From LHR to LDR

I remember absolutely dreading the day Carlton and I went our (kinda) separate ways for university. Sure, I knew we were both making the right choice, but honestly, in the moment, it didn’t offer much solace. Countless times I wished we were more normal teenagers. I longed for there to be an easier option. Of course, there were easier options, but I wouldn’t be myself if I had taken them, and he wouldn’t be the man I fell in love with had he taken them either.

That is precisely how we found ourselves madly in love and nearly 5,000 miles apart… voluntarily.

Again, before I proceed any further I want to emphasize how this was a deliberate decision made on both of our parts. We chose to be apart, or rather we chose what was best for us knowing that it would pose some serious distance. Needless to say, I kind of upped the game with the whole transatlantic and time difference aspect, but nevertheless, it was a choice. In the moment, having to make the choice seemed like the worst thing in the world. He’d already gotten into Cornell and while I knew I’d probably be in Atlanta with some unavoidable geographical distance, London was a new playing field.

When I got accepted into my current university, I knew what the better option out of the two schools was for me. There was a stark contrast between what I really wanted and what I was willing to take. Even when the choice seemed so strikingly obvious and I knew what needed to happen, it did not make pulling the trigger any easier. We both knew what that would entail. No fall breaks together. No Thanksgivings at home. Complicated schedules. Etc. Etc. Etc. At no point in this entire decision-making process was he anything but 110% supportive and encouraging of me.

So a long long distance relationship it was. We did not need to discuss other options, we did both know that for certain. At no point was it doubted, and I am so grateful for that even now, because with a huge life-changing decision hanging in front of me, not having to wonder what would happen with the relationship I was marvelously happy in was a weight lifted off of my shoulders. Er, rather a weight I never even had the discomfort of felling placed on my shoulders. Thank goodness.

So here we are. It’s been 103 days since we’ve seen each other. We have 18 days left to go.

Those days cannot go by fast enough.

I remember hearing from friends how difficult and sometimes downright awful long-distance relationships can be, and I think that’s a lot of the reason I dreaded not being together quite as much as I did. Maybe it’s the fact that we are both so content with the universities we attend, the places we live, and the subjects we get to study, but I’ve never once thought of maintaining the relationship as some extra task in my day. Sure, it’s rough when you just want a hug or to be able to call from a regular cell phone instead of relying on whatever spotty wifi you can find at the nearest coffee shop. Yet, I am so grateful for the ways in which we’ve grown together when we weren’t even physically together. I loved where we were in our relationship before, but I think now more than ever I know I am absolutely in the right place. I know exactly how we communicate, and we know how to solve miscommunications better than ever.

All of that said, these next two weeks (approximately) are going to be two of the hardest.

In the beginning I didn’t allow myself to think about all of the things I missed when we were together. Even the smallest of details like watching his reaction to your 5th god-awful pun in a row are enthusiastically missed. Those are the things you miss more than anything else. The problem now is that I’ve begun to look forward to being together again, and the more I look forward to it, the more I realize exactly how much I have missed all of those small things I’ve tried to stop myself from thinking of too often.

But here we are. In the homestretch. I have my flight numbers, itineraries, and terminal maps (yes, I know I’m an over-planner). I also have a feeling there’s going to be a certain face at the arrival gate that I’ve been dying to see.

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