An ending connection
A mixture of thoughts, quotes from a book I recently read, and self-reflection.
Lately, I find myself stopping, watching out the window like I’ve seen my grandfather do over the years. I can remember time after time sitting in silence with him while he gazed out, lost in the Coulee region nature. Every once in a while he will look back at me, smile and we connect. We will sit in silence staring into each other’s eyes maybe nod to each other a few times until we go back to watching out the window. I can’t explain the bond we have. Our bond is one where no words need to be exchanged for us to be comfortable in that moment. Together. It feels like we are having a conversation without words. I always felt like that was enough.
“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”
I just feel like we always connected on a different level–we appreciated who each other grew into being. Our relationship has changed over the years in so many ways. The roles truly are reversed. A man that once helped me buckle up in the car is now getting my help. The one who always left the mess is now getting cleaned up after. I am now the one telling him he can’t eat all sweets for food. I am so thankful for the connection that we have created. These precious moments shape us. In this experience I find change.
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”
I honestly got so caught up in the rat race the last years. I worked so hard to impress this man. I watched him work over the years, and as my main male role model, I only wanted to deserve the smile he gave me. He never asked it. There was never any pressure. I am finding solace in these simple moments together. It sounds so typical. To grow. To start a race only to find that the race was never about the finish line, but who was on the sideline rooting for you, and the people that invested in your growth along the way. My 20’s by far were the start of my race. At the gates. Waiting to run. After plenty of time preparing myself for the professional life I was finally let loose. Starting out was great. You focus on the finish. You got this. The only problem is that when you are in the middle of all this, it is so easy to get caught with tunnel vision. Focusing on a number, a goal, etc. Losing focus on what is really important; what life is really about. What life is really about. Things like the people around you, how they impacted your life. Maybe I will get first, maybe I’ll get second. Does it matter? What matters? Is it about the finish? Or is it about the connections that were made up until that point? It is so very hard for me to think about it all at this point in my life. What do I know? I am nearly 30. The one thing I know is that I dont want to regret losing out on an opportunity to be with the people around me. Especially when it comes down to the limited time I have with some people.
“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”
Having a connection with my grandfather has taught me how to have connections with others. Right now I can rely on the close bond I have with my grandfather, but eventually, that will end. At some point, I will lose him. If it’s one tenth as hard as losing my grandmother, I fear it.
“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival because life is the moment we’re living now.”
A few things my 20s brought to me:
//Look out the window. See what’s around you. Be with what’s around you. Emersed in people, places, and things. It is so typical to say “put your phone down” but it’s more than that. I am not trying to talk negatively of social media, or technology. I am all for it. If not for it I would not have this picture that I know will be a staple to my grieving process. In reality, take the picture but be ready to live in it yourself.
//In growing into your dreams you will only progress the people around me.
//Travel. As always. But in reality. I show my grandfather things he will never see. Places he wished he went. He shares stories about how he tried, but my grandmother did not want to travel.
//Experience everything. It’s a must. It’s what we are here for. Our experiences shape us. Whether it be something with a person, a place, or a slice of pizza.
//It has always been about people connection. What we do for others, and who we become on our way to our dreams.
//Drink the beer, and eat the sweets. Make sure there is a balance. My grandpa didn’t drink due to my grandmother’s fear that he would turn into an alcoholic like her father. Now that my grandpa is on blood thinners, the Doctor does not recommend drinking alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing drinking, but I think you gather the main emphasis of the statement. On the other side of it. Manage your health. Eat the sweets, but then maintain a healthy diet. His sweets addiction has caused him to have diabetes, and now it is risky for him as it can increase his chance of a stroke.
//Be more impulsive. If you like something, go get it. If you want it, work towards it. There can be power in impulsivity. Act (obviously without violating others, laws, etc.).
//Be less apologetic. Simple as that.
//Search out relationships that only need a smile and silence.
All quotes― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist