Sunday, February 1, 2015

Making the Effort of Staying Connected

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” Herman Melville

After having picked up my life and re-established myself in a different country enough times than I care to count, it almost feels I have lived several lives.  Every posting has had its good and not so good experiences, but they all have enriched my life.  The most rewarding experiences, however, have been the opportunities I've had to make friends along the way.

Which brings us to the topic of today's post: It's All About Connections.  I'm not talking about professional networking, which is extremely important in any field, but I'm more interested in the personal connections we've made with those whom we've crossed paths along this #expat #life.

Last week I read an interesting article on the cause of addiction, which suggested that the cure to substance abuse is far more attainable when working with addicts to help them find bonds with people instead of with drugs.  An interesting approach.  But if "bonding" with one another can affect us in such a way as to make us determine if our life is worth living -sober, what does this nomad life do to us?  Can leaving our friends every few years break the bonds we've created along the way?

All those who have relocated know the pain caused by leaving friends behind, but I want to believe that having lived my adult life moving around has forced me to make more connections throughout my life.  Some can argue these may be weaker connections than those made by a lifetime of being in one place, but I can honestly say I have friends spread out around the world.  No matter where life takes me next I can count on the fact that friends will put me in contact with their connections if it's not that I personally know someone already there. And if making bonds with people is so important, the more bonds you create the better off you'll be, right?

Staying connected today is a breeze compared to what it was in the pre-internet days.  But still, maintaining friendships with those who've entered your life takes time and effort.  We also have to take into consideration that it is our responsibility to help our children keep their connections, think about it as a duty you acquired when you signed them up for this lifestyle.  So make a point of visiting old friends when you go back home or when you travel. And what can be better than seeing someone again after a long hiatus and catching up?

Today I had lunch with an old friend, and let me tell you it has refreshed my spirits.  To all those who move around for a living, my humble advise is: make the effort, keep your connections.

Arrivederci for now,

No comments:

Post a Comment