Last week, my husband came home with a package. After tearing off the brown paper, I opened a beautiful, decorative, handmade sign for our home. Someone who I’ve never met, who has never seen my world, took the time to make it for me. I couldn’t believe her kindness and generosity. And so I began thinking about so many of you, you whom I’ve never met. You who email, comment, and encourage. This is for all of you.
To You Whom I’ve Never Met….
I read your messages and I alternate between weeping and laughing. We share so much – yet we’ve never met. From boarding school tears and laughs to awkward first days in our passport countries it is like we are brothers and sisters.
And yet – we’ve never met.
We know the joy of international terminals, and the tears of the word ‘goodbye.’ We share the cynicism that overpowers when we confront narrow world views and the fresh breeze that comes of kindred spirits communicating. We know what it is to grow up too quickly and yet be considered immature in many ways. We don’t have a clue what it would be to stay in the same place for life and yet we partially envy it.
We share all these things – and yet we’ve never met.
I receive your emails and your messages, your tweets and your texts. We might share our thoughts through a couple words, or through long paragraphs that detail our stories. No matter – there is a common thread that binds us.
We come from places of faith and places of doubt, from different countries and political persuasions, but something binds us together.
We know what it is to live in a world between, we know what it is to communicate across boundaries. Whether those boundaries be in our back yard or across the ocean, we navigate them regularly and learn through the hard and the easy.
And yet, we’ve never met.
Others of you have stayed in the same place all your lives. Yet, you read and connect with my words with warmth and empathy. You encourage me to be settled but not stagnant, to love places that are near and far.
Thank you. For being a part of this journey; for living between worlds so well; for being okay with home not always being a ‘place’; for laughing at the funny and crying at the difficult; for loving the world and understanding negotiation; for getting what it is to be ‘other’ and using that to make a difference. Thank you for being the third culture kid, global nomad, and lover of the world that you are.
Maybe someday we’ll meet, but until we do, I’m grateful.
And Jenn Sforza, thank you for my beautiful sign!