Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Truth: Leaving is Hard

I am absolutely loving being back in DC and I promise I'll tell you more about that tomorrow, but first I want to share a moment of truth with you: leaving London was really hard.  Walking through security at Heathrow, away from Jon and from the life that we spent two years building, took more strength than I've ever before used.  I know we'll be fine, and I know that our relationship will mature and develop in new and exciting ways because of the distance between us, but I also know that I totally lost it last week - and that's okay.  You know why?  Because...

Jon took me to the airport last Wednesday morning; we'd already said our real goodbyes, so we barely talked in the taxi.  We joked with the airline agent at the counter while I checked my bags, and the man suggested that I stuff Jon into my carry-on and bring him with me to America.  (I had already considered this, obviously.)  Drawing out the inevitable for as long as possible, we had breakfast together in the terminal, chatting about inane things and totally ignoring the fact that I was about to board a plane and fly 3663 miles away from him.  Eventually, though, the time came for me to head through security, and I made a bit of a scene.

I mean, I didn't wail or gnash my teeth or rent my clothes or anything.  I was as quiet as a girl can be when she's crying and hiccoughing and having an argument with herself about how she needs to leave but doesn't want to go.  Jon, of course, was lovely.  He held me and rubbed my back and murmured soothing things and then, gently but firmly, told me that it was okay to be sad and that he was sad, too, but that we needed to let go just for now.  So I let go and blew my nose - really attractively, obviously - and we said "I love you" and "I'll see you soon" one last time and then I walked through security and turned around at the last moment and waved and hiccoughed again and then kept walking and couldn't see him anymore.

Believe it or not, I was totally fine for the duration of the flight.  I read a bridal magazine and watched My Week With Marilyn and may or may not have considered ditching Jon for Eddie Redmayne (sorry, Jon) and slept for a few hours.  But then I landed at Dulles and three different customs officials greeted me with huge American smiles and said, "Welcome home!"  And I started to lose it again.  I managed to more or less keep it together until the customs officer who stamped my passport asked me if I had been in the UK for business or pleasure; the poor man had no idea why I started sobbing.  "Both!" I said.  He had the good sense not to ask me to explain further.

So then I pulled myself together and picked up my huge suitcases and walked into the arrivals lounge and saw my mother waiting for me - and then we both cried.  But that was because we were happy, so it's okay.  I told her about how hard it was to leave, and she said, "You're allowed to be sad.  There will be days like this.  But there will be great days, too."

I think she's right.


  1. I almost cried reading this. *hugs for Betsy* Obviously Houston to SC isn't as large of a distance than the UK to DC, but when Nick left me back in August, I was the same way you were. I was an absolute wreck. If you're ever feeling bad, just know that I have felt like this before! It sucks now, but it will be all worth it later on.

  2. I'm welling up at work now. :(

  3. I definitely am tearing up because I have been there, so many times. My husband and I had a long distance relationship for 18 months, 6 of which we were engaged, and I flew between Atlanta and Gatwick more than I care to remember, saying goodbye at security, crying my eyes out, having him reassure me it would be okay. And it was. And it will be for you too. And you have every right to have days like that , everyone does :)


  4. The depth of your sadness just shows how much you love him, and that's nothing to be sad about. I am from England and live in the US and get really sad every time I leave England. I've had airline employees be so kind to me as I hand over my passport weeping. It totally sucks but it just means you care.

    Also, if you haven't seen the movie "Like Crazy" you should, but maybe give it some time because you'll weep!

  5. I cried reading this. It's very honest and I love that. I love your strength in this too because if I needed to leave France to go home, I know it would be just as bad.

  6. You get a giant *hug* for this post. We're due to move back to the States this fall after three AMAZING years in N Yorks, and I can't even say the words out loud without crying. That said, I am looking forward to a (slowly) growing list of "pros". I'm glad you've found some wonderful in DC to help tide over the lonely days!

  7. As I told you the other night, I felt exactly the same. I cant remember another time I've cried so hard! Leaving London and Hugo was the absolute hardest decision I've had to make, but it has all worked out. Sometimes life needs to move forward, and you are just entering the newest phase. The year will fly by, trust me!


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