Parallel Lives

When I googled the concept "Parallel Lives", I came up with 6,540,000 hits!  There have been movies and books created with the same title.  There have been those who have explored cultural parallels, socio-economic parallels, past life parallels and simultaneous life parallels.  Very few articles though, explore relational parallels and how amazing the emotional support can be through such relationships.  I think of the number of articles I perused, I would have to say that two were outstanding for me.
One came to me in the form of a shared blog by two girlfriends who met one another through some form of internet interaction.  I took the time to explore how this friendship could have possibly deepened, given that one friend lived on the west coast and the other on the east.  If this is a topic that interests you, take the time to visit this site and celebrate their lovely and rich relationship!
Second to that, explore these thoughts….there is more that connects us than physical presence.  If this isn’t so, then why do I continue to ache for my mother and feel her close, while miles apart?  Why do I smile at the thought of my sister who has shared so little in the way of ‘actual’ time in this life?  Why do I breath my daughter in, exhale her out and breath her in again every time I think of her?  She lives an ocean away!
I have been hard on myself lately and assumed that my concept of apart-together is ‘off’…doesn’t work….is a failed approach.  Truthfully, it IS in fact, a valid way of looking at relationships…and a heart-warming, lovely way to be….it is a state of BEING.  And apart-together has everything to do with living parallel lives.  While relative to cultural perspective, I think that the following introduction applies to my search.
When Parallel Lives Intersect: Experiencing Multiple Perspectives in Our Own Journeys

Nancy P. Gallavan

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

A. Maria Whittemore

Frederick County Public Schools, Frederick, Maryland

As we travel through life, our journeys offer myriad observations, relationships, and experiences. By chance and choice, our journeys align closely with and are guided by other people’s journeys; from these associations we form a sense of our individual cultural characteristics and self-identities. Simultaneously, our journeys follow courses that remain distant and distinct from other people’s paths; yet our observations and interpretations from afar also contribute strongly to the formulation of individual cultural characteristics and self-identities. Throughout life’s dynamic encounters and events, each of us continues to formulate, reformulate, and negotiate our self-identities as we traverse what seems like parallel paths-journeys that appear distant and distinct from other journeys, yet encountering equally powerful influences shaping our thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Rarely are we afforded the opportunities to investigate these parallel paths and communicate honestly with individuals who seemed far away and foreign; seldom can we truly experience multiple perspectives and cross-cultural relationships in our own journeys.


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