Want to know how I really felt about being in a long distance relationship? Here’s a post straight from the graduate school vault. At least I know this blog will reach more people than I did in school (ha!). No, this is not becoming a relationship blog, but I do believe personal finance is all about relationships. Our relationship to money, others, ourselves and things. Take a look inside. Will be back to our regular scheduled program shortly.
It has been 312 days, 10 hours and 6 minutes since we departed.
That day was awful.
I had my whole life in two bags, we were late for the airport with the ever-present traffic that defines Los Angeles, and either from nerves or too many goodbye parties, I was also sick on the way there. Our goodbye was not romantic, not even memorable as I ran towards my departing flight. I told him I loved him as I left for my new life. I came to New York City, June 1st, 2010, 3 days before my master’s program started. Everyone thought I was either crazy or brilliant to leave a job, a nice boyfriend and what some call security behind. I couldn’t tell which one I was either. Ryan and I dated two years living in the same city and fell hard and fast for each other. It is a love that consumed me in all the right ways and made me experience friendship and love differently from previous relationships. I always thought I would never be one of those people who were in long distance relationships. I could never understand it. But, when I got my acceptance letter to NYU we had a long talk, the sort of talk that is uncomfortable because on the table is the prospect of losing the one you love, the prospect of throwing everything away just because of geography. After several days of going back and forth, we decided I would move to New York and we would stay together and make it work.
The first nights in New York City were the loneliest. I knew no one and I missed his smell and everything I had defined myself by in Los Angeles was suddenly amiss. The pangs of longing set in as I ached through my daily life; a new life, without him; a life where I defined myself, by myself. As alone and independent as I felt, he was everywhere. I saw mirages of him in the concrete, I heard music that reminded me of his bass playing hands, words triggering flashes of memory stuck between the nostalgic past and the hopeful future. I missed waking up next to him, laying my head on the nook of his chest. These are mundane delights I long for. LONG for. Long distance. Longing. Longing and desire. How much/so much longing and desire. He has stained my skin with his presence, the vapors of his love in the depths of my lungs.
After 3 weeks of adjusting to my whirlwind new life, he came to visit and everything was back to normal. Life was wonderful again and our physical memory reminded us of this. How many memories were stored in the nape of his neck, the follicles of his hair and the hands, which dexterously mastered my body and his bass. When he left, it was as if a band-aid had been ripped off my wounded, stained skin.
More recently, parting becomes increasingly difficult. Usually things get easier, but not leaving the one you love. It’s always a question in the back of your mind, “could this be the last time I see you?” The doubt fades as reality sets in, and tears pour out. Sometimes I think I can’t do it anymore — I can’t live without him. Why did I decide to leave everything behind? My ambition? My dreams? For what? When people hear that I am in a long distance relationship, after a while people usually ask, “How is your boyfriend?” in a tone that reveals the tragedy of how most of these relationships end up. It’s as if they are checking up on me. I smile and say we are fine. We ARE fine! I am both in a relationship, while by all practical purposes, single. I am in a relationship that is held together by the glue of the past, and dreams of the future. The present is something we live and tell each other about through stories.
Boy am I glad that is over…and we survived! Have you ever taken a risk in your relationship? Did it cost you the relationship? Money? Both?