“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
This quote has always been one of my favorites. I like to think that everything – experiences, people, accidents, victories, places – are all connected to ultimately let our ship sail.
To me, with a little help from my dear friend Mary Jinx, I realized that the islands truly are connected. They obtain different shapes, wildlife, and aren’t always surrounded by the same waters. And yet, each is connected.
It’s as if the unique parts of our islands resemble invisible strings. Each part of who we are is because of someone we met, someplace we’ve been, something we read, and it all complies to make ourselves truly ourselves. The unique parts of who we are connect us to others in a way only we can understand. These strings can never be broken, never be changed; they are constantly apart of us.
The tangible strings holding us to other things resemble the things that can be shared with multiple people, like the surrounding waters of these metaphorical islands. The problem is, our brains hold on to these strings, so much at times we lose ourselves for a little.
Summary of Kate: a mess of strings that she has no clue what to do with:
When I was 12, I moved across the country for the first time. I only looked to tangible evidence in an effort to maintain the life I left behind in Wisconsin: how many times I would travel back, who would text me within a week. I held on so deeply because I didn’t want the strings to break, I still lived emotionally in Wisconsin while physically in Texas.
But hiding behind the tangible strings of intimacy and sight are invisible strings of connection and knowledge: a concept that moving ultimately taught me.
When I was 17, I felt I lost connection to everything. My family lived across the country, I didn’t get into my first choice college, I lost a few people, pulled away from a lot more, and didn’t recognize the person I was a year earlier. I disliked what I used to love, and was hands down confused about everything.
One of my best friends, Maddie Wallace, loves the idea of the number 3; three circles, specifically. She claims it is a way to check where you are, based on where you’ve been. It is a way to constantly check what you’re connected to by what are the most three important things are within your life. At this time, when I felt tangible strings were absent, I turned to the invisible ones to hold onto.
When I was 18, I moved across the country again from Texas to Iowa. Post graduating and in the heat of summer, there are not many ways to meet people. But a displacement of connection to tangible things allowed for a replacement of connection I lost a couple months ago.
This is a little all over the place, but these three anecdotes and two thoughts led me to really understand what connection is all about. No matter where I go, what I do, who I lose, what I gain — it leads to something beautiful. As Holly Goldberg Sloan said,
“Connectedness. One thing leads to another. Often in unexpected ways.”
Everything I’ve experienced is connected to lead me where I am supposed to go, it aids in revealing growth and truth. And it is all organized by the only One who truly knows my path.
When I feel lost because my tangible strings are falling, I am able to highlight the invisible strings: my best friends, all the places I have lived, the places I have traveled, and the experiences that led me here – the memories and impacts that are unique to me.
Kind of like a constellation, the most random stars connect to make a complete image.
Note To Self: no one can take the invisible strings away. No one can change the past. Tangible strings break, but can always be reconnected. Live to connect to yourself, your surroundings, and the people around you to spread His love alone. Let you ship sail in these tangible waters to grow.
Until next time,