Saturday, May 30, 2015

Keeping your problems

For the past year or so, this saying has keep popping up in my head. It goes something like this: If everyone took all their problems and put them in a big pile, we would all take our own problems back.

One of the nice things about me being in New York is that I have many friends here. Being in Academia I have friends around the world but for some reason it turned out that I not only have some really close ones here, I also have good friends stop by and wanting to hang out with me. And you never know anyone's situation before you have actually talked face to face and then you realize that yes, you would take all your problems, including your extra five kilo, wrinkles around the eyes and money issues back. Those problems are mine to keep.

My friend asked me about how I'm dealing with being away from Zoe and I said it as it is: It's like having my arm cut off and I cry at least once per day by now. But I'm managing. She smiled compassionately and said that it must be somehow nice to also have a bit of freedom, like just being able to work a lot and see friends at any time. I looked her in the eyes and reflected on my walk over to the cafe where we met: I had overlooked a little boy, Zoe's age, screaming and crying because he wanted candy and the dad had to drag him along the sidewalk. It was clearly not a comfortable situation for either of them. And all I could think was how I wished Zoe was here, crying and screaming over not getting a doll, me not giving her more toys, candy. At least then she would be here with me. So no. Not at all. From my perspective I would gladly have her all the time including the screaming and crying, the babysitting scheduling, the bringing to work, the flying to conferences. This is obviously easy for me to say because fact is that Zoe is probably the most well-behaved 5 year old girl in the world and our tifs are tiny and rare. But no. As much as I take advantage of being here on my own now and go out as much as I can, it merely covers up the numbness in my stomach and distracts me. 26 more days. 

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