i knew it would be difficult, of course. i’ve done the long-distance thing in the past, have pledged to never do it again, have broken that pledge several times, and have explained to myself and others that it’s different this time.
what i didn’t realize was all the ways in which it would be different.
in my explanations, i always cite how we know exactly when we’ll see each other again, how this will probably be our only separation, how she supports me in my desire to see other parts of the world: these are all amazing and wonderful things that i’ve never had in previous long-distance love affairs.
these past few days, i’ve learned that there are other things that make this different.
i knew i’d miss her, but not quite like this: not in this way of constant aching for her casual touches, the warmth of a shared bed, the smell of her hair, the easy joking, the simple tenderness… the innumerable small things that make each day so very worthwhile.
i found a love note that she slipped into one of my shirts while packing my bag for me, and was simultaneously overjoyed and overcome with a kind of grief, because what if i’m ruining *everything* by being so damn difficult and insisting that i spend a third of the year gallivanting in the southern hemisphere?
even as i know that this fear of reprisals for my itchy feet is directly linked to the ways that past lovers have reacted to my wanderlust, i still worry that she is only telling me what i want to hear, that her insistence that we can work out anything is not as sincere as i need it to be. some parts of me will never be convinced that i am worthy of a love that follows me across the ocean.
i am, though: just as she is worthy of a love that stays in one place and collaborates to build something together. it’s obvious, now that i write it: the difference this time is in me, and her, and our relationship. i am enjoying this australian adventure, yes, but i can already see the end of the glittery newness on the horizon, and the winding down of the general excitement that comes with trying out life on the other side of the world. here is another difference: for the first time in my life, i’m okay with going home.