Today Elizabeth returns from an unexpectedly long trip taking care of a grandparent. As she flies home across the continent, I ask myself: how will we return to each other?
The past two weeks have revealed to me how I live & operate when I’m alone in a space. I’d somewhat forgotten that I love to blast music at full volume, sleep with the blinds open to wake up with the sun, work from the dining room table part-time, and entertain coworking & play throughout the days & evenings.
Eight and a half years ago, Elizabeth & I started dating “long distance.” Over the next almost-decade (!) we’ve learned so much about each other, and about relationship dynamics between two people who are so different yet so committed to one another.
We live very differently, yet we love living together.
How can such different flavors exist in harmony together when the containers we each create and thrive in are so different?
The answer, we’ve learned year after year, challenge after challenge, is simply love.
Not “love” the infatuation force that coats your frontal lobe in dopamine, the giddy puppy love, but real love. The choice to love and honor each other’s humanity and divinity.
For that is what we’ve learned love is. It is not feeling obligated to do the things you’ve learned can protect and enhance the other person’s flow state, peace of mind, inner joy… and choosing to do them anyway.
Emptying the garlic sheaths from the fridge (l0l), tidying my work stuff from the dining room table, turning on the smell-good thingy for a few hours, clearing my schedule to pick her up from the airport.
These are the kinds of things we do when we choose to love—to act with love, even when it’s not what we’d planned to do that day.
A bientôt mon amour ,--0
Originally published @July 8, 2021