Confessions of a human nurse
In medicine it is known as third spacing. Third spacing is, basically, the movement and collecting of fluids into areas in which it does not belong. For example, internal bleeding. Blood in blood vessels: good. Blood pooling anywhere else in body: bad.
There is a similar phenomenon among those who have lived as cultural nomads, growing up overseas/moving frequently. After years of moving between countries and cultures, cities and subcultures, such persons no longer easily fit into any one place and create a temporary new home wherever they happen land: third spacing.
The symptoms vary in type and frequency. For myself, they have included:
-Feelings of being homesick with a varying idea of what home I miss exactly
-A sense of being lost with no proper memory of why
-Restlessness and difficulty settling completely in any one location or group for longer than 2 years
-Keeping the door open on all relationships for the moment when one or both us moves (out of state, out of the country, etc. Not to be confused with the theoretical concept of an open relationship)
-Identifying myself by last known long term location rather than by the country issuing my passport
-Being honestly tired of change while at the same time proactively seeking it before it happens (better to act than be acted upon)
There is another symptom peculiar at least to my personal journey with Third Spacing: self-pity. It's easy enough to do especially when running away/moving is no longer an option and the condition has to faced. You can't run forever. And not everyone has to move away from you. At some point, you have to take a stand and face the fear and bewilderment or run forever in denial.
In the midst of a great pity party on how hard Third Spacing was making my life, a single comment flipped my view of my "disease." "I never want to take you for granted." My first thought was, I wish I could promise something like that…. followed by shock as I realized that is EXACTLY what Third Spacing does for me! Every few months, every year or two, my own brain refuses to let me take my life and those in it for granted.
Instead of living like an invalid, I can live like Dory in "Finding Nemo," taking joy in rediscovering my world over and over again. Instead of rehashing all I have "lost," I can relive the awe of what God has chosen to give me. Instead of being lost, I can enjoy the fact that I have been found and there is aways a place for me here and in eternity. Is this how I would wish for such a lesson? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely.