Days are special because we give them meaning. We celebrate on different occasions and share those days with the ones close to us, the ones we love. Throughout the years we have celebrated Thanksgiving Day as a day to remember to be thankful for all we have (for life itself) for all we’ve accomplished and the family and friends we have. This year I have many things to be grateful for.
I’m thankful for life…after all we have been through here. For the family I have and the family I chose because they never cease to amaze me and support me in every decision I make (they know who they are). For an amazing job that allows me to help others, to spread a little kindness.
I’m thankful for Love… Four years ago (November 23, 2013) someone told me I was his girlfriend and I laughed at the joke. Today I celebrate one more year of shared jokes, many calls, countless text messages. Another year of learning to love across the distance, of walking through the storm together where he always takes my heart to safety.
There aren’t enough words to say how everyone touches your heart in their own way but their prints stay with you forever. For another year of shared memories… I’m thankful.
Giving up it’s easy. Staying after a fight to try and fix what’s wrong… that’s the real test. It seems that I always find the best words when I’m at the verge of letting my anger get the best of me. Love letters are relationship savers after all… don’t forget to let the love flow out in words.
A secret is something we don’t want others to know. Something we decided it was best to be kept hidden. Sometimes that something is our relationship. Those who decide to keep their relationship a secret will give you a hundred reasons why they have to. Fears, family, religion, culture… they all play a role in that decision.
I am one of those persons. I kept certain details of my LDR secret for some time because of a few reasons. I was (still am) afraid of people judging on my kind of relationship. My bf had his reasons too so we decided it was for the best…even when there are times I wish it was just like a normal one.
Last week. I keep a picture of my bf on a shelf in my cubicle at work (the why is a story for another day). I was working on a case and this old couple looks at the picture and one of them says “it’s so nice that you have a picture of your husband here, he is very handsome”. Before I could say he wasn’t my husband, a coworker adds “she is very in love with her husband”. After the couple left my coworker walks to my desk, looks at the picture and says “remember when I asked and you told me he was your adopted son? I always thought he looked too old to be adopted”. We both laughed and I told her I was sorry, but people wouldn’t understand.
That’s when I remembered that a few months ago I went to Macy’s with my mom and like she always does, we stopped at one of the perfume counters. She saw the Dubai edition of one of the perfumes and joked about how that perfume was “arab like your bf”. Of course that caught the attention of the saleswoman who couldn’t help asking about it.
A few months ago. The saleswoman walked over to us smiling but I could notice how her face was changing during the conversation. What follows is what I remember about the conversation at Macy’s between all 3 of us because my mom is less worried about people judging and keeping secrets:
Now? Every time something like this happens I lose a little bit of confidence. While there are times I tell myself that I would like to be able to tell everyone…there are still things that scare me (and my bf). We still struggle with those fears, family, friends, differences in culture… But when it is wise and safe to risk it? Is it worth it? Would we regret it? While it is true that we should always be proud of the person we are with, and we are, we are still afraid of the backlash we might receive.
Not everyone is meant to be great and go on adventures. Some people are only allowed to dream their wholes lives and maybe I’m one of those people who are not meant to wake up. Life is full of opportunities but they are not for me, maybe I’m supposed to help others to see where those opportunities are and grab them. Giving is in my nature. I do not love thinking in what I can get in return, but I do love expecting to build beautiful things that will last forever.
People like me, we want to be the architect of someone else’s life, someone else’s dream. Not because I think they need me to design a life for them, but because I think they deserve the best they can get out of life. The life I feel I will never have.
People like me think everyone we love is made of stardust and we see how they can be a shooting star… so we build them up and make them shine knowing we are allowed only to wish upon that star as we see them light up the sky if only for a second before they are gone from our lives.
I’ve never felt I have a place where I belong. I don’t even think this world is made for people like me…but we sure try to make it perfect for someone else when we love them as much as I love.
This is the last day of the year and I couldn’t be happier. This year was filled with many challenges and lessons that I won’t be able to forget. Everything seemed to be frozen in time, including my relationship.
As you all know… Shit Happens (in 2016):
Faces we see, hearts we can’t know. This year my relationship was truly tested. We dealt with people that tried to break us up, insecurities, trust issues, you name it. It was a lot. I feel like I lost something that I won’t be able to get back.
You can take the guy out from the army but you can’t take the army out from the guy. I learned firsthand that people who go to the military change. I’m happy because he has built a strong character and has become an amazing man. But nothing that good is free… he is stronger, tougher and now it feels like it’s harder to see his feelings and make him express them, even during arguments.
A blast from the past. Before he went to army I was very happy to see our relationship move forward and the way we felt comfortable expressing a little bit more in public. Now it seems that we are back to square one and it’s like we are stuck in year one of our relationship. But at least there’s hope…
I have to admit that not everything was bad. Here are the good things I will take from 2016:
Achievement Unlocked: Survived Army. Our relationship survived his time in the military.
Achievement Unlocked: Rings to Bind Them. For my birthday he bought me a beautiful ring. I did the same for his. Ehh… does this means we are engaged?
The Strong Woman Award. After all the challenges of this year, I’m still standing.
Medal of Hope. I know things will change for the better. We need to have a little bit of Faith and what every couple in a LDR has, plans (lots of them).
So before this year comes to an end, I have one more thing to say…
On November 23, 2013 I heard myself say the words “I Love you too” making that a very special day. Anniversaries are not just dates in a calendar. They are reminders of special events in our lives. In my relationship they are a reminder of a decision we made to be in love and keep this love alive for years to come. It is a reminder of the commitment we have towards this relationship and each other.
Love should be celebrated. We should look back with pride at all the years we’ve been fighting for love and conquering everything that life has thrown at us. We should look forward with confidence that we will still be fighting in the future. We should look forward and plan for our “forever”because I read once that “Forever is composed of Nows” (Emily Dickinson).
Our “nows”should lead to each other. Just like every big decision in my life, every choice I make leads me to you, brings me closer to you. After all, you are my relationship goal. You have been for 3 years and I can only hope that you will be forever. You and Me turned out to be Us November 23, 2013.
Happy Anniversary Mi Amor…
* The letter above was written during a hardship in our relationship. I thought that I had lost part of it during this time when some external factors were threatening everything we have built together. The letter is a reminder that we chose to fight for what it’s ours. Love.
*Credits: lyrics from the song Pandemonium by Pet Shop Boys.