A Long Distance Valentine’s Day

Being in a long distance relationship does not come without its challenges. For me, the greatest issue is the emotional pain at being separated, particularly on days of significance for us. The following post is a brief look at how Valentine’s Day 2019 unfolded for me, on the complete opposite side of the globe to the one I love..

 

Yesterday:

7:10 am – I wake and slowly remember that today is Valentine’s Day. We are apart. She is in England and I am in Australia. I daydream for a few moments about the fantastically brilliant time we had over Christmas on her side of the world..

7:20 am- We skype. She asks if I have opened her card that has arrived in a bright red envelope with specific instructions ‘not to open until the 14th’. I confess I have not, refraining from telling her that it will be a bitter sweet moment; her words of love will spill from the card yet she will not be near for me to reach out to hold and return the sentiment. I end up opening the card over skype and we smile and joke lightly about the funny otters on the front..

8:15 am – I decide to put all thoughts of Valentine’s day out of my mind as I go about my day, knowing full well, it is an over-hyped ploy from businesses to draw people in to consuming frivolous tokens of affection..

11:15 am – I return home from running errands to find six long stemmed roses near the front door. They are yellow. Our rose colour. The pit in my stomach returns. Another reminder that we are together, yet so far apart. It is actually incomprehensible to me at times. I feel slightly disappointed to have missed the flower delivery man who seems to be following along with unfiltered joy our tale of love through the scribblings on cards accompanying yellow roses! The flowers come inside and are placed in a vase on the hall stand for all to admire..

12:30 pm – Over lunch I decide to have a social media free day. I can’t bear the thought of endless scrolling over people’s PAL’s (public announcements of love). I am in love! I have a Valentine! She is wonderful in every way! Yet, she is not near. Nope, no scrolling for me. It’s the local paper and a sunny spot outside with the cat today..

12:40 – I cave. I find myself scrolling through Instagram. As suspected every second post is a love heart or broadcast of affection of some sort. Yearning to throw the phone on the ground in frustration and watch it smash into a million pieces, I painfully and gently place it on the table face down..

3:30 pm- Thoughts of her waking up filter into my mind. I wish I was there to wake up with her. I am feeling incredibly sad and sorry for myself. Misery is oozing from deep within me, seeping out of my every pore.

5:00 pm – Her first skype messages of the day filters through. She is thanking me for the ‘sweet owl card’. In my haste posting it, I had neglected to put a clue on the back to ‘not open this card until the 14th’. I had recalled that the stamp was upside down on this one…and she remembers. She has saved it to open today. My heart melts.

6:00 pm – I begin to stress that I have not organised something to be delivered to her. I was so happy to have posted my card in time to her. I fret over her not receiving a gesture of love when it is the only day of the year that she will be constantly reminded that we are together, yet so far apart. I can’t bear it. Thoughts of frivolous consumerism fly out the window. I spend an hour while I should be making dinner searching local businesses that might send an appropriate gift of love. The cut off times were mostly 3pm the day before. Bugger! Buggerbuggerbugger..

6:30 pm – The local florist near her is my saviour. They are just starting their working day and reply graciously to my confuddling series emails. The time difference works in my favour. I send thanks to the universe that this is so.

6:45 pm – The fretful feeling has passed. The only way to feel the love is to release the love and as hard as I had tried to hold on tight and refuse to acknowledge this day of ‘love’ that we are forced to endure from a commercial point of view, I know I need to show her just how much she means to me. Being apart is absolutely the most difficult part of our relationship. Especially those times when all I yearn for is her smile, her hand to hold or her laugh that makes me dissolve when it hits my ears. The vast emptiness is heart-wrenching and the hours apart so incredibly long.

10:30 pm – I turn out the light and think of her going about her work day. It will nearly be lunchtime with her. I wonder if the flowers will make it to her or not. They have not reached her in the past due to work and location issues. I feel a sense of peace knowing that my gesture of love is out there, somewhere making its way to her, somehow..

4:12 am – I stir with a pulling feeling that won’t go away. I try to ignore it but it proves impossible. I roll over and check my phone for messages. She has received the flowers and chocolates. And the heartfelt scribblings on yet another card. The space/distance barrier has been ruptured again…

Luna xo

(This was our first Valentine’s Day since becoming engaged).

To Find One’s Tribe

Yesterday I was at the annual Pride march in Melbourne. It was a baking hot 39c with a clear blue sky. The commencement of the march had been shifted from the previously scheduled 2pm to an earlier 11am, in order to give people a chance to escape the worst of the heat. In true Melbourne style the crowds came out (oops, no pun intended!). I witnessed people cramming onto trains and trams to arrive in good time to situate themselves in a shady aspect along Melbourne’s iconic Fitzroy Street in the heart of St Kilda. The crowd was a sea of colour; rainbow socks, frocks and sparkly pairs of jocks. Braces and bow ties, hats, capes and umbrellas for protection against the harsh summer sun. Feathers and bubbles with a side of sequins for good measure. Glittered beards. If a person is ever feeling like the lone gay in the village, all they need do is find themselves along Fitzroy Street on Pride day, where they will be enveloped in the enormous crowd that is Melbourne’s LGBTQI+ community.

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I had been feeling especially this way, living out of the city, where metropolitan living and rural zones merge. Life here, whilst being incredibly rich for my soul in so many ways, is particularly bland (non existent even?) in anything resembling rainbow visibility. I love Melbourne’s diversity and vibrant, eclectic mix of cultural groups. For me, it is what makes Melbourne home. I feel fortunate to be within easy travelling distance of the city and my heart goes out for members of the LGBTQI+ community who live in remote areas where traveling down for the day is not an option.

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Over the weekend a friend and I were talking about queer visibility in country towns and how important this is for people who identity as LGBTQI+, wherever they find themselves along the rainbow. For me, it all comes down to feeling a sense of belonging to my tribe, which is why events like Pride are so powerful for reconciling who we are when times are tough. It is about a sense of belonging, acceptance and zero judgement to be the person who is continually rising within. It is about authenticity and supporting my community. Empowerment. Giving back where I once received. Recognising that we are all so uniquely different and that is the richness of our identities. Sharing this and celebrating it however we choose. Carving a greater space for Rainbow Pride within communities across our country. It is about people connecting with one another and sharing who they are.

Tribe.

One word.

Of ancient origin.

Humans are social creatures and need to feel this sense of belonging. It is fundamental to our sense of self. Connection lies in the core of humanity.

I feel blessed to be slowly finding my tribe.

Luna xo