You have absolutely no idea how much I rely on Skype when it comes to keeping my personal relationships intact. I use it to communicate to my loved ones – family, friends, etc. I talk to them as much as I can whenever possible. Sometimes, when my internet connection is choppy (hello Europe), I use both the phone AND skype at the same time. It’s one thing to talk to on the phone, it’s another thing to see their face, their gestures and their feelings on video.
Anyway, my bf has a habit of (secretly) taking screen shots of me while talking to him at my most raw and vulnerable: when I’m usually alone on my own after a long day’s worth of work, away from people and detached from the insanity of my usual environment. He respects my privacy, of course, and he always shows me what he’s taken. Yesterday afternoon, he sent me a batch of photographs over the past few months reflecting my various moods. Some are for sharing while most are, well, let’s just say most are for private viewing. Ha ha!
Being separated from loved ones is not easy. I cannot count the number of times I’ve shed tears because here I am chasing my dreams, working very, very hard but I’m usually miles and miles away from the people closest to my heart. I am aware that this – whatever this is – is the result of the choices I’ve made. If I hated being away from family so much, why not just stay with them? If I disliked being in a long distance relationship, then why not get someone nearby? From the beginning, I knew I had to make a lot of sacrifices just to follow my passion. It’s a very challenging and rocky path to trek to make your dreams come true. However, when some of them do come true, it’s a priceless and satisfying feeling.
I like to think of life as a grand buffet table. It would be oh so boring if one selectively picks everything that is familiar. Sometimes, in order to enjoy the buffet, one must sample the new, the unknown to see whether he or she likes it or not.
The same concept applies in life — one should try different things in order to find what you truly love.
Some of you have been asking me how I’m able to keep my relationship together in spite of the distance. Let me tell you, it involves a lot of communication. And a very, very understanding and compassionate partner. Ten phone calls a day are not enough. I don’t think you can quantify as to how many phone calls, how many texts, how many skype calls are needed.
Whenever me and my partner are a few thousand miles apart, we try to run things as if we’re still together physically. We wake each other up. Oh yes, I’m his personal alarm clock and vice versa. I’d rather hear my bf’s voice than the automated hotel wake up call system.
Since he works an 8-5 job, we talk on the phone on his way to work, during his lunch hour, during his coffee break and right after work and when he gets home — regardless of what time zone I’m at and trust me, it changes every few days!
I do the same. I call him when I wake up, on my way to meetings or shows, on my way to the airport, on my way from the airport, in between engagements, on my way home, etc.
I’ve also implemented a personal curfew. I’ve given up pulling all-nighters at bars and clubs. I no longer go to parties unless I’m co-hosting it or I’m being paid to attend. I cherry-pick dinners and events. Why? Because the time I spend doing all that is the ONLY time I could spend with my partner.
It doesn’t mean we’re tied with this imaginary ball and chain. We’re free to do what we like with advance notice. We share an online calendar where we put all our activities. As long as we both know what each other are doing and where we are, it’s fine.
Many relationships fail, whether it’s long distance or not, because two people don’t spend enough quality time with their partners.
I confess that I can be very, very, very demanding. I believe in giving your all or not giving at all. During the early days of our relationship, I told him I’m in it for the long haul. Nothing turns me off more than time-wasters. Who wants to invest their time and emotions on someone who isn’t doing the same? All I can say is the powers that be should give my man a fucking gold medal for giving me his absolute darn best.
I feel like I’m making everything sound like what we have is a quick, stroll in the park filled with rainbows and unicorns and sunshine but it’s not. We’ve gone through a lot of very challenging moments.
His biggest fear is me walking away from him in exchange for someone better. My biggest fear is that someday, he’ll get tired of putting up with me, look around for something a bit more stable, slip into something or someone a bit more familiar and close to home. Let’s face it — I’m very unpredictable. I’m a circus, a one-man show. I’m hardly Dorothy-next-door.
You may be scratching your head thinking it’s all too much. It *IS* too much.
It’s a high-maintenance relationship, yes.
But you know what? The end justifies the means.
Whenever we meet at whatever airport or train station, it’s heart-warming to see him there waiting for me, looking like a lost penguin. I always look forward to running towards him and get that first big, embrace. My whole world stops. Everything else is rendered null and void.
There’s only one word to describe the feeling.