I never thought I would be the kind of person for a long distance relationship. I’ve always thought it was selfish to be with someone if you can’t really BE with that person. I grew up without a very good example of relationships in my life. My parents divorced at age nine, and I had to grow up much faster than most, and I never really experienced that “one big, happy family” scenario that every other small-town American family seemed to have. I never thought I’d be okay with seeing someone once in a while and practically dating a technological device because in real life you wouldn’t really be able to be with that person.
When I met Nolan, I knew things were different. This was no ordinary “high school” relationship that lasted maybe 4 months. This wasn’t just about going on a date to prom or wearing a football jersey on Friday, it was really about being with my best friend. When he (finally) asked me to be his girlfriend, it would have been stupid to say no, because what could be better than dating your best friend? Don’t worry, I can answer that for you. Nothing. We started dating on December 27, 2016 and looking back I can’t believe how far we’ve come. When we started I didn’t think about studying, or moving, or what the distance would do to us; I just lived in the moment and took things day by day. Summer rolled around and it got closer and closer with each passing day. I tried not to think about it because I tend to be an over-emotional person (overactive tear ducts, I promise) and I know he was. Sometimes I thought to myself, “Is this the best idea? Do this to him?” “Am I selfish for wanting to be with him when I wasn’t actually with him?” “What will be the distance from “us”?” But when I asked myself these questions, I always knew what the right answer was. I realized that I had become the person who had no problems with long distances. Sure, 150 miles apart isn’t ideal, but it could work, it would work. I went to university, convinced we were in a good place.
That first week was difficult. Not only had I missed him, but I had missed home as well. I absolutely took my mom’s attempt at cooking real meals, without paying $1.25 to wash AND dry my clothes, and take air conditioning for granted. OH MAN DID I MISS AIR CONDITIONING. I was the literal definition of ‘home sick’, but it got better, easier. I made new friends and they were a good distraction from everything I was missing at home; latest football games, high school gossip, homework appointments, etc. As time went on, studying became a lot easier (not the schoolwork, but you know what I mean). I wasn’t so sick at home and the long distance became easier to deal with. Though I still stared my eyes out every time I had to leave him, I knew it would be okay in the end.
Even if I only have a few days with him now and then, I wouldn’t trade what we have for gold. Being so far away from Nolan made me realize how much he means to me. It makes me realize that without him I would not have become the person I am today. 150 miles may be a lot, but when someone means as much as he does, miles don’t seem to matter. The cliché quote reads: “Distance means so little, when one means so much.” This quote is SUPER cliche, but I think it holds a lot of meaning when it comes to this particular topic. I no longer consider myself selfish and I no longer doubt myself. My long distance relationship changed my view of the world almost as much as it changed me.