For the past four years I have been on the move from Chicago to Milan to New York, oh my! I have been chasing my educational and career dreams all over the world, but have never forgotten what matters most.
Not only do I have my family and oldest friends back in Chicago, but I also left behind a very special someone named Ben. For the past four years Ben has dealt with my constant need to plan ahead. Everyday I continue to reach for the stars and strive for perfection. Even though my dreams moved me across the world, I knew I had him right beside me every step of the way.
Being in a long distance relationship can be very challenging. Like any relationship there are good days and bad days, laughter and tears, smiles and frowns, but always I love you’s. I would say after four long years we have found ourselves in somewhat of a pattern and finally see an end in sight. Since I plan weeks, months and even years ahead I have been doing a much better job at planning bi-monthly visits between our two cities. What is the secret to our success you may ask? We Save Room. Shortly after beginning to date in 2010 John Legend’s Save Room became our song. No matter how big the fight, or length of a breakup, those words John sings has kept us true to one another.
Granted we have had our trial separations, but silence only made our hearts grow fonder. Each day I wake up thankful for this wonderful, caring and devoted man in my life (whether he believes that or not). But with a plane ride between us we must be planners and get creative to keep our love alive and fresh.
For starters, I have literally created a calendar of the next 6 months to block out 2 weekends a month for “us” time. Number one rule when we are together is we must “live” those precious and scarce moments like they could be our last. We have our fair share of teasing, sarcasm and bellyaches from laughter during that short period of time. Being with your best friend, someone you are too incredibly comfortable with, for an intense 48 hours is pretty amazing.
As a way to plan, I’ll sign up for events or purchase theater tickets way in advance. He thinks I just cannot sit still (which is not entirely wrong). One of my favorite activities took place last Christmas when we made calzones at a pizza place in lower Manhattan. It was 11am on a chilly Saturday in December, I had no make-up on, we were hung over, and ended up stuffing our faces. It was perfect because we were just real with other, and those memories last forever.
With all of the planning, sometimes it is refreshing to have NO plans. A few months back I was in Chicago for a weekend to visit Ben and we had nothing to do. On Saturday we woke up and decided to go see a movie at 12:30 – I can’t remember the last time I saw an afternoon movie! With two extra large sodas in hand we strolled into an empty theater to see one of the latest comedies and just laughed hysterically for two hours. It may seem trivial but it was something new for us.
New adventures and major life choices will be planned out in our futures alone and with each other but most importantly we remember to always Save Room. Our relationship is complicated by distance but we make our own rules.