I took full advantage of working remotely and spent the last five days at home in Syracuse. It was the first time I’d come home since I moved to Charlotte more than a month ago, and I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. Of course I was excited to see Chris and my parents, but I wasn’t sure how I’d feel when I saw my old apartment and the familiar landmarks in the city. Would I be extremely homesick and regret my decision to move? Would I feel like this place wasn’t home anymore? The first day or so was a bit of a shock, I won’t lie. Here was this apartment I had shared with Chris for three years, yet suddenly there was a roommate’s stuff where my things used to be. In just a month, businesses had come and gone in my hometown. It was slightly unsettling. But once I got over the initial weirdness, the trip was so positive and really gave me perspective.
While it’s never ideal to be far away from the people you love, I’ve realized that a little bit of separation is often just the thing you need to appreciate just how much these people and places mean to you. When you have the luxury of seeing someone whenever you want, you can start to forget to appreciate that time together. But when it’s going to be a month or more before you see each other again, you have no choice but to cherish that time together. Whereas before you might not have thought twice about whipping out your phone in the middle of dinner, now you’re really listening to what the other person is saying. You want and need to make your time together count.
Long distance relationships/moving far from family is definitely not easy. But I think the positive side of distance doesn’t get nearly enough attention. While it certainly is stressful not seeing the people you love as much as you’d like, this separation can really sharpen your relationship and make it much stronger. When your time is short, you’re more focused on the other person, you communicate better, and you appreciate your connection.
I can’t wait to come home and see my family and Chris again, but I love that our time together has become so much more precious and special. Instead of viewing the distance as something sad and frustrating, it’s much easier to focus on the positive and the benefits of the new setup.
Have you done distance or moved far from family before? How did you manage it?