Long Distance Relationships and Whatnots1:51 AM
It was past midnight when I arrived in Manila. T'was the longest flight I've been on. It may only take 2 hours to get home from Hong Kong but I was travelling alone for the first time in a long time.
The burden really is going back to the apartment knowing that the person you've been with everyday for almost three years is no longer there. Neither is he arriving in the next few hours. He has a new life now. And you have to deal with it.
Forgive my very sentimental tone. We are still together. Well not, together, like "together" if you know what I mean. But sometimes, walking away from a good life you've been breathing in and out is as difficult as a break-up. You can call me clingy but in my recent memory, he is the person I have spent the most time with. And it is changing.
He is living a dream in Dubai now, following a career path that seemed to be in his plans since his first day in college. And you cannot be against that. That would be selfish. Letting him know that you are having a hard time is already selfish. What more stopping him from going for the things that he want.
The next two weeks came hard. Thank God for blogging. I had a perfect attendance in events. I have never made my PR friends happier. I avoided going home and I am out very often, trying hard to not message him on Facebook if I thought he is asleep. The stories of my friends, who have their partners and families abroad, all made sense. Time difference is your enemy. And Philippine internet is enemy number two. Uninterrupted Facetiming and successful Skype connections are considered golden moments.
Then came the time that you have to take it all in. You try to put all his stuff in boxes, his unused toiletries to the trash and his side of the table filled up with your things. I asked myself why is this so hard. It's not like he is gone forever. He is just 4 timezones away! And then I realized that this is going to be the first, the first long distance relationship.
There's no three-month moving on process here. It will be a long phase of adjusting; to schedules, to chat behaviors, to knowing what to say and what not to say and which topic should go first, and how to tell if he needs me without saying a word and how to be there on time.
A lot of my friends would say that I have to follow immediately. That long distance relationships are never designed to last. That sooner or later you will be strangers to each other. That your priorities might soon be universe apart. But I have things to consider. My family, my work, blogging, the familiarity, and sketching a different life path because Middle East was never part of my dreams in the first place.
Two months passed and Christmas came and I got comfortable. There were weeks that we didn't have issues with communication. The pattern is to chat before we sleep. In the morning, who ever is up first leaves something on Messenger. May he be online or not, I have to say where I'm going. In moments when we both have the luxury of time, we send random photos of our current view. And then there are times when we feel like we miss each other so much, we set a schedule to video call on Skype. It goes on for 40 minutes to more than an hour until we feel that internet isn't cooperating anymore.
The challenge of living apart is to always try to be connected even if you're not in the mood and even if you're tired. Before, a long day at work ends when you see him sleeping next to you. You can just hug it all away. Now, you have to pick up that phone and go online. Sometimes, you are typing with your eyes and your brains half closed. It has to be done.
You are becoming more conscious online. In group photos, you have to consider who to stand side by side with. Not that he won't understand but since you have limited time to talk, you constantly try to eliminate unnecessary discussions. I would rather have the how-are-you, how-was-work talk than the it's-just-him, the-new-blogging-guy convo. It is not just about making it easy for the both of you. It's also about avoiding people around you raising questions. In long distance relationships, other people's opinions matter ten times more than it do in normal relationships.
While we are satisfied with the situation of being the Earth and the Moon, there are things that are too hard to not miss. Mon, I miss sitting in airports with you. I miss you nagging about me spending more time outside. I miss being with you on the bed, with me blogging and you doing something else and then I stop from time to time to hug you. I miss it when I am asleep and I wake up to the sound of the door lock because you just arrived from work but that's OK because you are finally home. And I even miss the petty fights because we are so pikon when we have different opinions about random stuff.
Four months passed and I am still adjusting. It's still a long way before we can live together again but I want you to know that I am willing to squeeze and bend whatever it takes to make this work. As long as we are together in this, I'd gladly do everything.
Happy 3rd anniversary love. To the MON and back! :)