When I’m Gone

There’s a song that calls to me.  It speaks to something in me.  I can never listen to it once; I always listen at least 4 times.  I just could not figure out what it was about this song that was so compelling to me.  Listen to it so you’re tracking with me here.

Just in case you missed it, this is not a breakup song; she’s not telling some guy that he’s gonna miss her when she leaves him.  Nobody’s sticking it to anybody else in this song.  This is a travelling song.  She’s telling the person she’s talking to, whoever that is, that she’s leaving on a long trip to some beautiful places, she wishes they could come with her, and they’re gonna miss the simple things about her when she’s gone, like her walk and her hair.

I find this song poignant and I feel it down to my bones every single time I listen to it.  This has been confusing the heck out of me and I think I finally know why.  Part of this song is my life and the other part is what I want in my life.

I’m clearly a traveler.  Travelling is in my blood.  I dream of home but I am also always dreaming of the next place to which I’ll travel.  And I absolutely love trips that take me away from home for a while (“the long way ’round” that she talks about in the song).  I’ve already started seeing the mountains and rivers and sights that give me shivers and I definitely want to keep doing that.  But there’s something more.

You know that scene at the end of Love, Actually when all the characters are at the arrivals gate at the airport bumping into each other and having intersecting story lines while they wait for their loved ones to arrive?  Then David (the Prime Minister) comes through the arrivals door and Natalie is so happy to see him that she runs and jumps on him.  I love that scene; I find it beautiful and it gives me goosebumps and tears every time I watch it.  Every time.  For me, that’s the other half of what I want in my life from that song.  I want someone to miss me when I’m gone and to be so over-the-moon happy that I’m back that they…well, not jump on me at the airport cause that would just be weird, I mean, I’m strong but I’m not Hercules or something.  Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure my godson would totally run to me at the airport and jump on me because we have the same sense of drama – it’s part of why we love each other so much; I wholeheartedly encourage his drama, to the dismay of his mother, who side-eyes us both.  Plus, he’s still small enough for me to safely catch him so we’d both have a ball with that one.

OK, I got sidetracked for a minute there trying to figure out how we could make that work, but bringing it back…you see where I’m going with this, right?

Please understand me when I say I’m very grateful for all of the people who love me.  I know that my anam cara misses me soul-deep when I’m gone, just like I miss her soul-deep.  But I also know that she she has her own life and family to see about.  Everybody’s life snaps back into place when I’m gone and I’m not missed, do you understand?

I’m a traveller at heart so, God’s willing, I’ll always be planning to head off somewhere, heading off somewhere, or already off somewhere.  But I want somebody to miss my walk, my talk, my hair, my very presence when I’m gone.  I want to be so important to someone that their life doesn’t just easily snap back into place when I’m gone.  I know that’s not overly spiritual and it may even be selfish too, but I’m keeping it real and honest.

Having travelled with A, who is a similar traveller to me, I realise that, yes, I love solo travel and I always will but I also miss the sweet company for some of my journeys.  Travelling with the right person can be so much fun and so much more interesting than travelling alone, depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing.  There are woefully few people in my life with whom I want to travel simply because our travel personalities are vastly different – where to go (far, far away and off the beaten path!), what to see (everything!), what to eat (also everything!  And not just the cheap stuff) and what to do (please, not shopping!) – and 1 thing I do not want to be when I’m travelling is unhappy because of my companion (been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and returned it).

So, yes, I want to keep buying my ticket for the long way round but I also want the right company sometimes.  And I absolutely want to be missed when I’m gone.


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