Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I was glancing through some old Stranger posts when I came across the image above. I shared that one with you on January 11, 2013, just over three years ago now. I captioned that photo "My two pairs of shoes. I wear the flip-flops to and from work (and everywhere else). When I get to work I change into my 'business' sandals, pictured on the right. Truthfully, most of the day I walk around my office barefoot. Life is hard in Palau."

I had a weird sensation when I saw this photo just now. I remember the feeling so vividly of switching into the sandals on the right that I can still feel exactly where the clip would uncomfortably rest under my foot, since I was usually too lazy to put them on correctly by clipping them in place. I can still feel the way that relatively cool tile floor felt on my bare feet, which were firmly planted against it for most of the day in that Palauan office. I remember so vividly looking down at those feet many times a day, unfazed by the dozens of ants usually crawling on them.

But more than anything, I remember so clearly what it was like to live that life. When I wrote "Life is hard in Palau" I knew that in that context the statement would come across facetiously, although I secretly meant it sincerely.

Somehow three years have gone by since I sent that image across the quiet Pacific and into your homes, wherever you were. And while in a lot of ways it sort of feels like everything has changed, my connection to this image and the way it is making me feel right now is leaving me with a sense that nothing has changed.

And that's strange. And it's strange that I can feel the feeling I'm feeling so deeply and be unable to explain that feeling to you any better than I just have.

It's strange that I can so deeply long for aspects of that past while simultaneously so dramatically proclaim gratitude that that past has passed.

And while I recognize that the change, the one that has made that time feel so foreign to the who-I-am-now, is ultimately a very good thing, I can't help but wish I could somehow undo a bit of that change.

I think that's ok.

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. Here's my blog post for tonight: http://kickinaroundideas.blogspot.com/2016/01/welcome-brazil-and-palau.html

    Who did you send my way, Eli? :)

  2. This post made me think of Daniel. I met him before I ever read you blog, and I found your blog by googling him. I think it's strange that you two live so close, I often see you both at the gym, and yet he never appears on your blog anymore....

    1. I thought of him too! I sometimes see him when I am leaving work. I wonder if he sees strangers just staring at him because of this blog while he is going about his day and if he thinks it's weird/creepy or just funny.

    2. Where is Daniel?! Why is he not in Eli's life anymore?! Bring Daniel back!

    3. Daniel was my first thought of what this was about too. Maybe it's not but the way you talk reminds me of when I think back on times past with old friends who for whatever reason have drifted out of my life. Eli, I feel you 100%

  3. So poetic. Thank you.

  4. I miss Daniel too. I can only assume that you two are no longer close, which is sad, but happens I suppose.

  5. I love the way you worded this:

    "It's strange that I can so deeply long for aspects of that past while simultaneously so dramatically proclaim gratitude that that past has passed."

    I think everyone can relate to that feeling on some level.

  6. I feel like I completely understand what you're saying with this post. Time is a funny thing, isn't it?

    Also, re: the above comments about Daniel...I thought he moved away??

  7. Time it was
    And what a time it was, it was
    A time of innocence
    A time of confidences

    Long ago it must be
    I have a photograph
    Preserve your memories
    They're all that's left you.

    1. Well, that made me tear up.

    2. Seriously could not have quoted a more perfect song for this post. It gave me chills.

  8. "that that past has passed." English is weird. This sentence makes complete sense...

    Also, beautiful post. While we haven't had the same experiences, we can all relate.