Across the Universe

Delia-I packed some of my favorite movies.

Across the Universe– Because that’s how far away I feel you are sometimes.

-Sara Willis

Last month I received a care package from my dear friend Sara Willis, and one of the sets she had placed inside the box were six DVDs of movies she really liked. She had written me a letter as well, explaining why she had included each one, and of all the descriptions in her letter the one about Across the Universe has stuck with me. Because that’s how far away I feel I am sometimes too.

For my fellowship I had to write 5-6 pages of a mid-term report, letting the committee know what I have been up to and how I feel that my time has impacted me. That was a lot to get into in just those few pages. However, it was incredibly rewarding to have to sit and recall everything that had happened during my first four months in Ghana and to think about what has indeed not just happened with my project but with myself as well. And in thinking about my first four months, I have realized that my hopes have been affirmed that even when I feel as though I am across the universe, I can handle it. Sometimes I don’t handle it as well as I would like, but I still manage.

I used to wish that I could split myself up into multiple versions of myself and I could send those selves off to all the people I wanted to be near or the places I wanted to be at the moment. But I have come to realize over the years that doing that would not truly help me. We can’t always be where we want to be, when we want to be there, and whom we want to be with. During college, when I was at school I would wish I could be home for special celebrations or just on a tough day, but when I was home, I would miss my friends from school and Boston. It causes an imbalance in emotions too—sadness, fights, anger, confusion—all because we dread when a loved one will be beyond an arms length away again.

There’s always something or someone to be missed. And I revisit this topic in my blog often, because it is one of the most relevant ones to my year here in Ghana.  I often have conversations regarding this idea with my friend Mel, who has become my closest confidante for talking about these matters, since she too lives abroad. We ponder the solutions behind learning to truly live within the moment, with where you are and what is around you, instead of constantly feeling our hearts and mind elsewhere. There are many times in Ghana that I feel that I have gotten this solution right, but there are still those times when I feel like a lasting solution will always evade me. I think the true answer is that it is an ongoing process.

So even though I may feel as though I am far across the universe sometimes, I will make my journey back across to the other side in due time. In the meantime, I am content to know that across various parts of my life’s universe, there is still one instrument that can make its way at light speed across space and time—the heart. And it is filled with all the love and best wishes from the ones who sends it out to span the distance.

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