Watch your mouths. Sometimes you tell people things that will change them, haunt them, change their life and echo all the way through it. I guess most of us have experienced such casual or more personal words. Quite often, the person uttering them is clueless about the way they affect you, go right inside you, or even pinpoint your very soul.
Here's a short post about one such time for me: it was 2013 and I was in Lapland. Or, rather, just out of Lapland. Yes, this detail is relevant to the present story: out of Lapland meant back. It meant south of the Arctic circle. It meant, for me at that specific time, the greyish zone between "Home" and "Actually Away".
We had spent the morning in Jukkasjärvi, wandering through a huge traditional market / garage sale. We went to the Sami center and met an old German guy there. He was a former professor, who someday had packed his things and joined the Sami people living in this area. When I told him I taught, he got interested in our long summer journeys.
I told him how every year, we planned our grand summer travel.
How every spring, we were browsing through our equipment and carefully planning our itinerary. How every winter, we were buying our plane tickets and fooling around with maps on the floor, Earth globes and mugs of hot cocoa. How every fall, we were reminiscing our summer away (actually away). And finally, how every year we were earning money and carefully scheduling our work load and doing extra hours to start saving for the summer after next summer. I told him, in fact, how every single day of the school year was headed toward this moment: that summer morning or night when we would strap our backpacks around our hips and shoulders, lock the door and leave for a 2-months journey around the world.
I smiled. He frowned. He said:
But then, this is not good. Those 10 other months... this is your life.
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