I’ve oft-seen this A.A. Milne quote on social media. It’s adorable and it rings very true for me today.
I am in a long distance relationship right now. No, it’s not ideal and in a perfect world the two of us could have stayed in our happy Vancouver bubble forever, licking salt air and sitting on sandy beaches in thick summer evenings and going to trendy haunts without worrying about trudging through snow or winter coats or waiting for a cab on a dark -40 night. In a perfect world everything we would need would be here in this place, together forever. But as one of my high school students pointed out to me once, “It’s not a perfect world”, and so here we are, separated by almost 1300 km. By almost 1000 miles.
It’s been tough. Some days are tougher than others. I’m not much of a crier nor am I dependent. I’ve spent almost my entire life more or less, as a lone wolf. I live alone, spend most Saturdays alone, I work out alone, I enjoy most solitary pursuits – writing, listening to music on really good headphones, going for walks, reading books. I’m not someone who needs my partner around all the time. Nor does he ‘need’ me around all the time. What we need is each other’s hearts. And we have those – if not always physically, then with full knowledge that they are ours, in the same way we know we have a bike even though it’s sitting in the garage all winter until the snow melts and we can ride again.
The point is, I miss him dearly. Sometimes I forget what it’s like to be around someone who is your partner and love and teammate. After a couple of weeks, you can no longer feel their physical presence and you go about your day carrying them in your thoughts but not really missing that tactile element of your relationship. And then when you have that again… gosh, when you have it again it’s like you never left, and you never want to leave and all is right in the world once again. And then the visit is over, and you have to venture forth alone again until the next visit. It sucks. It’s not ideal. It’s not fun or easy or a great, wonderful walk in the park. You have to budget for visits and on those visits, figure out how to maximize all the time you have together, and figure out how not to be sad and bitter and angry and frustrated to say goodbye. But – I am grateful for it all.
I’m grateful that I miss someone as much as they miss me. I’m grateful to wake up to ‘goodnight texts’, awake with ‘good morning’ texts, and grateful for phone calls about nothing and also everything. I’m grateful to know that I can see myself in two different cities, one where I live and one where I’m from, and give a nice portion of my heart to each one for different reasons. I’m grateful that in the world, there is someone I am crazy about and think about and count down the days until I see them again just for 48 magical hours. If I count these blessings I realize I don’t have enough fingers, and that is truly wonderful.