As I am sitting behind my desk at home, sipping on a warm tea, my eyes slowly drift to an old picture hanging on my wall. It’s a picture of me and family sharing pizzas in a restaurant in my village. The picture has a very low resolution and we are all awkwardly raising our glass of wine to whomever is taking the shot.
This picture depicts a subtle, simple moment in life that I, like millions upon millions of humans on Earth have not been able to experience in years. It’s 3 o’clock here, 9 PM there and I can’t help but think that my dear ones, my brothers, my father, my grandparents have probably all had supper and are unwinding for the night. Now would be a good time to catch them up and give them a call.
However I do not call, because I do not want to bother, or because I feel like there is nothing new or exciting that I can share. Every day feels the same, with lots of work, Netflix binges, food prepping, and cleaning the house. Should we keep on having the same conversation over and over again, or should we spread our calls to catch up only when we have collected enough event to share a small list ? I tend to drift away because I do not want to interrupt whatever routine they had set for their evening.
The irony is that I fear being disconnected, missing out the small moments, the micro memories that we would all build together if we could reunite. I know of families living in the same country that haven’t hugged in two years, or haven’t even seen each other either, but I am still hesitant to pickup the phone.
Having my family living in another continent makes it harder, because the only feasible way to see each other is to take an 8 hours + plane trip. As a side note, it makes me wonder of the future, when airplanes will probably be too nasty or too expensive for expats to use. What will our lives look like then ? Will we ever have to say goodbye forever to our families in exchange for the chance of a brighter future in another country like settlers ages ago?
I know lots of us feel the dreadful weight of disconnection. For the past two years, we have been communicating in a crisis mode. Conversations were shortened and kept light. We might have hidden our true feelings to our dear ones to not let them worry, knowing damn well that with such distance there…