The first conversation Nathan and I had about me moving to Chicago went a little something like this:
Sobbing and muttering drunk nonsense at a bar in Miami, on a Monday: “Nathan, I think I’m moving to Chicago.”
Taken aback, at his home in Mesa: “What are you doing this Friday? You’re free? Great, I’ll pick you up at 7pm.”
I was shocked. I had just told the guy I was falling for that I was probably moving across the United States, and he completely ignored me and instead, asked me on another date. The rest of the night was a blur of emotions and Tito’s, and I was eager to see Nathan at the end of the week. I was torn at the idea of moving to a city I had never visited, after finally building a life for myself in Phoenix and finally meeting someone I could see myself dating long-term. But I knew it was a great opportunity, so I said “yes.”
The second conversation Nathan and I had was at Rehab Burger after visiting the Scottsdale Arts Museum, and it went something like this:
Nathan, looking me straight in the eye, said with a deep breath: “You know long-distance doesn’t work.”
Me, adjusting my sticky bra and hungry, fighting back tears: “I know.”
I had been in several long-distance relationships already, and I learned all of what not to do. I also knew it wasn’t something I was interested in doing again because I knew how hard it was. But how could I possibly walk away when I was confident I had found my person?
We went to a Diamondbacks’ game with friends, a Fantasy Football draft party, and a sushi date between my work trips. It was the craziest four weeks I’ve ever experienced, juggling time with friends, switching client lists between territories, packing for the move, and squeezing in any time I could with Nathan.
With intentions of making the most of our time together, we decided to make a vacation out of the move to Chicago and started planning Labor Day weekend. It was seriously one of the best trips of my entire life (that story deserves a post of it’s own, for another time!)
By the end of the trip, we decided we would try going the distance (haha see what I did there?)
It’s already been six months and fortunately, with my work and the holidays, we haven’t had to be apart more than four weeks. That’s not to say it doesn’t get harder to say goodbye every time, but we have a plan for the future and know our current situation is only temporary. The distance has been hard recently, but in an attempt to put a positive spin on things, I came up with a few reasons why the long-distance is a good thing:
This is a good thing…because I’m learning how to be financially responsible, so later in life we don’t have to worry about why we have to forego date night because I went on a spending-spree at Homegoods.
This is a good thing…because I’m learning how to cook, so I don’t have to rely on Nathan for making all of our meals (which seriously would not be such a bad thing, because he’s an incredible cook).
This is a good thing…because I’m finding motivation within myself to get my ass out of bed in the morning and into the gym, instead of relying on external motivation like a trainer or partner who pushes me to stay fit.
This is a good thing…because I’m finding a routine that works for me, with no influence from other people’s schedules or habits.
This is a good thing…because I’m finally exploring my independence and becoming my own woman.
This is my first time living entirely by myself, no roommates. Learning how to “adult” in a city where, at first, I didn’t know a single person. Everything from interior decorating to navigating public transit, I’m figuring it out alone (okay, a few phone calls here and there, but still!) Every day I’m proving to myself that I am capable of taking care of myself, and I have the motivation within me to make. shit. happen.
When I first met Nathan, I panicked. I was really hoping I would have my life a little more together. Like, maybe I would wake up earlier than noon on the weekends, or have some of my credit card debt paid off, or learn how to make rice without burning it.
Yet, here we are.
We met before I was ready, but with his support and the space the miles give us, I have the opportunity to explore what makes me the best version of myself, and what will ultimately make me a great partner when we can live under the same roof.
Most importantly, this time living apart is proof to myself that
I am capable,
I am driven,
and I can do anything.
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