My idea of long distance is fairly romanticised. Until, that is, I’m faced (again) with the reality.
I’m marrying my university boyfriend next year (@markfletcheruk) and I couldn’t be more excited. We’ve had a two year countdown and when we first put the date in I felt like it would take forever to arrive. Now it’s less than ten weeks away and I still have that feeling. Will the day ever get here?
As lovely (or as my siblings would say, “soppy”) as this all is, it hasn’t always been this rosy. After “officially” dating (translation, we put it on Facebook) for just a year, we graduated. In 2008. The year recession hit. No-one was hiring and those that could afford to adopted a much more selective process (ie. they asked for more while offering less). We were both caught in a horrible cycle. We needed job experience to get a job we wanted, but no-one was in a position to take a chance on us so we could get the experience.
So, for 29 long months, we were forced to move back in with our parents and subject to the “grunt work” usually reserved for the unambitious or uninspired. The hours were long and the pay was small.
Jump forward to today and you can see why I’ve often told friends that long distance can work. And I’m still not denying it does, but you have to be willing to work at long distance.
I’m suddenly reminded of how horrible an experience long distance can be when I’m whisked away for a work trip. Three nights. It doesn’t sound long but suddenly I’m without my (right hand) man. A quick text isn’t nearly as satisfying as walking through the door to a hug or his cheery face.
It makes me think about how difficult it was the first time. Arguing over who’s turn it was to travel, having weeks apart when we couldn’t afford the train fare and racking up huge phone bills.
I couldn’t tell you the secret, I don’t know that there is a formula for surviving it. I’m just glad we did. However, sitting in my hotel room alone – and with no-one to keep my feet warm – I’m happy that those days are a long way behind us! And of course, excited to be home! Who wouldn’t miss that face?