Friday, May 06, 2005

Worried and Wondering

It's only a little more than a week until Kristin gets back from Central America and I find myself overcome with so many more emotions than I thought I would be when she first left. Really I thought the only thing I'd be feeling the closer she got to coming back was anticipation. That is definitely one thing I'm feeling now, but there are so many more accompanying it.

I never really took the time to realize it, but a lot can change in four months. You can learn a lot about yourself, those around you, what you need in your life, and the direction that you want your life to take. In the past I've never had too much of a reason to really consciously contemplate the happenings of my life, but during this four month separation from Kristin I've really been able to take stock of my life and sometimes it scares me.

People never want to admit to themselves when they possess a trait that they hate. I never want to admit to myself that anything is wrong with me, even though I know tons of things are. The biggest thing that I've finally admitted to myself is that I am not nearly as independant of a person as I wished I was. Being away from Kristin has been extremely tough and getting to talk to her maybe once a week by phone and keep in touch by the occasional email hasn't been able to satisfy me.

I hate getting frustrated by the lack of contact because I know that it is about as much as I can ask for with her countries away, but sometimes logic just doesn't factor in to how you feel. Even on days when we have been able to talk, I find that I crave simply being able to sit next to her and talk or to give her a hug or to share a smile across the table at dinner. I now understand why most of the couples I have seen go through long separations, such as study abroad programs, have always had a tough time. The longing for companionship, closeness, and the touch of another person could easily lead someone to being unfaithful or to give up on the relationship they are in instead of pushing through the hardships of distance.

It is also quite easy for insecurity and pessimism to grow and fester as time goes on. You wouldn't believe how many times I'd think to myself "she's going to see how much better the men down there are in comparison to me," or "when she gets back whatever I do with her won't be able to compare with her experiences in Central America." The reality is, for the time being, the United States probably will feel routine, boring, and uninteresting when she gets back. When I hear about all of the wonderful things she has been experiencing I often find myself thinking that my life is drab, ordinary, and lifeless.

I've seen altogether too many couples break up while one of the two people in the relationship were abroad and that's quite scary. Looking simply at the number of couples I've seen survive versus the number that haven't, the odds are not in our favor, but I believe our relationship is strong enough to make it through. I don't think it'll be easy because we will both have changed to some degree and our goals may have shifted while we were apart, but with work, understanding, and patience it I pray everything will work itself out.

It's interesting how fear can often lead you to making untrue presuppositions about people, situations, and yourself. It shows you the worst in everything and it also makes it seem like it is the only possible way things could be. Too often I let fear cloud my vision and when I do, I know it holds me back from being the person I know I am. When I'm scared I hold everything in, I become less social, and I lock people out. I know I do it. I hate that I do it. But I still do it. Fear is a terrible thing, but it's also terribly hard to overcome. I know I have not yet conquered it, but I hope that in time and with the help of those closest to me, I can not let it rule so much of my life. I'm pretty sure Kristin's return will help. She's always been a strong one and I've depended upon that strength too much at times, but I'm glad it is there. Sometimes it's just too hard to get through things alone.

No comments: