For the past six months I’ve been on a difficult schedule. Drop the boyfriend off at the airport. Kiss, kiss, hug, kiss. Wave goodbye. Cry a little. Cry a lot. Count down four weeks. Pick him up at the airport. Cram a whole ‘lotta love and life into 12 days. Repeat.
Which sums up to mean…I see my man four months a year.
Distance and conflicting schedules have always found their way into my relationship, so when Ray decided to take a shipping job in the Gulf of Mexico, I knew we could manage. A situation like ours, though, requires more than just being in love – it requires an independence that has taken me years to build. And believe me, if I thought a pouty lip or ferocious batting of the eyelashes could rectify the situation, I’d be all over it. But the reality is, this is our reality (for now).
Elizabeth Vargas, ‘20/20’ co-anchor, recently made this comment when covering the drama of The Bachelorette television series: “Intimacy demands being alone.” At first, hazy-eyed from two glasses of Cab and the fact that my boyfriend wouldn’t be beside me for another three weeks, I wanted to tell her to shove it; that nowhere on this planet did intimacy = loneliness. But then I realized that wasn’t what she meant at all.
Love clearly requires more than what we can only see or feel. It requires an emotional intimacy; a confidence in who you both are, individually, and awareness of what that brings to another person.
I’ve had my fair share of frustrating nights. I still go days clinging to my iPhone like it’s some kind of life preserver (isn’t it?) in case Ray gets cell reception and calls in quick from the Gulf. I count the days in my head, on my calendar, on the fridge.
People have always said that distance makes the heart grow fonder. And this is true. But distance also makes it stronger.
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