Thursday, September 27, 2012

EXTREME LONG DISTANCE - Directions by Google

I have not, thus far, truly delved into the nitty gritty of a long-distance relationship.

Or, as Cosmo apparently terms it, an EXTREME LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP.

I'm not sure what qualifies an LDR as "extreme," but Imma go out on a limb here and guess that Baltimore to Abu Dhabi counts as one.

Bee-tee-dubs, I totally just Googled "Baltimore to Abu Dhabi" on maps, and this is what I found. The directions are quite accurate and take you around the Ohio turnpike, point out toll and partial toll roads, and then (at direction #37) indicate that you "sail across the Pacific Ocean", and make a left on Kuilima Drive. That should take you to Kamehameha Highway, which is actually closed until October 28 (mind that), but from there you can basically just sail the rest of the way across the Pacific Ocean to 県道275号線. It's not too bad from there, just make sure you don't  miss Take exit 廿日市JCT on the right toward 山陽道・岩国・北九州 and then, after awhile, the signs will start appearing in Russian and that's how you know you're pretty much almost there. At direction #328, you finally hit Arabic: مربندی نیشابور‎ I don't know what it means, but I do notice that there are NO TOLL ROADS IN ARABIC. Another hundred or so directional turns later, and you're pulling into Abu Dhabi.

Google is such bullshit. This route has you taking I-90 W for 19,543 miles when everyone knows it is MUCH faster to take the Atlantic Ocean. 

But what Google and Cosmo both fail to tell you are a few things I've learned in the last 2.5 months.

First - any relationship-advice-giving source (be it Cosmo, Google, or your best friend after a magnum of wine) will tell you that communication is key. Duh. But what they don't tell you is that there is something incredibly rich and fascinating about how that communication pans out. I have found that our conversations now seem to just be nonstop. They flow from one day to the next, uninterrupted by sleep and time zones, picking up where they left off. And they flow just as easily between mediums. We might start a conversation over text, pick it up during Gchat, and later dissect it via Google video chat. A day or two later, there might be an email with a link to a news article about something we were discussing, or there might be a random mobile phone photo. Threads and themes just seem to flow over the miles and 8-hour time difference to the point where I never really feel that we're out of contact. 

Second - you will go through The Stages. They will look something like this:

Oh yeah, no, I'm totally fine. Yeah, he moved last week. No, things are really good - I've had so much time to catch up on my writing, and I am totally going to write a book. I am doing SO SO well. It's really not all that far away, when you think about it, and we were both so busy during the week we practically only saw each other on weekends anyway, which is basically the same thing. I'm sleeping fine, yep. Oh, sorry, look out for the piles of wine bottles around my bed.

Bed fort for three weeks. Watched all of "Downton Abbey," two seasons of "Breaking Bad," one season of "Intervention," re-watched "The League," and read four novels back to back. Felt guilty and tried to start writing. Writing wretched and terrible. Tired all the time. Netflix is my only friend. I should probably go out and do something. Ugh. People. Can't deal. Oohh, "Felicity"....

GET OUT OF BED. THIS IS RIDICULOUS. Ok. If I go to the gym every day, and write for 40 minutes a day, and read all of the classics, and basically make myself into this totally amazing superhuman person with a color-coordinated closet and 8 hours of sleep per night and putting in extra time at work and saying yes to every social engagement IT WILL MAKE THE TIME GO FASTER and all of this will be MUCH, MUCH EASIER. YOGA TWICE A WEEK, ABS THREE TIMES A WEEK, RUN FOUR TIMES A WEEK, BLOG EVERYDAY, BE PERRRRFECT!

I'm exhausted. I hate everyone. I don't want to clean anything anymore. I want to read trashy chick lit. I don't want to pick my clothes up off of the floor. I don't want to go a happy hour with someone I barely know, I want to stay home and be sad and drink a carton of wine (yes - a carton - they're more ecologically friendly than bottles and they don't clink in the bag when you buy seven of them). I want to gaze wistfully out the window and sigh and channel Angela from My So-Called Life. Mostly, I just miss my boyfriend 24/7 and it totally sucks and no amount of trying to be the world's perfect person is going to make any of this easier or better.

My flight to Abu Dhabi is booked, and we are constructing plans for a New Year's Eve trip to Prague. The silver linings of this shitty situation - that we will get to travel and have adventures- are beginning to feel more real. I am finding a balance between allotting myself plenty of alone-time to mope, to be selfish and lazy if I want to be, and to get myself out and be productive and live my life. It can't be all one or the other. 

Not here yet.

Definitely not here yet.

Third - and most important - as if you couldn't possibly be any more appreciative of your significant other, you find a myriad of new ways to feel adoration and love. It is so very different from the day-to-day togetherness, and one is certainly not better than the other, but in difficult situations like these you not only find that the heart does, indeed, grow fonder but that you as a person grow stronger as well. 

It still blows, don't get me wrong. Abu Dhabi is 7,020 miles from Baltimore (AS THE CROW FLIES, GOOGLE) and that's 7,019.99999 too many. But it's temporary, and we are learning and growing, and I have no doubt that by the time I finally get to good old Stage 7 (ACCEPTANCE AND HOPE) it will probably be June 2014 and the two years will be up.

And, if worse comes to worst, you can always Google directions.

Watch out for those toll roads.

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