This is my first monthly review, in the change from weekly to monthly. I promise I will work to keep it concise, well as concise as I can anyway… LOL
It’s been almost two months since I left Germany and my German partners behind. We’re all back in Long Distance Relationship mode. Our communication ebbs and flows. This weekend I really felt the need to talk to Benjamin and he and I got on the phone and had a nice chat. It helped me really get a bit of my heart settled in a couple of ways. Stefan and I have actually been talking more than usual, which still isn’t very much, but I can tell he is making an effort to keep our lines of communication open, and it’s enough for us.
It’s been nice and a pretty good transition, much easier than the first time. We now have our patterns and routines and we know how to have these long-distance relationships. There are still open questions and things up in the air, but hey, that’s life and this life is not for the faint of heart!
Things with DJDM are good, and at the same time, this has been two of the hardest weeks ever. We were only together like three months before I left to travel for 2.5 months. Now we’ve moved in together. Both of our lives are completely different than they were when I left. A new neighborhood, living together, he’s not working but instead studying full-time and building his business, I haven’t worked in a month… I am in a new country (again), readapting to speaking Spanish almost full-time, readapting to a different culture. It always takes me a little time to adjust when I get here.
So there was a lot – no there IS a lot going on. We keep trying to remember that. We keep reminding each other to have grace for ourselves. I am learning how to give someone space in a relationship. I’ve never wanted to or needed to in a close relationship like this one. I feel like this is a good skill to learn and it’s good for us both that I do.
I don’t believe my partner should have to be everything for me, nor should he try to meet all my needs. I am learning to put my money where my mouth is and I have committed to putting effort into meeting up with friends and finding ways to meet new people. It’s hard when I work from home and get started right away in the morning, to get motivated to go out later, but I am trying.
One thing I still love about how we do life, that is still a revelation and a new exciting hopeful thing for me is the idea of together but separate. Even right now, I am in front of the TV, laptop fired up writing, and he is on the balcony studying. We’ll make dinner together soon, but I need to work on my bullet journal so probably after dinner, he will watch the game and I will work on that at the desk for a while. I love that!
I still really enjoy Medellin. But one of the things I’ve come to realize is that I am only here because I love DJDM. It’s worth it to me to be here rather than being in someplace I like better. But I will be here only until the first week in April and then, new adventures, both with him and without him will commence. We do have plans to sit down this weekend and look at the calendar and pick some dates to travel around the countryside a bit and let me experience more of Colombia. That will be fun!
I loved being in the US for a while too, mostly because I was with my crazy family and a good friend. It was also really easy to just BE when I was there. I didn’t have to think about if I am being too direct (Colombia) or not direct enough (Germany) for the people around me. I found it easy and quite relaxing in a lot of ways to be in my own culture for a while. I love being in new places and I like the tension it brings to my life… but sometimes it’s nice to chill without caring so much for cultural differences.
Also, expressing myself in English was wonderful. I love Spanish and I am basically fluent, but believe me, a huge part of the struggle with DJDM right now is my inability to express myself as clearly as I can in English, and my inability to understand when I am stressed or emotional. We end up going over things more than once, which often gets frustrating for both of us.
Hanging out in Alaska with my brother, my sister-in-law and my two nieces was wonderful! I forgot how much I miss them, and when they dropped me off at the airport I had to take quite a few deep breathes in order not to cry. When my 16-year old niece hugged me goodbye with tears in her eyes… OY! Or when the almost 13 yr old, snuggled with me on the couch while I drank my coffee, because she didn’t want me to leave? EEK! My brother even gave me a super long hug- and that’s not his style! Thing is, I used to see them all the time, then I moved, and they moved… and we haven’t seen each other in 5 years. The girls reminded me of this over and over!
My friend in Portland was great. She and I have known each other for years from an online photography community I was part of when I was a professional portrait photographer. We traveled to Copenhagen together a few years ago, and she kindly invited me to crash at her place, before and after visiting the fam in Alaska. It was super chill and I got to order a bazillion things off Amazon (an addiction I cannot usually indulge in otherwise) and send them to her house! I appreciated her ability to let me be part of her household and we relaxed and talked and just chilled in each other’s company.
OMG People! Food… I thought for sure I had gained every single kilo I lost in Cuenca when I was in the US eating and eating! LOL (I didn’t!) It was fun to go to my favorite spots for some yummy comfort food. It was even MORE fun to cook my favorites for my family! I am such a “cook for you” love language person! I made my famous Heart Attack Mac and Cheese, Lasagna, and other yummy things. I ate bagels and English muffins for breakfast (I NEVER eat that kind of stuff anymore unless it’s at a brunch out!)
Somehow, I didn’t end up going to Wendy’s, which to be honest isn’t something I needed, but I sure wanted a Spicy Chicken combo meal! I mean GEESH! Wendy’s isn’t international, so I can’t simply pop into one at an airport or anything! LOL But the food was fun while I was in the US!
Back in Colombia, I am more than happy to return to simpler fare in local restaurants, and the occasional night or lunch out to someplace more international. Cooking at home is more of a challenge because we don’t have an oven, but I like being creative and finding new ways and new things to cook. It’s half the fun.
I wrote a post “I am good at Sex, it’s the relationships I am not good at” where I talk about the fact that I know I need to be more vulnerable in relationships. Be more open, learn to let people in. Unexpectedly, with things being so difficult between DJDM and me, the way I am learning to do this is with my friends more than anything. I am not letting everyone think things are perfect and sunshiny days. I am telling people things suck and why. I pretty much hate it doing that!
What happens when we’re ok again, but everyone knows how hard it was to get there? When I called my BFF hysterical crying because of a fight we had, how is my best friend going to react when I am staying because we’re figuring things out? It is not easy to be vulnerable and trust people to love you and understand you later, even your best and closest people. They love me, they’ll want to defend me.
I don’t want to tell them things suck, (I don’t want to tell you either but here I am…) because that requires me to show my broken little heart and trust you to support me no matter what I decide about this relationship. Yep- definitely not the vulnerability I was expecting, yet… here we are.
I am trying to be as open and honest in my relationship with DJDM too, of course. It’s even more difficult than I expected because we often feel like we’re in two different chapters of the book, so being open and vulnerable could have even more painful consequences. But I am still determined to do it. I think it’ll be worth it in the end, either way.
(Stay Tuned. It’s already the first week of February as I write this and I promise you, it’s STILL hard!)
Here are some stories I wrote this month… you can enjoy a few sexy Stefan the Sex Scientist Stories:
Or some of the deeper stuff I wrote on www.elbyrnewriter.com