Tuesday, March 31, 2015

So, I'm in a long-distance relationship

Me and Tim before he moved to SF earlier this year.

Three years ago, when I first started dating Tim, my biggest fear was that I'd fall for him and then he'd leave. Not long before we met, he had moved to Portland to be a supply chain analyst for a large tech company. Much like I was in my early 20s, he was uber-ambitious and willing to relocate just about anywhere if the job was right. Surprisingly, he stuck around for a while--or at least long enough to become an integral part of my day-to-day life. Imagine my chagrin when he came to me last April and told me he'd been offered the opportunity to move to San Francisco ($#&@!^#@#$).

He asked what I thought he should do. Take the job. Duh. It's a fantastic career move, I told him. Plus, he had no reason to stay here except for... er... me. My Portland roots, unlike his, are deep. I knew that pursuing this promotion would make him happy, so I chose to support it 100 percent.

He accepted the job, but then weeks turned into months and the move itself kept getting postponed. While I'm not one to complain, the planner in me kept wondering when he was actually going to leave.

If you're like me, you often take more pleasure or pain in the anticipation of an event than the event or situation itself. Not surisingly, I spent much of those nine months freaking out over a situation I had absolutely no control over, probably to the detriment of that time we did have left together living in the same place.

The two of us at a friend's wedding over the summer.

When he left in late January it was difficult but not unbearable. I spent 12+ hours helping him sort, fold clothes, and pack up his U-Haul. By the end, we were both a bit delusional, but it was nice to spend those last few hours together. It didn't feel like he was saying goodbye permanently because I knew I'd see him again in less than a month.

In all honesty, those first few weeks sucked. I felt discouraged and completely lost. I found myself googling "how to survive a long-distance relationship" the way I google things like "how long should I boil eggs?" and "how do I contour my cheekbones?" He was the one still living out of a suitcase, what right did I have to be worried about the current state of affairs?

Clearly, it's only March, and I'm sure I've only scratched the surface of how to truly survive a long-distance relationship. I've had more emotional ups and downs in the past eight weeks than I did my junior year of high school, but I'm hopeful and open-minded. Tim will be visiting me once a month, and after I get back from Australia, I plan to do the same. I'm learning how to be patient, how to be more forthcoming about my feelings, and to not take everything so darn seriously.

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