I Was Terrified To Do The Long Distance Relationship Thing, But It’s Actually Really Liberating

jakespencer
jakespencer

I think I spent the whole summer wondering what we’d do. Quietly.

What would we do when it came time for me to go back to school? What would I want? How would I get it? What would he want? Would we compromise? Whose idea would it be?

We followed the uncertain—we decided to say “fuck it” to the fear of long distance and stay together.

I wasn’t outwardly concerned about our impending future till summer’s close was tapping on Our shoulder. Till we had to decide—for real this time—whether we were going to do that grotesque something everyone told me was bound to implode: long distance. Whether we were gonna do that something, or be smart instead.

So there we were, at the corner of Goodbye For Now and …Let’s Give It A Shot?!

We turned right. Because while Goodbye For Now somehow seemed like the adult decision—the wise, mature move—it also seemed scared and sorry.

Almost two weeks ago, I quickly kissed him goodbye while my parents waited for me in the car outside of his apartment, ready to take me back to college one last time. I’d been panicked for the week or so that led up to that moment—the week or so I’d ruminated over the long distance play. And then I kissed him, I hopped in the car, and almost immediately, I felt OK.

I’ve been here—at school, in my senior year—for a week and a half. And I’m happy. I’m really happy, frankly. I feel light and present and important—this is my fucking senior year, after all. Why shouldn’t I feel like the goddamn shit?

I snuck in a few minutes on the phone with him last night around 2 a.m. He was on his way home from work, and I was in the middle of binge-watching Luther (how am I only now discovering British crime drama, btw…that shit is waaaay harder than our spineless, “everyone you care about lives” American shit).

He asked me the same question he’s asked every time we’ve talked since I got here: How’s it feel to be a senior? I gave him my most definitive answer to date: It’s fun…and honestly, it’s kind of dope that you’re not here.

He wasn’t offended—he knows better. Because, see, he knows I miss him. I do. I miss him lots, and I wish I could sleep next to him every night. I wish he was here to see me in my damn prime, giving fewer shits than ever and reveling in my updated, unapologetic brand of self-possession.

I miss him lots, see, but I’m not sad. Not like I thought I’d be, at least. Because turns out, long-distance is liberating. Hella liberating. Because I’m making my own space for me here, without him. Doing my own shit, without him. Going out. Drinking, smoking, dancing. Without him. Without anyone. Without the crushing pressure of finding a guy. Of going home with someone.

It’s fucking blissful, really. I miss him, but it’s fun to miss him. It’s fun to long for him. To count down the days till I get to see him for a long moment again. To remember all the reasons I love him, and to miss him twice over for each one.

It’s fun to miss him. And it’s fun to be without him, because it’s fun to be with just me. TC mark

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