing to uproot my life was a relatively easy decision for me despite the obvious drawbacks. I feel a sort of freedom I haven’t felt in years, I am free to go anywhere the wind blows; nothing and no one tie me down. Yet, the life I have chosen for myself isn’t always an easy one. Sometimes it’s a lonely one.

I have always been what you’d call a “people person.” Despite all their flaws, I just love the shit out of people. People are wonderful. I love marveling at the total coincidence of our crossing paths. Most of them lead such different lives as me, come from so many different places, speak different languages, have vastly different pasts and futures, and yet here we doing the same thing, in the same place, at the same time. Getting to learn about their lives and hear their stories, a small part of me falls in love with every new person I meet. I love the role, small or large that they play in my life and the role I get to play in theirs. Working jobs like this, you meet so many people and you see them everyday. I see the same people at every meal, when I’m working, in my free time, and on my days off. In this place, these people are much more than my coworkers and friends, the have become my family. They become a constant; the backdrop of my life. And then suddenly, they’re just gone. One at a time, they move on to the next grand adventure of their lives. Their time in my life is profound, yet brief. I have talked to so many people that do the same kind of work I do and most have experienced this intense kind of friendship and loss. Some choose to embrace the fleeting nature of it all, to open themselves up to every possible relationship and experience. Others choose to close themselves off and shut things out because they know what’s coming; they have done this many times before.

Sometimes I feel like it would be easier if I lived my life like this second group of individuals, but if you know me at all, you know I couldn’t if I tried. I choose to be open and experience the good with the bad. I choose to embrace each impermanent situation in my ever-changing life.  It won’t always be easy, but I stick by my decision to live my life on the go despite the pangs of loss I’ll feel each time my ship passes another on the ocean of life.


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