Long-Distance

I’ve already written a bit about my long-distance relationship with Andreas here, but let’s face it, that’s kind of old news.  I wanted to talk about something a bit more current.  My long-distance relationships with everyone else.

Moving away from your friends and family is hard.  I was more than ready to jump ship and move to Denmark with Andreas (although I occasionally wonder if I would have looked forward to it so much if I could see how difficult it would be), and that was partly due to the fact that long-distance with Andreas worked really well.  We didn’t necessarily Skype every day, we didn’t even get to talk every day (since by the time I was done with work/classes, he was asleep, and by the time he got up, I was asleep), but we would write messages before we would sleep, we wore matching bracelets, and I always knew he was there for me.  People talk about trust as a factor in long-distance a lot.  Trust was never an issue for us.  I obviously trusted that he wasn’t creepin’ around with other girls over ther ein Denmark, but more than that, I trusted that he wouldn’t just up and “leave.”  Long-distance makes breaking up a lot easier.  Let’s face it, they’re not as ingrained into your routine as a regular partner would be, you don’t have to risk seeing them around campus after you’ve broken their heart, and it’s relatively easy to erase them from your life and try to move on.  I never once thought Andreas would do this, but now that I’m trying to keep up long-distance relationships with all of my friends, I know that gut-wrenching panic that comes with realizing how quickly and cleanly you could be chopped out of their lives.

I don’t tell my friends things they probably don’t want to hear, because I know they could just…stop talking to me.  If I do end up saying something maybe not-so-savory, a gush of liquid panic pools in my abdomen while I see their little “so-and-so is writing you a message” message until the words finally pop up.  I fear offending or accidental feeling-hurting more than ever before.  I re-state questions to try and make sure they don’t sound judgemental, even with my best friends.  I try not to ask too many questions, in case I just seem nosy, and try not to volunteer too much information in case they’re busy, or in case they just don’t care.

Not everyone is good at keeping up long-distance relationships.  With some friends, even if we weren’t close before, I feel perfectly at ease chatting with them over Facebook and I know what’s going on in their lives.  I know what they had for dinner and when they have to work.  With others, I sometimes feel like I have to pry information out of them, and feel largely left out of their lives.  It’s hard to remind myself that their long-distance friendship style doesn’t define how close we are or how much we care about each other.  It’s funny to see who I still feel close to, and who feels really, really far away.

There’s no “solution” to this “problem.”  It’s just how people are, and how my life is at this point.  All I can do is do my best to trust my friends, and try not to step on eggshells around them.  Although, let’s face it, my default setting is eggshell-stepping.  It’s only by accident or sudden radical (and more often than not, regrettable) actions that I cross or even come near any lines.  But when I do, it’s scarier than ever, because I can’t make my friend talk to me.   I can only say a weak “hello” on messenger, or send an email.  It’s a bit scary to feel like you’re in such a powerless position, but I do my best to remember the trust I had for Andreas and apply it liberally to all long-distance relationships.

Now if only I could get all my friends and I to wear matching long-distance bracelets…

Dreams

I dreamed last night that my residence card came in the mail, but that I had to go be on America’s Next Top Model to get my picture taken for it.  Sadly, I also dreamed that my mom had another baby (17 years after the youngest) and named it Fab Yellow Submarine Moser, so I don’t think the residence card dream is a very trustworthy prophecy of what is to come.

However, when I called my mom to tell her my doofy dream, we also ended up talking about other things, and I mentioned how getting a KitchenAid mixer has been one of my “dreams.”  There’s something about a KitchenAid that represents more than just a kitchen appliance.  It means I will make bread every other day and my own noodles!  I can just imagine it whisking and beating frosting into a perfectly fluffy finished product, and warning my curious young children to keep their fingers away from it (and seeing in their eyes the desire to touch it, just to see what would happen).  And speaking of dreams, these curious young children are the most-dreamed-about-of-all.

The reason I mention all of this (aside from “because I haven’t done anything noteworthy in the past week to warrant a blog post”) is because I’ve been thinking a lot about things that are close to my heart, things I want.  A lot.  Besides a KitchenAid mixer and babies, one of the things that tops the list is a home.  Now,  I can’t claim that I never had a home and I moved around all my life and all I wanted as a kid was a steady place to live.  I had an awesome home.  I lived in a big farmhouse that I am so, so happy I can still sort of call home.  However, I realized that I have moved 5 times in the past year.  Five.  From college, to home, to Illinois, to home, to Denmark, to Sweden, and that doesn’t include all the travelling in between.  We’re moving again next week, but instead of a smooth across-the-hall move like we had hoped, things got bumped around a bit, and we’re going to end up moving all of our stuff down to the next building to live with my sister-in-law for a few days before we move it all back up again a week later to our new place which we’ll have until August somethingeth when we’ll have to move.  Again.

Besides hating the tasks of packing everything and moving over and over again, it’s beginning to take a pretty solid emotional toll on little old me.  Moving from my college town of Green Bay back home was bittersweet (the bitterness of leaving friends and the city and campus I grew to know, the sweetness of knowing I’d be getting married soon and starting a new life with my husband).  Moving from the Wisconsin farmouse to a stinky Illinois apartment in a sketchy part of town was a bit heartbreaking.  Moving to Europe was amazing (knowing I’d not have to have a long-distance relationship with Andreas) and horrible (saying what felt like an awfully permanent goodbye to so many people, places, and yes, things.).

I guess I’m just “over it.”  I’m not a young restless soul with a thirst for adventure.  I’m a crotchety old soul with a thirst for a cup of coffee and a place to plant my roots.  I want to buy a bed, and plates, and not say to myself “should I really get this, if we’re just going to have to lug it around for the next _____ amount of time?”  I know that this, along with my KitchenAid mixer and my longed-for babies, is just on the horizon, but the many moves in the meantime sort of cloud my view, and I’m left feeling a bit helpless, a bit homesick, and a bit detached.

Anyway, tomorrow is my first International Knitting Group meeting, and I have pretty high hopes!  Wish me luck with my nerves, and all this home-wanting angst.  Why am I not 45 yet?!