There is a post I've been trying to write for a while now but I'm not quite sure how to word it. You may remember back in 2012 (wow, that seems so long ago) when Zach and I were in a Long Distance Relationship. If you don't remember, let me catch you up. Zach and I met in October of 2011 and by May/June of 2012 he'd decided he was leaving Virginia to head back to his home state of Michigan. I was left to decide whether or not I was going to join him. Then in August of 2012 me, Zach, Zach's Parents, and my parents helped pack up all my stuff in to a car, a truck, and a small trailer. And we made our way up north. In October of 2012 we closed on the house - I'm pretty sure it was like a day before the one year anniversary of when we met.
Boy have times changed, and boy have we both grown.
If there is one thing I've ever been certain about in my life - it was that decision. The decision to move. That was always the answer, that was always the end point. There was no what if I go? or What if I don't? The decision was made, I was going to leave. The hard part was getting to that point. I was leaving but the decisions were when, how, how much, etc. So, we were in a Long Distance Relationship for a few months. And it was hard. Like one of the hardest things I've ever done. I remember the day after he left and I went to work, I almost lost it. All I could think about is how I could not do this, I could not be apart from him. I almost gave it up and said I'm leaving tomorrow. But part of this LDR was for me...was to prove I could do this.
Fast forward to now - 4 years later - it sees like a small drop in a huge pond. Currently we are in another sort of long distance relationship. Zach's job keeps him out of the country the majority of the year meaning we are apart a lot. I mean like, a lot, a lot. But I've been thinking recently about how I don't see it as a Long Distance Relationship, or at least not like I saw our previous one. I'm not so concerned with how we make it work and I think it's because we made it work before.
Now, I'm not saying this current situation doesn't take work I'm just saying that I think our commitment to each other is at another level. There's nothing stoping us from being together, I feel that our relationship isn't at such a delicate place like it was in the beginning. In that first bit of a long distance relationship we really had no reason to stick together, we could have gone our separate ways and there really wasn't anything to lose. Now we have every reason to stick together and we make it work because we both have everything to lose.
It is hard to explain because 24 year old me was way different than 28 year old me. And that is weird. This whole thing could have ended absolutely horribly. I mean I'd just uplifted my whole life to move in with a guy I knew for a few months, 800 miles away from my home. If 24 year old me told you she just knew, she didn't know as hard as 28 year old me just knows. And I'm sure 32 year old me will tell you something different about how much she knows too.
In the very infancy of our relationship we were apart. In that key part of getting to know each other we had to do so over Skype, emails, phone calls and text messages. Even back then, I never thought this isn't going to work and I think that mind set is helpful. We learned how to communicate and use words with intention because so many things are lost in translation over text messages and skype calls. You can't read body language over the internet like you can when you're in the room with someone. We still both say things the other doesn't interpret properly but putting the importance on communication in our relationship at the very beginning has helped a whole heck of a lot.
I have to say, it's really crazy to grow with someone in so many ways. And I think that another reason why I don't feel that this is a long distance relationship. We grew closer and matured through the last one....so why wouldn't we learn and grow through this one? His job has opened so many opportunities for us. We wouldn't have traveled through Seoul, South Korea with out his job. I wouldn't have the opportunity to visit him in Amsterdam with out this job. He wouldn't be able to travel the world with out this job. He wouldn't be able to realize his creativity, problem solving, and all around smarty pants-ness with out this job. He's a damn smart one and I'm so proud that is brains and problem solving landed him a job with all these wonderful opportunities. So who knows how we will grow through this. And it is true - it is hard, but it is an opportunity.
I think it boils down to selfishness vs selflessness. It would be selfish not to see the opportunities this separation has opened for both of us. It would be selfish to demand that someone turn down amazing opportunities offered to them. And it would be selfish for me to drop all my responsibilities here to go to be with him. Responsibilities are important to me - I have to earn an income, I have to pay my student loans, I have to pay my car loan, and most importantly I have to give the dog I looked in the eye and told she had a home, the home I promised her. In our previous long distance relationship I was concerned with how it was affecting me. How hard it was for me. How I was dealing with it. Now, with a bit more maturity I can still be concerned with myself but also concerned with us, and with him and his well being with us being apart.
If there is one thing I know....it is that I just know. And let me tell you....no one can tell you anything when you just know. And, when you know......you just know.
So this was just a weird post to reflect back on 24/25 year old me and how 28 year old me is now. I would love to sit and talk with all the younger me's in the past. Man....that would be good.