I've been putting off this post entirely too long now because it's not a fun topic to write, or even think about. I'm currently sitting with a coffee in the cafe of the Taipei hotel we're calling home for six nights. My boyfriend and I have been best friends for almost four years, partners for more than three, roommates for almost two. We can't count on two hands the number of countries we have traveled to together (thanks to those Caribbean countries we visited on a cruise :p), and now we're on one last big trip before the start of a new chapter. Years of hard work and patience are paying off and my boyfriend is finally going to medical school! Across the country... that is. While I'm immensely proud and excited, I'd be lying if I said I weren't scared. Other than being separated in San Diego and LA for a few months, we have been by each other's side almost every single day. It's a huge change and I'm not always the best at dealing with drastic life changes, especially when they have to do with goodbyes. However, there are a few ways that make it a bit easier for me, and I'd love to hear any advice from you.
- Getting Away. This is by far my favorite things to do during transitional periods in life. Immediately after a big event - graduation, leaving a job, anything - I like to get away for a few days and when I get back, everything might be different but I feel a lot more equipped to deal with it.
- Talking about it. As I'm getting older, everyone around me is getting a lot busier and friendship requires effort. For my best friends, I never worry about us drifting apart due to lack of contact. However, when there are big changes happening, I think it's important to keep each other updated. I tend to be a reserved even with people close to me, but once I open up and talk about what's going on in my life, even if it's difficult, I feel way better afterwards. Support from friends and family is so vital.
- Counting my blessings. Honestly I feel pretty silly for being at all distraught about Jerry going off to medical school. It's an all around great thing and the distance between us is simply a small hiccup in the grand scheme of things. Remembering this simple fact helps me feel less anxious about what's coming. Being separate will be hard sometimes but it will also be exciting to visit each other and travel even more as an excuse. I also found the perfect new apartment for myself and I'm actually so excited to move in. There are countless things for us to be grateful about - I know that even the fact I get to worry about this instead of my livelihood or the health of the loved one is a luxury.
As I'm writing this post, I already feel more optimistic about the future. Positive thinking makes all the difference, but it's just hard getting yourself to think that way sometimes. It's also important to know that it's okay to be sad and in pain. Those emotions are difficult, but are made way worse by our resistance to them. As Andy from Headspace said in one my meditation sessions, "When we appreciate that all emotions are transient it becomes easier to observe them without bias". Nothing on earth, physical or mental, is permanent and in the end, everything little thing's gonna be alright.