We were driving in his car, on the way to drop me back off at my dorm. Our bellies were full from lunch and we were quiet because it was our last day together for a few weeks. It was in that moment, as we stopped at a red light, that I asked him where he thought we were going. You see, throughout the last few years he had always squirmed at the idea of “marriage” or “living together”. It wasn’t so much a commitment thing, more a personal thing. I knew this when I moved to be closer to him, and I made sure that I wasn’t moving JUST for him. I knew full well that after he posted out of the NT, we could very much go our separate ways. He gets posted away and I graduate University and go my own way in life. No matter how much history we had, or the crazy chemistry that had kept us alive over miles and miles and miles throughout the years, I knew that maybe we just weren’t meant to be together in the “grown up” world. Maybe we were highschool sweethearts that weren’t able to be anything else then that first big love of your life.
So when he looked at me with those breath taking blue eyes, smiled his charming smile and said “I’ve been thinking about us becoming defacto”, I knew something had shifted. Yes, I almost choked and it took me a full couple of minutes to recover from the shock. He relished the idea that he had rendered me speechless and took the moment to expand on what he had just said. We were on the main road back to campus at this point. My mind was buzzing, I had so many questions but I was unable to say anything apart from stare at him or out the window as he quickly explained where he was coming from.
As he spoke about defacto and how he had been thinking about it for a few months (way before I even thought it was a possibility) I couldn’t stop thinking about how far he had come. FINALLY. After all these years, after all this time, it was coming together. FINALLY. Finally this day had come.
That was a few months ago now. Since then the “idea” of becoming defacto is now a very real possibility. There are still a few hurdles to jump through, like money, we have to overcome first. But the very notion of this means the world to me. We are aiming to get a house to start (and complete) the defacto process at the end of this year. As we are going away on a holiday near the end of this year, getting a place will be tricky. But at the end of this year, beginning of next, is the only time we have to do it before I have to sign a year long contract at the Uni campus or become homeless.
I can’t believe how far we have come, just this year alone! And my love for him just keeps growing … Maybe we were meant to last in this crazy ride we call the “adult world”.
Maybe, just maybe, if you’re really lucky, you get to keep the first big love of your life.
You know its coming and even though you’ve gone it a million times before, it still leaves you feeling empty. It leaves you feeling hollow and alone, even if you’d just had the most amazing time with him. And every time they leave you have that moment, that second, where you really consider what it’s doing to you. To them. To the relationship. Instead of seeing a light at the end of this dark, tiring tunnel, you see a small flicker and sometimes, in these moments, it almost goes out completely. Almost.
By now, coming into our third year of distance, this May, I have a routine down pat. Once he leaves, I walk back into my room with my heart still beating fast from that last kiss, that last hug, those last few touches and I curl up in bed. It still smells like him and I wrap myself in the blankets, with his hoodie on, and I fall asleep for a few hours. He usually gives me a text when he’s arrived home, just so I know he’s okay. We’ll talk for a little bit before one of us falls asleep. And then I get up the next day and go about my business, wishing I could come home to him.
Saying goodbye is never easy. And there have been, there are times, that we have both really thought about what we are doing. Moving to Darwin was a decision I made to close the distance, but even then, we still have a car ride and fuel prices to pay before we can make the trip to see each other.
One day it will be over. One day he will come home to me, every single night. One day I will be able to wake up to him every single morning and not have to worry about when he is leaving again. One day we will have a place of our own.
One day, we will look back and say “we’ve made it.”
I was 20 minutes late. As I flew up the stairs that led into the house, I slammed into my mum.
“Someone’s in a hurry”
“I’m late!” I hollered as I hurried down the hallway, “I’m 20 minutes late!”
I don’t think I’ve ever got dressed, put my make up on and got my hair done that quick. Ever. The things he makes me do.
It was a beautiful night. We haven’t had a dinner date, or any date really, for so long. It was all smiles and laughter. Lots of cuddles and kisses. Dinner was amazing and we ate so much food I almost had to roll out of the restaurant. He took me to Mt Cootha, which is a hill that overlooks the city. And on a clear night, you can see all the city lights. You can see all the planes flying into the airport and all the cars speeding along the road. From that mountain top, everything looks tiny. Everything looks like you could pick it up and play with them. And then it was back to my mums place, where I’m staying, for a few movies.
I’m sitting here, right next to the air con, trying to get cool. Queensland is horrible. Its dry, windy heat that we don’t have in the Northern Territory.
Beside me are my mum’s flatmate’s three poodles. They too are stretched out on the bed trying to find away to cool down. It’s too hot.
For the past 4 months I’ve gone to sit down and write, but instead I’ve stared at the blank screen trying to figure out what to write. How do I make my ordinary life interesting? How do I reach out to my followers like all those good blogs do? How do I touch your lives with my seemingly boring one?
I don’t have an answer, so instead I’ll give you just another update.
Since my last entry, nothing much has changed. Same things, just a different day. Uni, Work, Training, Boyfriend. Everything is going smoothly.
Although I didn’t do as well as I wanted to in Uni this year, I accomplished other things. My horse is really coming along. He’s fat and happy, not getting the exercise he deserves right now but that will soon change when I get back from my holiday in Queensland.
My relationship is better than ever. Sometimes I wait for the other shoe to drop, I wait for a problem to crop up and shatter this blissful feeling, but no. Every hurdle that comes out way we seem to just step over effortlessly. Together. We travel back and forth to each other, mostly taking it in turns. I’m absolutely in love with him. I hope it’s only upwards from here.
Nothing much has changed in the last four months. I’m feeling much more settled in Darwin. I still struggle to call in home, but I feel content and happy there. Poor for the majority of the time, but just rich enough to put a little petrol in the ute and just a little food in me. The life of a Uni student I suppose.
I wont promise you I’ll start writing more, but I’d like to try. Its good and healthy and it keeps me busy in the heat of the day.
So, I’ll see you soon lovelies.
I don’t understand you anymore.
I don’t understand our relationship anymore.
Ever since you left to go back to base you’ve shut me out. You won’t talk to me, and on the rare occasion that we do talk you will take hours to reply to my texts. Or you will just stop replying altogether.
You haven’t said “goodnight” to me for weeks, always ignoring me when its late at night.
Even the way you talk to me is different.
And when I asked you about this you said you were going through a “phase”.
I understand that. I understand rough patches and I understand that all relationships go through things. But this … This has been going on for weeks. This isn’t a mood or a phase anymore, this is something else and you refuse to talk about it.
I don’t know what else to do.
I’m so confused baby. Please help me understand what’s happening.
You say that nothing’s changed, that no one else, no other girl is in the picture, that you still want me … But then you still ignore me.
How am i meant to feel about that?
You can’t just choose when you want me and when you don’t. Thats not fair.
We have 47 days until I fly out to see you.
And as always you will expect me to be all cute and happy about seeing you. But unless you get your shit together, I will be anything but that.
I can’t kiss you and sleep with you and pretend that you aren’t hurting me. I’m not that type of girl and I refuse to be that type of girl.
You have gone from calling me, telling me I am all you want, texting me all the time, saying and doing all these things that show just how much you love me and want me in your life and then in a matter of days turning on me.
Going on just your actions, you are blatantly saying “I do not want you. Go away.”
And the only thing thats keeping me here? The only thing that is keeping me holding on, is that I will see you soon and that will be my deciding moment. If in that moment you cannot come up with a suitable answer as to why you’re doing this … I’m done. And you wont even know whats happening. I will just get up and walk through that door and you will never see me again.
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.
Its shitty weather. I’m wearing a jumper and long pants and its in the middle of summer …
Which, usually, makes everyone lazy. Me included.
But today, I have manage to finish packing. Yes that’s right. In three days we’ll get the keys to the new place and from then to the 1st we will start moving all our stuff in. I can’t believe it’s all happening. Where did the past two weeks go? Where did all my “saved” money go!?
Everyone told me it’d go fast, but they never told me how the sheer panic mixed with utter excitement and overflowing happiness would rush through you as D-day fast approaches. Once I leave my house I am truly and utterly alone … Money wise that is. To an 19 year old with an expensive hobby and a boyfriend who is a state away in the Air Force, it’s a scary thing.
I can do it. I have to do it. There’s no turning back now!