Always Expect the Unexpected
Part of being positive is being able to roll with the punches and view life’s curveballs as lessons.
In case you’re new to this series, let’s recap: Mr. Blue Eyes and I had our First Five Dates in Five Different States. Date One was the night we met — at a karaoke bar in New Orleans. Date Two was actually six in one — when I flew to Spain to vacation with him for a week. There was lots of magic and moments and miles driven in a Fiat.
Okay, you’re all caught up.
I’ve been a tad delinquent with my posts, but only because I’ve been contemplating how I wanted this next one to go. As you’ve probably already guessed, something happened that wasn’t expected. Before we get to that, however, let’s go back to Spain…
I left Blue in Madrid at the end of April. I caught a flight back to California, and he continued on for a few more days before returning to the states. It wasn’t long though before I saw him again. Fast forward to mid-May, and Date Three, when he joined me in California for my best friend’s wedding — the same friend whose Bachelorette Party brought me to New Orleans in the first place. It was a special weekend, but it went by too fast. Soon he was on a plane back to Kansas.
June was a difficult month.
We didn’t see each other at all. Skype helped, but it wasn’t the same as being together. We both struggled with the distance and he was also in the midst of adjusting to life away from the military. It was not easy. The road to Date Four was a long one, but we got there eventually.
We flew to New York for July 4th weekend and spent the next few days in my hometown while my family was away on vacation. The objective of this visit was to have “normal” time. We had a house to ourselves, two dogs to take care of, and work to do during the day. Not to mention it was summer — there was a pool to swim in, restaurants to go to, and friends to meet up with in Manhattan. By the time we arrived at La Guardia Airport on the last day, everything felt different. Better. As we held each other before going our separate ways, he looked me in the eyes and said, “I love you.” Twice. And I said it back. Twice.
Needless to say, my eyes weren’t dry as I walked through security.
Many more “I love yous” were exchanged in the weeks that followed. Three small words made being apart a little easier. By mid-August our next date was planned. Date Five took place in his hometown, Kansas City. I had never been, so it was super exciting to visit a new place. And meet his family. And pretty much get a guided tour from someone who knew the city inside and out. Oh, did I mention there was a picnic?
Kansas City is also where we had some of our more serious talks about our relationship, our goals, and where we wanted to go moving forward. We finally made the decision that we would be together in one location by the end of the year, no matter what. They weren’t the easiest conversations, but I left Kansas City with more clarity and most importantly, more love.
It was a great feeling. I was excited. Inspired.
So much so that, come September, I began writing about our story. I had been wanting to share it for awhile, and it felt like the perfect time to start. For me, the best part of publishing is when people have a reaction to what I’ve written. (Just like the best part of reading is when someone else’s words evoke an emotional response in you.) So, when I shared that first post and received feedback from people who were “feeling the love” and were “excited to read more,” I felt happy that I was able to share such a unique tale of human connection.
When I published the second post at the end of September, I never dreamed that I’d finish the series no longer in a relationship with Blue.
Date Six took place the first week in October with Blue flying out to California once again. Although seeing him after another seven weeks apart was like a breath of fresh air, something had changed. There’s no doubt that our love was still there, but it was almost like our individual lives and desires hadn’t caught up with each other yet.
It became clear after a few days that this would be our last “date.”
The next three posts, including this one, were all written with this knowledge, but I told myself that I would finish what I had started. At the end of the day, writing has always been my outlet for expressing and working through my thoughts, and this project was no different.
Speaking of working through my thoughts, I’ve been pondering the following: Timing is Everything or All You Need is Love? Surely, you’ve used one or both of these phrases at some point in your life.
I like to think that I’m an “all you need is love” kind of girl.
Sometimes, however, timing and circumstance make it difficult to keep love the priority — which begs the question: was it real love in the first place? Timing can bring two people together, as it did in our case, and timing can also cause two people to go their separate ways. Distance and work and school are all factors in a person’s life that can get in the way of his/her ability to nourish a relationship, and invest in another person.
But does that mean the love wasn’t real? No.
It’s just means that some love stories are short, and some love stories are long. “Timing” will ultimately bring two people together that are both in a place to make love a priority. That is where you’ll find the long love stories. The forever ones.
In the meantime, it’s the shorter ones that get you prepared. The short stories shape who you are and teach you more about yourself.
The short love stories help you become the best version of YOU so that you can be the best partner for someone else.
This is absolutely true of my relationship with Blue. We had our first five dates in five different states, experiences that shaped my life in five different ways:
- I went to SPAIN. My spontaneous nature was sparked, and it felt good. I felt alive.
- I began writing again. When you actually LIVE your life, you have so many more stories to tell.
- I realized what I really want. Blue and I had many discussions on where we would live. (Kansas? New York?) Because of this, in the end, I figured out that what was still best for me was to leave the west coast and move back east. I’ve since relocated back to New York and am working remotely for my California-based company.
- I confirmed that we must have faith in the Universe. Our moments in Spain proved that, and even moments after we broke up showed that the Universe is extremely accommodating.
- I made a friend. Regardless of the length of our relationship, we were supposed to meet. We fell in love, yes. But for most of our long distance relationship, we were friends. We would speak on the phone for hours each week. It was great, it was not so great, it was life. We learned from each other and now we can move forward.
Did I think when I started writing this series that it would end so soon? Of course not. But those five takeaways are enough to make me know it was worth it, and that what’s around the corner is going to be even better. How do I know?
Because I learned to always expect the unexpected.
Originally published at notesbynatalie.com on December 4, 2015.