I had a girl look at me with sad eyes yesterday and utter those words,
“How do you DO distance?”
She couldn’t ever imagine being separated from her boyfriend for more than a night and she couldn’t ever believe how you survived distance. Those relationships were destined to fail.
I look at her with a small smile and shrugged,
“You don’t just DO distance. You adapt. You learn and you survive. Its what happens when the love of your life is away.”
No one puts their hand up for distance, no one goes “Oh pick me!”
But when you fall in love with someone and they enlist, or when your heart lives in a different country, you learn to deal with it. Sure, it’s hard, it’s frustrating, annoying and heartbreaking at times. It’s a million things. You just learn to pick yourself up again and keep on going.
I wait. Months and months. It’s been 5 months since I’ve seen my boyfriend. And everytime he comes home on leave, its amazing. I will hold him close and spend every moment I can with him. Cherish the days and nights we’re able to be with each other. And then when it’s time for him to return to base, I let him go.
I give him a hug, a kiss and I whisper, “I’ll see you soon.”
And then I watch him board the plane.
Its not easy. The first lot of times I cried my eyes out as I walked back to the car, or in the shower that night, or later in the shopping center, or just randomly somewhere. But with each separation you get stronger, your partner gets stronger and so does your relationship. Until one day the “goodbyes” don’t take so much out of you, until one day you realise that you’ve adapted. You’ve grown and you’ve learnt.
Then, a month, a year, four years down the track you aren’t saying “goodbyes” anymore, you’re saying, “Goodnight.
That is what keeps you going. Hope. Faith. And love.