To Love & Be Loved

When I dreamt up this whole travelling the world idea, there wasn’t much holding me back. In fact, that’s part of why I was so determined to make this happen for myself. No career, no kids, no commitments, no rush to finish school, no relationship. 

Now is the time to do this

Moving full force forward with that, I had no hesitation. No doubt. No uncertainty. 

But then comes Dan: unexpected, unplanned, and seemingly …meant to be? 

How did this human being come into my life – and fit so well – when I was about to leave the country indefinitely ? I remember friends seeing him come around a few times at the beginning and they asked me,

“Paige – this guy still? Aren’t you leaving soon?” 

To which I responded with,

“I know it seems crazy, but this just isn’t something i can’t not explore.”

It was really early on when I realized that this was potentially a ridiculously sticky situation to get in to. But when someone walks into your life, embraces the very essence of your being, encourages you to be exactly who you are, is so authentically themselves around you, looks at you in a way that no one has before, how could you possibly turn that away? Why would you ever not allow yourself the chance to explore that? 

I did. And I am so unbelievably glad I did. 

But when I realized that he wasn’t just going to be a brief blink in my dating experiences, when I realized he was going to keep calling, when I realized how forward I looked to seeing him, I started to actually consider how this could possibly turn out. My initial approach was something of, well, embracing that there will be an inevitable end. I had my flight date, and that was looming in the near-ish distance. I was okay with getting a bit invested because if it didn’t work out, well it just wouldn’t have anyways so that doesn’t matter. And if does work out, well maybe it would just be worth the heartbreak. 

It wasn’t until a few months in when I realized that actually, maybe, by some insane work of divinity and insanity, maybe that end wouldn’t be so inevitable. Crazy, I know. But actually, maybe not. Because that end didn’t come after four months of dating. Nor has it come after four and a half months of long distance. 

If you had asked me if I ever thought I would be in this position, I would have told you you’re insane. 

But the fact of the matter is that I’m having dreams come true that I didn’t even know I had. 

Not only has he not held me back, but he’s wholeheartedly been propelling me forward. I could not have asked for a better experience with a long distance relationship. We became closer in ways that we probably wouldn’t have if it for this experience, at least not this early on perhaps. About a month before he joined me, on one of our phone calls he ended it with “I can’t wait to kiss you again.” And weirdly, that caught me off guard. He has truly become my best friend, and I briefly forgot that he came with more! Like wait, I get to kiss you TOO!? 

As I write this I am brought to tears with gratitude for the fact that there is another human on this planet that loves me so genuinely that he has supported me through this entire journey so far, and now he is here with me. 

Tonight is the first night that we aren’t sharing a bed since he’s arrived. Instead, we are on an overnight bus and he’s in a bunk a couple feet away from me. How I could handle him being across the world and in another time zone? I have no clue as I can hardly stand this. But as he sweetly slumbers, I keep looking over at him (resisting the urge to reach out with affection), thinking of how I had no clue that this kind of love was possible, and how lucky I am to love – and be loved by – him.


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