A Jar of Goodbyes

There is an ocean between my boyfriend and me for the next six months.

I recently moved to London for a study abroad and internship program. Unfortunately, great opportunities often come hand-in-hand with sacrifice. I said a temporary goodbye to my serious boyfriend soon after New Year's Eve.

We've been together for four years, and we agreed that a "break" is more of Ross and Rachel's thing. We're currently working on our UK and US relations.

I wanted to leave him something tangible before he settled into Skype-dinner-dates from five hours apart. I guess we can still share a drink or two if I call him while I am at dinner and he is at brunch.

The rabbit hole that is Pinterest grew my idea to leave him what is often called a memory jar or a 365-note jar. He would probably knock himself out with a jar filled with 365 notes if I were to be away from him for that long.

At first, I thought the idea of leaving him a note for every day I'd be gone to be a cliched craft thrown together by a helpless romantic. Fortunately, the pair of us equals a romantic and a half.

I calculated that I would be abroad for around 120 days, but I added in another 30 days in case I take the long way home at the end of my program.

I started writing a bulleted list for the project on my phone and cleaned out a large honey jar for a container.

Some of my notes included memories, song ideas, motivational words, and cheesy pick-up lines. I printed all 150 notes and cut them into little slips of paper. I instructed him to open one note every morning.

My favorite series of notes in the jar is a short-story puzzle of how we met that is cut up into different notes. Each line has a number on it for him to piece together the story over the course of the six months. Of course, the last line of the story was one of the first notes he picked out!

My boyfriend said he has enjoyed how creative some of my responses were and how the process has improved his patience.

He said his favorite so far was a note that read: "Thank you for supporting me while I go to London. I know that I am sacrificing a lot to do this like I probably won't have good Mexican food for months."

Even if you see them every day, I hope you make a silly, romantic gesture for your loved ones sometime soon. Tell them you love them in person, so a jar doesn't have too.

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