It's been about three months since I made the biggest decision of my life so far.
I wrote about my long distance relationship here and there over the last two years that this blog has been around, most things just barely touching on how truly difficult of a situation it is. I never felt like an expert on the topic, even though I was in the thick of it all with my relationship, because every single long distance relationship is different in the same way that any see-each-other-every-day relationship is. However, I feel like I still have just a little bit more to say on the subject, and then I think that I'll retire the topic and move on with my life.
3,384 miles. That was the measure of distance between myself and the person I had assumed for six years would be my forever. Just over a year ago I posted this, a very in-depth and exposing analysis of the five years of the relationship until that point. It was optimistic, it was reflective, it was true at the time. In the last year, a lot has changed. My expectation was that I'd be writing my blog from my new apartment, that I shared with a boy, not from the local starbucks. I thought I'd be arranging my cookbooks and breaking in new pots and pans, not checking in with my mom about dinner time. I thought that long distance would be behind me by now. I thought I'd be closer to where I want to be. I put so much hope into the life that I wanted, that realizing it was never going to happen threw me into a deep sadness that I didn't even realize I could feel. I thought I was happy until I realized that I wasn't.
People always say that "things change" and "nothing is forever", and while I get it now, it's still hard to wrap my head around. I never thought I'd be here. Single, trying to start a new career, scraping up the cash to move out, all at the same time. It's overwhelming, and every day feels like a new struggle. Memories push themselves to the surface and some days I feel like I've made a mistake, other days I pat myself on the back and look to the future, some days I feel everything all at once and it gets to be too much.
This is all getting somewhere, I promise.
If you are in a long distance relationship, you are obviously in love. You can't possibly contemplate that type of situation unless you are deeply in love with someone, it's just too hard to exist in that manner if there is anything casual about your status. That being said though, make sure that love is enough. Don't let your life pass you by while you're waiting for change, because you could be waiting forever and missing out on all that life has to offer. That's certainly what happened to me.
Do I know for sure that I would be in a different place in my life had my relationship ended years ago? I'm not sure. But I know how I feel now, and though I would never give up the years I spent in that relationship, I am realizing now how much I am worth. How much I deserve. How hard someone should be fighting for me and our love. A long distance relationship should not be permanent, it should be a bridge. Hopefully a short bridge. But if you can see water for miles in the distance and road works until the end of time, consider your path. Get off the next exit and be selfish. Figure out what you want from this life, because at the end of the day, whether someone is waiting in bed for you or not, it's just you and yourself that you truly need to look after forever.
My perspective is possibly jaded, and maybe in a few months I'll feel differently, maybe in a year I'll be another completely different person. But I know who I am right now, and I know what I want, and what I need, and what I totally deserve, and that's where I'm starting for now.
I am not writing this as advice, I'm not telling anyone that they should do what I did, I'm not informing anyone that their relationship is wrong, or that everything is a lie and the world sucks. I believe in love and the success of relationships. But I also believe in living the life you want to, the life that would make you truly happy. I'm just sharing a small part of my story, because I wonder how it would have been if someone shared theirs with me. I am learning more every day about what I want from this life. It's exciting, it's terrifying, it's a free fall of trust in myself into the void of the unknown. It's real.