I have been going back and forth on how to write this blog post. I have rewritten it 4 or 5 different ways to approach part two of transparency.
So here is my best shot at it:
For part two of transparency I am just going to talk about how long distance relationships _________. Well, I don’t really have a title.
I know what your thinking. “Jill, there are a million blogs that talk about long distance relationships. They all say it is difficult, but easy. You just have make time for each other and blah blah blah.” All of these blogs, pretty much have a “by the book” long distance relationship. One person is “home/ where they met,” while the other person is in the military, or has a new job. Most times the female is the one who is home figuring out ways to make life normal again. If you haven’t noticed my relationship doesn’t fit into that picture at all. We both are out trying to make the best future for our lives. Some of these rules mentioned in the blogs are: Have regular phone calls, “date” each other with date nights. Most importantly, choose times you will be able to see each other.
Well surprise, surprise, Gabe and I don’t get any of those luxuries (at least for the next 7/8 weeks). Gabe has 42 weeks of training after his 10 weeks of basic training. That’s a whole year give or take. That’s a long time regardless of who you are. We don’t get to say, “On this date we will meet here and on this date I will come to you.” Now, I am in China, and I do have more freedom than someone in the military. But a terrible PLOT TWIST, I have a full-time teaching job and I cannot at any moment just pick up and leave. One thing that has been weighing heavy on my heart is I can not make his Graduation from Basic training or when he has leave for Christmas. But these are realities we knew were a possibility before I left.
A week after Gabe left for basic training I got a nice surprise. As I was rushing out the house, I got a notification from Gabe. I thought it would be at least 9 weeks, until I heard his voice again. I really thought, it had been a mistake or a false notification. As I walked onto the elevator for 19 seconds, time froze. He quickly said everything he could say before he had to leave. I’m not sure how he did it, but for 19 seconds everything stood still. For 19 seconds it didn’t matter that I couldn’t sleep for the first week we couldn’t talk. It didn’t matter that I was running late for work, it didn’t matter that all I had been wanting for a week was a good morning message from him. That message was a small amount of relief that made a world of a difference. Of course, 5 seconds later my motorbike started making a streaking high alarm sound and refused to turn off. China has a way of ruining happy moments.
As I’ve said before, long distance relationships are terrible, probably the hardest thing to ask two people to do. Adding the influence of the military and someone who is trying to explore the world it is absolute madness. But in those short moments, things seem to be okay. The first two weeks were extremely tough. I couldn’t quite get any motivation to do anything. Although we have been apart for roughly 2 and ½ months our new normal was difficult. The person who has become one of my main support systems is being challenged in ways I couldn’t imagine. I knew I had to figure out my own ways of cooping, that would make this extreme long distance, not as difficult. Several ways I’ve been cooping is keeping my self busy by going to the gym everyday, cooking new recipes, and drinking tea. I am now a sophisticate girlfriend because I drink tea.
Some days I wonder will our lives ever line up. I’ve questioned my move to China on more than one occasion. I’ve questioned, do I really need to feed my desires to live abroad, or could I have made it work back in the States. The reality is even if I was back in the states, maybe I would have been able to see him graduate, and maybe I would see him at Christmas. Although that in its own is rewarding the other half of my heart would feel empty. Having a long-distance relationship isn’t all bad we are able to figure out our individual selves to become better people. If I am being 100% transparent, some days I enjoy being away. But other days its the worse thing in the world.
I will postpone Part 3 of being transparent. I am going to post about China in my next blog.
Until next time