I remember back in middle school there was this one kid who held the school district's record for the most consecutive days attending school without an absence. From the beginning of 1st grade through 7th he had never missed a day. (And rumor has it that he only missed one day in Kindergarten because his parents were deathly ill and couldn't get him to school.)
I never aspired to such a lofty achievement because there was nothing quite like a "sick day" home from school --especially if you could hear the early morning bus pulling away empty-handed as you rolled over into the warmth of your cozy bed. The mere thought of schoolmates being stuck in class while you sipped on ginger ale and dined on chicken noodle soup in the comfort of your own home is enough to make me want to redo elementary school.
But like all good things, there is a down side. Like in the afternoon when the bus returns said classmates to their homes and they go outside and play football while you're quarantined in the sick bay. Or, like the day after when you realize that you missed out on a crucial learning in Algebra -which takes you two month's time to figure out on your own!
Anyway, absence is good. Presence is better.
During the time I was in neutral (see 1/5 post: neutral) absence became a way of life. And absence can be tricky because it has very humble beginnings.
"I have to be prepared."
"I am worried about my future."
"I am a visionary."
It wasn't obvious to me at first - it was more like a slow leak. Various opportunities were in front of me and I was numb to the fact that the anticipation of what lay ahead was causing me to live differently.
I began to justify my life change both physically (not being around became the norm) and philosophically (constantly looking through rose-colored glasses). I became distant and un-attached, but I kept going because people liked me and they liked what I was doing. I was no longer present. "Daily Bread" was simply a myth.
Soon I would come to know that a life lived in absentia can have some dramatic ramifications.