So I mentioned in my ‘About’ post that I’m in a long-distance relationship (LDR). Matthew and I have been together for 5-plus years. I say “plus” because, depending on which one of us you ask, results may vary. I acknowledge our anniversary as being in May 2012, however, he thinks we’ve been together much longer than that. If you’re wondering how that is possible, chalk it up to what can best be described by referencing yet another television show (this is a pattern of mine): “Awkward”. There was no set point in which we sat down for the conversation–the DTR (Define The Relationship). After several months, we finally were unmistakably together in Spring of 2012, but — get your buckets ready because it’s gonna get mushy– it’s a well known thing that I was his long before that.
Not the entirety of our relationship has been long distance. We only fell into this when his career brought him 5 hours away in February 2016. Since then he’s been on an 11p-7a schedule and has come home (and I refuse to allow myself to reference his apartment as “home”) whenever he can. Sometimes this is weekly, sometimes this is biweekly, sometimes worse. It varies because he does not have any set time off and his schedule rotates. My career has similar caveats; I work as the program supervisor in a residential mental health setting on a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and I’m on call on a pretty regular basis. Managing our careers with our relationship has not always been easy or convenient. but it has been worth it.
I’m writing about this today because I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection. I mentioned in starting this blog that I would be using it to process, and wrote previously that the last 2 or so years have been difficult. I’m sure I’ll write more on those things another time, but my main coping skill has been taking time to reflect on the beauty of the positives. Today, this is exactly what I need.
Matthew is one of the people that there are no words good enough to describe. He has been my absolute rock when life has gotten overwhelming and I just couldn’t deal. Thinking about when our LDR is no longer long distance, where I can see him every day, whenever I want, at normal human hours (remember he works overnights!) makes me feel hopeful and keeps me going. I’m the kind of person that does well with things to look forward to. His move back here has been in the works pretty much since he took this job, which was something he absolutely needed to do to better himself in his field. I couldn’t really make the move with him because we agreed that I needed to be here for my job. These are the tough decisions and conversations you have to have, the ones that nobody told you could be a part of doing the whole ‘adult’ thing. (It blooooows.)
Someone told me just yesterday that they did not know how I did it (the LDR) because they missed their boyfriend who was away for a few days. Having the one you love away for any amount of time sucks. As for the people that have their significant others living much further than 5 hours away…I don’t know how they do it.
Patience, catching one another awake at the same time to call/text/Skype, and loving each other fiercely is the only way to make the days count. I love this guy more than anything. He’s the smartest and most attentive person I know and today I feel better by reflecting on how lucky I feel to have not just someone that “gets” me, but to have him, even if he is a flobbityjillion miles away (science!). He’s a goofy, sarcastic, loving, stubborn pain in my ass and I would not change or trade him for all the rice in China.*
*FUN FACT: That one was a “You Can’t Take It With You” reference, which is how he and I met! We did theatre in college.