I Can’t Stay, But I Don’t Want to Go

That title. Is it a song? Or has the question of ambition vs. family become so cliché, it can’t help but be familiar?

What are the sacrifices you have made for your family? Whether it be for children or significant others? Or your parents and siblings? How much are you willing to give of yourself for other people? Is it selfish not to give everything?

How much will I miss when I’m following my dreams away from the people that matter most to me? Worse, will I miss them at all?

I’m not married. I’m not seriously involved with anyone. I have no children. What’s more is that I have no inclination to change those facts. I’m young enough still to not be asked (usually) when that will change. But I have a mother. I have brothers who are just beginning their own family. I’ll be a first time aunt come April and I am so excited and happy. I’ve been waiting years for this special addition to the family. I have a great circle of friends, some who have been in my life nearly the entirety of it.

And I plan on leaving them all behind. I am not one of those people who remains in the city (state, country) as their birth. There are things I do, and want to do in the future, that tends to take me far from home.

But a baby… he’s not my child, but she feels like it. I want to see her first steps and hear his first word. When I go, there’s so much I won’t be there for. I don’t know if I’ll be able to come back and visit as often as I’d like. In a digital age, keeping in touch shouldn’t be so difficult. With Facebook and Skype, you should be able to contact whomever you want whenever you want. But people don’t follow set schedules. They really don’t, though some try and, to a degree, succeed. The unexpected happens and it happens frequently. So frequent, one shouldn’t be surprised when they are forced to deviate from the set path.

So keeping a Skype schedule can become near impossible. For first-time parents who are slaves to their babies and for the other party, who is on the other side of the world.

I love my family and I want to be an aunt to my niece or nephew. How do I not let myself become a stranger to them?