I haven’t seen my honey since September 2010. Sometimes it just gets so hard to be apart and not know when we will hold each other again! It’s funny the things you take for granted when you see your partner each and every day. Right now, I say that I will never take the little things for granted when we are finally together long term. Realistically, I will. Eventually the day will come that I will not feel the sting of the long months and years we spent apart. I will be able to be angry with him over the small stuff and blame him when my days goes badly. Right now, I don’t have the luxury of doing these things.
For the past 2 1/2 years we have spent an average of 2 hours a day together either on the phone or over the internet doing IM and video chats. There is an awful lot of life which just doesn’t get shared when 22 hours of the day are apart. Conversely, there are many things we talk about and share on a regular basis which don’t usually get talked about in an all day every day relationship. I’d honestly have to say that within the first six months of our relationship, he knew me better than pretty much anyone else ever has. There is nothing to do except talk. I mean, we can’t watch TV, go to concerts or clubs, play sports or other games together, or even just lie in bed all day making love. If we don’t talk there is no relationship.
At this point, there aren’t many things he doesn’t know about me. Sure, some of the minor details of my life, but overall, he knows me. There isn’t a lot let for us to talk about and explore which is new and exciting. We have reached the maintenance level of our relationship. Not always exciting for either of us, but for me, I find great comfort in it. I cherish the routine of our relationship. Knowing more or less what we’ll talk about and what happened in his day. I can usually predict pretty well the exact words he’ll use to respond to things I tell him. I love this! The predictability has become a game in and of itself for me.
In the routine, though, sometimes we forget to talk about the important things. Being in a long distance relationship and going through the immigration process are phenominal stressors! Perhaps it is not always “forgetting” as it is a choice. With only a couple hours a day to share our life right now, who wants to bring in the stress and hardships, right? I’m learning that these are the glue of our relationship. The sweet romantic things and the normal day-to-day things are important, but in the end, without the glue of sharing our hurts and stresses there will be no romance and mundane stuff. There will be no “us.”
I bring this up, because in the past 6 months, things have been immensely difficult and stressful for each of us independently and even more so together, as we share each other’s pain, stress, and fear. Sure, we can talk to our friends or family about the stressors and get some relief, but in reality, no one truly understands the inner workings of our relationship and the actual stress of being apart more than the two of us do. Makes the most sense to share with each other first and foremost.
Benneth and I went a little too long without having a good talk about our stress and anxiety. He tends to go into sollution mode and just get things done. I tend to go into more of a needy place. I need more of his time and attention than normal… and have trouble getting a lot done. This doesn’t work so well systemicly. If he’s mainly action and little emotion and I’m emotionally needy and little action there is bound to be a big disconnect in getting our needs me.
I found myself getting irritable the other day and feeling like there was no emotional connection between us. I was asking myself, “Why bother? I can’t hardly remember right this moment why we’re fighting to hard to make this work.” I found it quite effective to ask directly for what I needed. “I need your time to talk about us… and not the sollution for bringing us together.” We were able to both validate the need the other has for sollution and emotional connection. We were able to come to an agreement on a sollution which works to meet both needs and build our relationship even stronger. The beautiful thing in this conversation was that we each heard that we both are feeling the same thing… just expressing it differently so we didn’t hear the other “saying” the feeling.
It’s looking like the time will be coming within the next couple of months, God willing, that I will be able to go over there and marry him. I cannot begin to express the joy this brings to my heart! Knowing that I will soon see him again and start the process of making our life together permanent and physically close is just about mind blowing!! The immigration process is still lengthy and difficult. We’ll be looking at a good 6-9 months before he has another interview to come here. At least knowing that there is an end in sight makes it more doable. Waiting for something when you have no idea when it will happen is nearly unbearable!
I have a couple of friends telling me I should write a book about our immigration experience and living for a few years totally in love and trapped on different continents due to governmental red tape and money stressors. Where does one start with such an undertaking? How do you tell your story of love, hope and faith through the filter of hurt, anger and frustrations with things totally out of your control? Food for thought. As Alma says, it might help someone else going through this situation to navigate it a little easier than we are. I would like to think it might bring them a touch of hope when things are bleek and look impossible. Where do we turn for hope when there seems to be nothing to hold onto?
I’m grateful today to have held on for that hope. My ticket isn’t bought yet, so there is still the uncertainty… but I tell you there is definitely light at the end of this tunnel!
Here it is… the wee early hours of 2012. Honestly, I’m happy so say good riddance to 2011. Some wonderful things happned last year… no denying that. The overall feeling of the year was pretty heavy and stress laden. Seeing a new year come to pass with a new hope of a better tomorrow is exactly what the doctor ordered!
I no longer make resolutions. They are more or less just plans for the month of January which quickly get lost in the regular routine of life once the holidays are over and excitement (and stress) has lessened some. This year rather than just seeing it as a date change and adjusting to writing a different year… or… making goals for myself I know I’ll never keep, I’m doing something a little different. I’m looking at the possibilities of what is to come this year and trying to lay some plans in place to assist in their materializing.
For instance: I need a new car. I need to get make a trip to Africa and marry Ben so we can start the immigration process all over again. I need to get back into my own apartment/house again. I want to go back to school and finish my BA and start taking some culinary courses. I want a less emotionally taxing job.
Putting plans in place to make these happen are the important things. Some of the plans are as follows: Have a new savings plan started with some help to keep it going with auto transfers on paydays to start getting ready for a car and plane ticket purchase. I’ve worked with family to get my transportation needs met for the moment and the possibility of getting some help getting a car a bit sooner than I might be able to buy outright on my own. I’ve begun looking into low cost airfare to Nigeria and have found some spectacular prices! I’ve set up a good plan with financial aid repayment which would allow me to finish my BA within a year or two. I have created a list of places to start looking for employment and some possible jobs/careers which may interest me that I am also currently qualified for. I’ve started gathering information again to put a solid resume together. I have plans to hit the local JobLink office and start some job searches there and get some assistance.
These plans I have so far may not cover every aspect of attaining my goals. They do, however, certainly move in the right direction of startinng that process.
I’m going to snuggle with my cat and sleep a while. I wanna start 2012 by getting up on the right side of the bed today! lol
HAPPY NEW YEAR!