There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful. – The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Recently I’ve been thinking about the way in which people can come in and out of our lives. I, for unexplainable reasons, choose a life that is very transient. I move home, job, even country on a regular basis, rarely staying still for very long – but throwing myself wholeheartedly and headfirst into whatever place I find myself.
I make friends and have relationships. I make them my home. But, very soon, it is time to say goodbye. Sometimes it’s myself who is leaving…and sometimes it’s the friends or ‘more-thans’ who leave.
By choosing a life like this, I find myself losing little parts of myself wherever I go and to whoever I love. Each one takes a little piece of me with them – whether they realise it or not.
And so, there are pieces of me scattered across this world.
Every so often someone will come into your life who your logical brain knows is another one who will be only there for a short time but your heart knows that they give something much more lasting. Someone who will give you a “little infinity in your numbered days”.
Without this transience, we would never have met. Yet, the fact the transience takes you away from them (or vice versa) has the potential to make you angry or resentful.
It’s a weird juxtaposition.
But some infinities are bigger than other infinities…and some people are only meant to be there in your life for a brief time.
These little infinities have brought me precious memories of love, hope and joy. They’ve often brought me back to who I am when I have maybe felt a little lost, restored my confidence, made me believe in myself and in my worth. And I am grateful.