I’m writing this blog because I’ve reached a breaking point tonight I can only imagine many loved ones feel about remote year participants, especially if they truly, deeply care about them.
it’s been a nightmare to keep (or even break) a relationship at a distance like wiggling with a tooth that won’t fall off. I will swear to that and I’ve had my part to play in it so my warning is this : communications will break down. They just will. I don’t even know if the best of strategy can help you on this one. It’s just too much for too long.
It just feels to me like this kind of social experiment will feed office hours to shrinks all over the glove for decades to come. I mean, Astronauts in fucking space have advanced training on how to cope with long term distancing from friends and family and they don’t even leave for a year: you’re going out there with your Iphone and eveyone’s two cents, bullshit advice and lots and lots of social media.
I’ve read blog over blog about remotes having a hard time making it back home and feeling overwhelmed by demands for news by people back and home and how it is so hard to reintegrate “normal” live.
Well you know what? We’re at home and we worry like crazy, we worry all the time, enough to drive us insane sometimes. Someone you care about is thousands of miles away and you can’t be close to them, you can’t care for them, YOU CAN’T EVEN REALLY KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON. It could take as much as 20 hour flights and thousands of dollars to make it to a hospital in some foreign country if ever you got hurt. That is an insane amount of stress for someone who cares about you.
Communications break down insanely fast even with all the communications technology available to us and WE ALL KNOW social media is bullshit. We all know you could be crying your life out and then take a fake happy selfie and go right back to crying AND WE GIVE A SHIT so we NEED TO BE TOLD WHAT’S GOING ON.
It happened to me with someone I truly cared about. It happened within a few weeks, two months maybe. We had sworn to keep a distance and we tried not to stay in touch but obviously stayed in touch because of social media but Instagram is a lie and when you care about someone you need more thank likes and shares and three word comments and an emoji on “stories”
You need communication, real words, a video, some facetime, a full length e-mail, handwritten letters like back in the days.
You want to do Remote year and keep friendships (let alone relationships) back at home going, you better put in the hours and the way I’ve seen it (and lived it), it’s just not happening. Too many parties, too many new faces all over your feeds, well let me tell you, friends you had back at home feel like we don’t matter anymore. It may take a month, it may take six or seven, it’s just gonna happen.
I’m gonna say it : if you have a good set of friends, good people around you, a good family, loved ones back at home, DON’T DO REMOTE YEAR, don’t leave for so long, travel, sure, but why a fucking year? Four months, maybe, six months tops. If you do a full year, IT WILL DESTROY RELATIONSHIPS YOU HAD BACK AT HOME. And guess where you’ll be going back once that year is done? Trust me, it’s gonna be a lonely desert of bridges you’ll need to rebuild.
I read blog over blog about remotes going back home and not knowing what had happened and feeling distressed about it, wondering what had happened to everything? So let me say it : YOU ARE THE ONES WHO ARE REMOVING YOURSELVES FROM OUR LIVES.
You owe it to us to keep in touch. It’s not the other way around.
You’re doing remote year, you better have a real plan for staying in touch with people back at home or it will break down. You need to put in time, real time, HOURS of your travels into your family or relationships you may have had for years before you decided to do a Remote Year or you will wreck them.
You can’t leave so far for so long and just hope it’s gonna be okay. It’s not gonna happen.
Again, you removed yourselves from our lives, it’s not the other way around
Or your homecoming will be a fucking nightmare.