A long distance love affair

I last saw mi novio in person five months ago.

I jumped on a plane leaving my heart in his hands in Colombia. I didn’t have an exact date as to when I would next see the love of my life, but every confidence that it would happen and we would overcome any challenges that distance imposes on a new relationship. We had made plans to be together, and I knew returning to Australia was just a short-term pain for a long-term gain.

I had spent the last couple of weeks we had together in an emotional frenzy. All at once I was glad to be with him and yet missing him already for the time we would spend apart. I feel like I cried more times in those weeks than I had in my entire life. (And still he wanted to be with me!) Our last day together was strange and stressful as the cable guys arrived to install internet access to his house so we could Skype each other, a blessing that cannot be underestimated in a long distance relationship of any sort.

I look back on the past five months with the satisfaction of knowing there is only one more month to go until we are together again in person. It has been like the five-day trek to Ciudad Perdida where we met, only elongated. There have been tough climbs to reach the top, exhausted with the effort, but happy that once reached, the terrain would change again to be easier. You marvel at the magnificent scenery and pause to take in the incredible views. Then unexpectedly, the difficult and treacherous passages would appear again and require delicate maneuvering to pass the obstacles. Heavy rains would come and make the path even more treacherous, making it slippery and muddy so you had to step with care so as not to go sliding down the mountain. But the jewel, the reason for the hike is reached, and it is beautiful and rewarding and a very happy moment. I’m looking forward to that jewel moment in just one more month. I’m nearly there!

I commented to a work colleague that one of the unsettling things about being in a long distance relationship is that you don’t know how you are going to feel about the situation at any given time. One morning I could waltz into work, happy for having spoken to mi novio and feeling comfortable in our situation and then by lunchtime I could be feeling an ache in my heart because he’s not physically present and I can’t go home to a normal life, just to a Skype screen. There is no rhyme or reason for this see-sawing. There’s nothing he’s doing or saying that causes me grief or irritation, it’s just a giant Wheel of Fortune spinner whirring away bringing the good and bad feelings at random.

In a moment of clear headspace I had an insightful conversation with myself. It went something like this.

Inner Voice: So Camille, where do you really want to be?

“In Colombia with mi novio.”

IV: Then why aren’t you there now?

“Because I didn’t have the money to go back straight away after my commitments back here.”

IV: But you’ve already met those commitments, so what are you still doing here?

“It’s really important for me that mi novio comes here to meet my family and friends and find out where I’m from before I move to Colombia indefinitely.”

IV: So?

“Money is a factor, you know how much the airfares are. And I need to have money to buy things for my new home in Colombia.”

IV: When has money ever really stopped you before?

“Yes but it also takes time for mi novio to get a tourist visa, so I’m working in a temporary job and dealing with the time apart from him so I can have it all.”

IV: Okay then, appreciate the journey because you will get there. Stop feeling hard done by, because this is your choice.

My inner voice is right of course. I need to enjoy the journey, enjoy the time I get to spend with just me before it is the two of us and appreciate that distance is making our relationship stronger.

Are you in, or have been in, a long distance relationship? How are you coping or did you cope with the distance?