I never expected to fall in love with someone so far away. Long-distance relationships had never occurred to me to try until I found someone that was the exact person that I needed and wanted...except that he was halfway across the country. It's strange, the way life works.
When the pandemic hit in March of last year, I was terrified. Suddenly, I didn't know when I'd see the man I love or my son again. I already rarely got to see them because of the distance between us. Now we were isolated from each other, terrified that the other was going to catch a life-threatening disease. I couldn't be there for holidays or birthdays or, worst of all, medical emergencies. I didn't know when the world was going to be safe again, and I knew it was never going to be the same again.
With the world slowly returning to a state of functionality and both of us fully vaccinated, I'm finally flying out to see them for the first time in more than a year. In a week, I'll fly to see this little family of mine that I've loved from afar for so long, and I'll finally be able to begin the process of moving out there and building a life with them permanently.
This is both amazing...and terrifying.
I've lived in the same little town for my entire life. I've got favorite places to eat and shop and walk and relax, I know the ins and outs of the roads like the back of my hand, and I know people here. My family lives here, my parents and siblings and grandmother are all close enough to see regularly here. I have friends here and a coffee shop I frequent, business contacts and opportunities. I'm leaving all of that behind, and it feels like the very foundations of my world and shaking.
I will always be welcome at home. I know that - if I ever need it, I'll have a safe bed and a roof over my head to come back to. I'm not leaving forever; I'm going to come back and visit my family because I love them too much not to. And I know that they will sometimes want to come to see me and find out what I'm up to.
But I also know that I am going to be hundreds of miles away and that those visits will be further apart and more expensive than they've ever been. I'm changing my entire life, and I have to accept that though it's terrifying, it's the right thing to do right now.
I have never been more excited to be afraid.