My Only Hope Is That We Can Find a Way to Laugh Together

A few weeks ago, after one of my best friends drove away from a weekend that flew by, I went down to the river to get lost in one of my favorite places in the city—my spot. I sunk under the railing and hung from the wall until the familiar feeling of letting go swept over me. I brushed my hands off, grabbed my coffee from the ledge and tiptoed over the cracks and through the broken Heineken bottles until I reached where the sun so perfectly reflects off the water at sunset.

I sat there, gazing at the skyline that I’ve dreamed of for as long as I can remember, contemplating life—what I was doing, where I came from, where I was going, who I wanted along for the ride. I thought about how life very rarely goes according to plan and how time is moving way too quickly these days. I dwelled on him and the fact that we were in the middle of a pointless argument—or so it seemed to me considering I couldn’t fathom why he’d think I’d walk away. In my mind, it was clear that there was a connection that surpassed anything I’d ever experience before and it seemed as though he was on the same page, so this particular argument seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. Either way, it eventually hit me that we all have our own hopes, dreams and fears—and just because someone can’t immediately grasp what they are, where they came from or why we are so strong in our convictions, doesn’t make them any less valid and worthy of a conversation and understanding. With this thought my mind began to wander into thoughts of making a difference—in my own life and in others’. I wanted to find a way to live in faith—not in the religious sense, but just knowing that everything would work out in the end—something I’ve never been good at until moving to this city and setting out on a quest for it. So, as I watched the sun begin to sink in the summer sky, I folded my legs into Lotus, synchronized my breath with the water lapping against the rocks while I carelessly fumbled with a piece of shattered green glass, getting lost in the labyrinth that is my mind in search of something that made sense.

You see, my spot, it’s a beautiful thing—maybe not in a literal sense, but in terms of what it can do to my mind, there’s really no words to describe it. As soon as it hit me, I stood up walked over to the ledge and hoisted myself back into reality. I needed to write.

So There’s This Guy…

Back then—and I say it like it was so long ago because that’s exactly what it feels like—I was under the impression that I wasn’t capable of impacting this guy in a way that would silence his fears and allow him to see all the ways that the pros outweighed the cons, nor was I going to be able to try to in person due to our plans falling through for the beach. So I took to my MacBook and let it flow.

As soon as I hit “publish” I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. For a while I had been contemplating this person and how he’d come into my life and where he’d been all along and how the world works in mysterious ways. I knew it didn’t make sense—it still doesn’t and I don’t know if I will have the chance to find out if it ever will. Knowing that it wasn’t even logical to myself, it was of no surprise when my phone started blowing up from friends back home asking me which regular it was and from my best friends here and around the country telling me I was ballsy and asking if he had any idea that I’d written about him. Perhaps it’s a bad thing that I didn’t care whether or not he saw it—or how he felt about it quite frankly—I was just relieved that I was finally able to put it into words.

After a strained night of texting that seemed awkward and forced due to the current situation we had been facing, I wasn’t going to put my blog in the limelight, I just told him that I was writing. I knew that he followed my writing closely because he was the only person to ever tell me that I needed to write more often so as to not string my readers along, and with the mention of what I was doing, I knew it’d cross his path eventually.

He saw it the next morning and it changed everything. That just goes to show the power of words, I suppose. That and the fact that up until him, I had never written about boys—but then again, that’s because I’d never let one in after my last relationship in the first place.

All of a sudden there was this guy who was so willing to let his guard down and get lost in the happiness of what we were experiencing. Pointless conversations and games of 20 questions kept us entertained for days on end as we made out on a journey to get to know one another better. It was effortless and it was eye-opening. There were misunderstandings that led to five minute annoyances, but we got over it because at the end of the day, did it really matter?

The day after he read my blog, he was greeted by the pleasant surprise that his boss changed his mind about his schedule and decided that he could go to the beach after all. Our first encounter since being separated by a bar eight months prior was finally a reality and I couldn’t contain my excitement. Though he was equally excited (and nervous), he would send me songs like Wait Until Tomorrow by Prince Fox (listen to it, it’s gold) to ease my nerves and remind me that not everything has to go according to a plan. So I decided to flow—or try to.

Thursday, September 3rd was easily the slowest day I’ve experienced since moving to New York City. Each time I’d thought an hour had passed, I’d look at the clock and realize a mere three minutes had…needless to say 6 o’clock couldn’t come quick enough and when it did I was all over the place and completely serene at the same time. This was happening.

Before I knew it my bus was in DC at the first stop of drop-offs. I had everything planned out in my head of how our very first encounter would go and how close it was—how it didn’t feel real that I’d be seeing him for the first time in less than thirty minutes. It suddenly dawned on me that I wasn’t nervous anymore, instead I was all too aware of the possibility that this was going to feel even more real in person and I was going to fall far too hard.

Matt (woops did I actually just bring him to life?) was anxiously texting me apologizing that he was going to be a few minutes late–it was kind of adorable. Where that may have bothered me in any other relationship due to realizing, like I should be used to by now, that things weren’t going to go according to the plan in my head, I didn’t care because this was finally happening and it was going to be even better than I could’ve ever imagined. Everything we’d been saying and doing, everything we’d been learning was finally before us. And just like that I was hit with this insane sense of belonging and no words can do justice for that feeling.

Arriving in Vienna, I was struck with nostalgia for a place that I’d called home my whole life. It was weird to be back, to feel like nothing and everything had changed. Before I had a chance to get lost in thought, my phone began to ring.

“Hey, you look really cute.”

Looking like a spinning lunatic to any observer apart from him, I turned in circles trying to see where he was. Next thing I knew, his Santa Fe was in front of me and I caught my first real-life glimpse.

Leaning over his console and hugging, let alone touching him for the first time was everything I’d ever hoped. You see, people called me crazy for feeling so connected to someone states away who I’d never hung out with, but in that very first moment, I knew that I was right all along.

He pulled into drive and I told him we were going to swing by my house after all because of all the people worried about how crazy I was to be going to the beach with a stranger, my mother was among them and I knew she’d be panicking and tracking me wondering if all her fears of him being a Catfish or murderer were spot on. In the seven minutes it took to reach the winding road that led to so many memories and a life I felt so far from living in New York, he and I spoke about anything and everything. He was a little bit shy at first, but the way he looked at me, just like the very first time, again made me realize I was right.

We didn’t get to the beach until 5:30 in the morning, but we were wide awake. Over the next few days we talked, smiled, cuddled, slept, hung out with my family, adventured, went to concerts on the beach, attended art shows and farmers markets, got in a biking accident that we still don’t understand how we came out unscathed, tried new foods, went on our first real date, laughed, loved, argued and almost gave up. It was a whirlwind that we chocked up to being our first time together in person to learn each other’s needs, expressions, tendencies and pet peeves. I could give you every detail but that’d be another 2,000 words and quite frankly, I want to hold some of the magic all to myself—I know, how very unlike me. I don’t know, there’s just something about this boy that has me hoarding selfies and videos to myself for the time being, not necessarily needing the world to see it, but hoping that one day they proudly will.

Coming back to New York after our weekend of growth at the beach was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve only ever been in long distance relationships when it was summer vacation during college, so going into a long distance relationship from the start was an entirely new ball game. As soon as I stepped foot off that bus and into my city of dreams, I felt like something was missing. I was in a haze my whole way home glued to my phone waiting to see his name appear. I felt like I was in a dream and the past four days hadn’t just happened; like I didn’t actually live this far away.

We talked on the phone that night and were in the exact same boat. We reminisced our weekend that passed too quickly and got excited for when he’s supposed to visit to run our half marathon. We made plans and told each other how we felt. We fell asleep happy with each other but sad that we were apart. The next day I woke up hollow. As I sat up to force myself out of bed, I caught glimpse of my luggage in the corner and began crying. I couldn’t help but wonder what in the world was I thinking, why would I put myself through this, why I cared so much when I had been so effortlessly turning any prospect of a relationship down the past six months because I was completely uninterested in letting someone in, investing time and energy, but most importantly, I was completely uninterested in giving someone my heart. And then I remembered. It’s the way he looks at me and the way he gets bashful when I’m looking at him. It’s the way he walks with a bounce in his step all the time and has the widest smile that you can’t help smiling back at. It’s the way he grabbed my hand everywhere we went and would kiss me on my nose. It’s the way he’d take silly pictures and dance like no one was looking. It’s the way he knew exactly what I was thinking and sent me the Fineapples. It’s the way that he got me and when he didn’t, he tried to.

I knew it was worth it.

And then, out of nowhere, it became too much–missing each other, misunderstanding each other, never having wanted a long distance relationship. It happened so quickly that I’m still spinning, just wanting to fall back into our steady orbit and abandon the madness of the last week. I’m up here wishing it’s all been a bad dream that I’m very ready to wake up from. How is it that someone who is you’re exact counterpart, like no one you’ve ever met before, has to live so far away?  I keep trying to find words for it, to regain balance—but everything seems to get lost in translation.

Anyways, the world sure has a mysterious sense of humor; my only hope is that we can find a way to laugh together. Until then, I’m working on this whole patience, go-with-the-flow thing—keeping that spark alive and remaining grateful to have met the person who broke my walls down, made me see life in a new light, pushed me to become a better person over the past few months, gave me someone to believe in and showed me that there’s really someone out there who likes honey on their nuggets just as much as I do.

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