Think of someone you love. How often do you get to see them? How often are you able to talk to them? How much does this person mean to you? These are just a few questions to consider when it comes to friendships or relationships. Ultimately, at some point in one’s life, they will end up in some kind of distance relationship, whether it's with friends, family or your partner. Today, I’m going to share with you how distance has impacted my life.
Through the years, I've experienced a good amount of distance relationships. I was born in Michigan, I moved to Georgia and lived there for 11 years, and then moved to Illinois for what has been almost six years now. Leaving people and places to whom you're attached is probably one of the hardest things to do. You'll never know if you'll see or stay in contact with these people, or if you'll see the place you called home. Fortunately, I have learned a lot from these experiences. First, if a person doesn’t stay in contact with you or make an effort, they're most likely not worth your time. Secondly, don’t dwell on the past. If you do you, won't be able to enjoy the present and future. Lastly, everything happens for a reason. Keep the memories and loved ones close, but enjoy the new start. To this day, I still stay in touch with these friends, and we visit each other most summers.
That being said, get comfortable and grab some comfort food, because I’m about to share (and possibly rant) about something that means the world to me. I’ll try to make it sweet, short and not so sappy, but no promises. As a little girl (even through my sophomore year of high school), I never really thought much of all the guys I met. I always had more guy friends than girl friends, but I never really wanted to date any of them. But then I met this guy my junior year at a homecoming afterparty. (At least it’s not a bar, am I right?)
Most people know and refer to him as “Chris,” but I prefer and recommend “Dingus." We both didn’t think much of it, but ever since I left that party, I knew he was special (not because he was wearing a pink “poms” shirt). I actually saw potential. We started to talk and would text occasionally, and he ended up tutoring me in chemistry. I probably could tell you only a few things about chemistry after taking it for a year. It was my weakest subject. But opposites attract and that’s exactly what happened with us.
Ever since our first date, I knew he was a keeper, and not because he bought me ice cream. But because we could both make fun of each other, be ourselves and he could put up with me and my friends for more than an hour and still be sane. Finally, a year later, he asked me out and then we started dating (I still hold it against him to this day).
Now, fast forward to present day. We're a little over one month away from being together for two years. Yes, I’m that girl who counts and sends sappy texts and posts every month, but it’s all for good reasons. Oh, and did I mention we are doing distance and I only get to see him every two to three months? He's attending school at Northern Michigan, while I am at McKendree University in southern Illinois. This is by far one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life so far, but I’ve learned that long distance relationships are possible. We have had our moments, ups and downs and I've had my cry fests, but it's worth it.
I know it isn’t easy. I've heard it all. How it's impossible or a waste of time, but to me, it makes you appreciate people more and the time you have with them. I have also seen it work, with both of my siblings going through it. Life has a tendency to throw a curveball every once in awhile. Don’t plan on hitting a home run right away. Take it one base at a time, and before you know it, you'll be stronger and able to overcome any obstacle.
Lastly, to all of the people in relationships who get mad and frustrated for not seeing someone in a few hours, a week or one month, please reconsider what other people have to go through. Imagine what it's like for couples in the military. They have to go a long time without seeing their partner, and don’t know if they will ever see them again. Appreciate the time you have with people, and learn to accommodate to different situations. We're lucky we have different forms of communication. Use them and get to know how they work, because they've helped me a lot.
Shout out to all of you out there who are in distance relationships! They do last and they are worth it. Remember, distance means nothing when someone means so much. “We may not have it as easy as ordinary couples, but this is no ordinary love.”
Love you long time, Dingus.