“as soon as we kiss goodbye we are a second closer to next time..”
I have often remarked that the D in an *LDR is the hardest thing, and I still agree with that, but, sometimes, of equal difficulty, is the gap between meetings.
I have seen other relationships move from meeting, to happy ever after, to breakup and recriminations in the time that He and I have been together and the distance between our homes has never been less than two and a half hours. There have been many lonely evenings and weekends where I longed to be somewhere else and yet knew that this was, in so many ways, a disservice to myself and my journey, and yet I couldn’t help it. I longed to be with Him and yet I knew I had to build a life that I could live without Him too.
This dichotomy of need and desire pulled me through the last four years. Uprooted and adrift I had no home to speak off and until fairly recently no reliable income with which to build one. I knew that I did not want to be in need of rescue, but also did not want to deny my need or the depth of my feelings either. For a while I was unable to make a thoughtful choice. Unable to plan or to believe enough in a good future and my ability to build it, but I discovered I was also unable to give up. I would wake each morning and begin the painful climb back to whatever gains I had made the previous day. I was as unable to remain at the bottom of the hole I found myself in as others are unable to begin the climb out. I couldn’t find it in me to give up, but I did despair of ever feeling joy or desire again.
It was a grim time. Characterised by crying in work toilets, whilst on the phone to debt collectors, by drinking too much at times, eating too little at others.
My world felt to be all in darkness with an occasional glimpse of a moonscape that was uncovered long enough to light just how far I had to travel.
In this space the times when we could meet shone like a beacon to light my journey although each meeting was filled with the goodbye that would inevitably come too soon, I found though that I was able not to lose the connection to my own life whilst still experiencing all the feeling about our connection.
I was learning.
As a recovering co-dependent I needed to learn to feel my own feelings, not those of my loved one. To experience my own desire, not seek to only satiate His. To build my own life, not piggyback on anyone else’s, regardless of how much better it looked than my own. To His credit He knew this. He gave me space and a place to perch every morning and evening. Our phones connected us, our gap was made smaller by a series of zeros and ones, data packets carrying words, feelings, pictures and sounds. A life together, lived at a distance, but none the less connected for all that.
So now, another countdown, I have learned to love the morning greeting “Morning! xx 7” as it was today. And I have learned that when it comes to our goodbye kiss we are already closer to meeting again than we were the second before that one. I have learned that I can create a good life for myself. I can depend on myself to keep going through the hard times. I have within me the capacity to be my own best friend. I can trust myself to know love when I meet it and to love back with all my heart.
7 my love, the gap is closing again.
*LDR – long distance relationship