Monday, May 12, 2014

A Melancholy for the Season


I had a very small and silent meltdown in the car yesterday.  I was driving down Brookville Road in Chevy Chase on my way to my parents' house in the Maryland suburbs after having run some errands in Tenleytown and Friendship Heights; it was a route I'd traveled thousands of times over the past two decades.  As I slowed at a stop sign, I was suddenly struck by how green and alive the neighborhood was.  To my right, a woman was kneeling in the dirt in her garden, a trowel in her hand.  On my left, a man pedaled by, followed by a small girl in a hot pink tank top with training wheels on her bike.  I thought, "When did all of this happen?  Weren't the branches just bare?"  And then I reminded myself that it's nearly mid-May.

And then I realized I'd been stopped at the intersection for a full minute, barely breathing with tears in my eyes.   I felt like the days were slipping away and I wasn't spending them the way I wanted to.  Spring is already turning to summer, and I've missed another season with Jon.  Everything seems to be going so fast and, out of the blue, I felt like the time I had to share my life with him was slipping away.

I know that's ridiculous in the grand scheme of things.  Even if Jon's visa takes another six months to be granted, we have decades to spend together.  We have dozens of springs and dozens of summers ahead of us.  But in that minute, sitting at the stop sign, I couldn't exhale because I felt like I was wasting time without him.

Again, that's absurd.  I have a very full life; there's no more room in my calendar or my heart for anything else and I can't complain for a second.  There aren't many things I'm missing because Jon's not here.  But, for some reason, I wanted to stop the world from spinning so that I wouldn't ever experience anything else alone.  I couldn't stand the idea of life moving forward while I felt I was at a standstill.

In that minute, it felt like everything was happening without us.

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14 comments:

  1. I have to tell you, I had so many moments like this while Nick and I were doing long distance and ultimately it was one of those very moments (happened to be while I was a world away working in South Korea) that I just knew I couldn't do it any longer. I know exactly what you mean and the last few months really are the hardest because it's so close, but I know once you guys are reunited, you'll never take those moments for granted again!

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  2. Pretty powerful piece. It doesn't matter how long you know you will have in the future, when today you are unable to touch him and experience things in live with him. You are both very brave to be so patient in this long process.

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  3. Gaaaah, this makes me so sad. I hope it all gets resolved very soon and then there will be lots of lovey-dovey posts about all the fun things you're doing together!

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  4. One thousand percent understandable. No matter what the big picture or the long run tells us, we have to live in each moment- and sometimes those moments feel insurmountable. It's totally okay to *feel* those moments, as long as you also remember that they are just that- and that the long-run awaits you, with lots of happiness :)

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  5. Georgia ChristakisMay 12, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    I don't think this is a very absurd thought. I think about this a lot, actually. I hope you two are able to be together soon.

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  6. Big huge hugs. This is so normal, and so not crazy, and I hate that this is taking so long and that you two can't be together. Hate it. I hope that ends soon and he will be in DC before you know it! x

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  7. Awww, Betsy. I feel for you. I so wish that all of this was over and that you were already at that moment where you're driving together with him and remembering this as an old memory. Thinking of you!

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  8. *hugs* There were times when Beau and I were just two hours apart, but because of our schedules, we couldn't be together when I was dealing with really hard stuff. The poor guy has spent several skype sessions watching me sob uncontrollably, and he couldn't do anything about it.

    I can't imagine how hard it would be to be as long-distance as you and Jon. Your feelings are valid. Always remember that. A long-distance marriage is unusual, and it's hard! Even harder because you probably don't have anyone who knows what you're going through. Allow yourself the time to cry and to be sad about the distance. Yes, it's all going to be fine in the grand scheme of things, but that is not today.

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  9. Big hugs. I wish I knew the right words, but even after helping my soldiers weather anywhere from 12-18 months without their loved ones, I still haven't figured out the right ones. Just know that no matter how strong a person you are {and I know you're a strong person!}, you're allowed to realize that what you're going through is hard, and it's really hard living split between wanting the fast-toward button that will bring you together sooner and not wanting to waste the precious time we've all been given. It's hard, and it's normal. I just hope and pray it goes by quickly for you guys!

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  10. It takes so much courage to admit what you have. I too wish I knew what to say, but this too shall pass. I also really identify with "I felt like the days were slipping away and I wasn't spending them the way I wanted to.". Well said.

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  11. I get it, I so get it. Thank you for putting into words exactly what I've been feeling. Even though G is with me right now, I know that he's flying back to France at the end of June and then we get to wait for some random amount of time. And the thing is, I can handle the wait (sort of). What I can't handle is not having any solid timeline. There is no finish line that I can see, it's fuzzy. It's down the road somewhere and I don't know 'exactly' where it is, and meanwhile time is slipping by and another season goes by without us being truly settled. AARRGGHH! It's so very frustrating. Hugs and kisses to you my friend xoxo

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  12. I've never done the long-distance thing, so I can't say anything to that specifically. But I have the same thoughts about my life sometimes, and I'm like, "This isn't a trial run. This is happening now. I don't get another life." And then I get all freaked out about the time I've wasted watching TV or even blogging or fighting with Jordan... it's a train of thought I try not to get on, because that track gets moving along pretty quick if I let it.

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  13. I can't imagine how hard it would be. Prayers while you two continue on this long distance journey.

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  14. So sorry Betsy. My long-distance was not as far or as long as yours and we could see each other every 3-4 weeks, but I totally understand. Keep hanging in there! I'm thinking about you guys!

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