Category Archives: Long-Distance

Never Long Enough

With Labor Day having past yesterday, it seemed to usher in, with little room for doubt, the Autumn of 2013. Thankfully, it also ushered in a holiday from work! But as the title of this post suggests, even long weekends are never long enough.

While Jess and I didn’t take much time for “just us” we did get to spend the weekend doing several wedding related things. We spoke with my parents about a couple things or as Jess put one particularly candid conversation with my mother, “I want to talk about alcohol.” We met with our caterer again and I believe we have most of our menu figured out. The biggest problem before was the price point was far to high, now the only problem is going to be guests not having enough room to enjoy it all!

I am also happy to say we have a cake picked out and ordered. I would love to tell you all what it is going to look like, maybe post a few drawings, possibly tell you what each of the layers will have on it or in it, but I doubt that would be approved for this post. Guess you will just have to wait for the wedding! My least favorite part of the cake tasting was that we only went to taste at one place. I might keep going to the other ones I booked and tell them Jess couldn’t make it… I might not be a huge cake fan, but I am a huge fan free cake and enough free cake makes me a huge… uh… fan…

The other big thing that happened this weekend was it was the first that Jess came to see me. It may not sound like a big deal, but after driving down for 7 straight weeks, it made a huge difference to me. I know that part of my frustration from before was that I felt like I was the only one exerting effort into our relationship. I know that we did stuff together while I was in Athens, but there was nothing that I easily saw as something that was an inconvenience or sacrifice for her. Sure she did do things for me, such as make me meals, but she would be doing that anyhow, or I helped, or I bought the ingredients, or something else that, to me, diminished the value of the act.

Don’t misunderstand me here. I am not saying that there needs to be some cosmic scale in a relationship checking to see who did what with one person being better than the other. For me, it is not about being equal, but it is about knowing what each other is doing for the other. I know that I only experience half of the emotions in this relationship, however, empathy goes a very long way.

As Jess was driving home she called and said, “I better understand what you do every week driving down here and it means alot to me.” I didn’t ask for her to understand but the moment she said that there was a sense of relief and realization that hit me. I wanted her to know what I had done and acknowledge it and I should be working on the same. Maybe I am just now discovering some innate sense of need to feel valued but I hope that I can reciprocate it instead of being turned off to her when she is busy. I hope that I can look at all the time she does give me and say, “I am thankful and blessed to be a part of your life when there are so many other things that could be taking up your time.”

That is all for now but if you want to come enjoy this gorgeous start to fall with me I have an extra chair on my porch and would be happy to share a beer.

Dr. Studylove

Or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Exam.

If you have no idea what that is referencing you should brush up on your classic films. There will be a quiz on it next post.

Hope you are all ready for a post that has nothing to do with weddings!

Jess and I have not really had a close, as in proximity, relationship. We have gone from Kansas City/Cleveland, to a few months being around each other, right back to what might be worse than Kansas City’s distance. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a short hour and a half drive away, but the lack of time together, over the phone or skype, has been hard to deal with and I am torn over my feelings on this.

On one hand I am hurt and jealous. I get such a minuscule amount of Jess’s time. I had become accustom to being able to reach her at any moment and that is no longer the case. Between classes, lab time, and study time, I am resigned to mere moments a day and even when I am with her for the weekends I am generally sitting in a study room with her and several others until all hours of the night listening to them prattle on about bones and arteries and other boring stuff. To put it plainly, I feel neglected… Seriously, it is really boring stuff and she doesn’t even bring me good snacks…

But! The other hand! Now the other hand! I know that everything Jess is learning is going to help her succeed. I know that I am sacrificing some time with her now in the hopes that we will have a life together that we will get much more time together. I have the privilege of being one of her closest and strongest supporters. On a more selfish note, I have a whole lot of time to do whatever I want! Which, at this point, is prepare for the GRE and GMAT. After early November I am not sure what I will look to for self betterment, but I am sure I will find something. Maybe I can finally get that ukulele I was wanting…

This weekend was a bit of a breaking point for me. I have spent the past couple weeks being dejected and offended and this culminated in me expressing my dissatisfaction, albeit not well. When I first started having these feelings it was along the lines of, “she never makes time for me” or “I hate that I can never reach her”. I focused on her and that was not the right stance to take. It took some serious introspection and self examination while driving to my client’s site on Sunday for me to really understand what I was feeling. I know that things are not perfect now, nor will they ever be, but that does not mean I can’t make the best of the situation.

One of the big things that I had forgotten was that I need to trust in God. I would not be here, in the position I am in, with the wonderful woman I am with, or with all the blessing I have without Him. There are multitudes of reasons why I should be thanking Him and praising him, but my vision gets too cloudy some times. I get tied up on what’s going on around me and what I want to have happen and forget that it isn’t up to me.

The moral of the story: Medical school is hard on both people in a relationship for different reasons. If you are in my position, keep loving them and get busy with your own interests, even if you have to do it in a study room on campus. If you are on the other side, don’t forget you have a significant other.

Now that We are a Few Weeks in

So here we are a few weeks into medical school and I think I am getting into a rhythm with Jess and her schedule.

Monday night through Friday afternoon I lead this dreary existence filled with molting rabbits, dirty dishes, and inadequate amounts of sunlight. Loneliness consumes me while I wade through another seemingly endless week. My zest for life dwindles until I happen upon the glorious appearance of Friday night. As I painstakingly navigate the nauseating curves and tremendous hills on the country roads I steadily grow more jubilant. With the knowledge of what trophy awaits me how could I not? Who wouldn’t be overjoyed by a weekend full of the love of their life?!

“Full” could be the incorrect term here. Maybe, “A weekend in the company of the woman who is too busy ‘becoming a doctor’ to play Call of Duty with me.” That’s better. 🙂 In all honesty, it is interesting to see the degree that our relationship has changed. Essentially it has reverted to near identical way it was while I was in KC and she was studying for the MCAT. The convenience of weekends is a total blessing but the weeks are 15 minute talks here and there while she learns her life away. No real complaints here. Gives me time to focus on my goals.

One of which, before the ever increasing pressure from a certain unnamed fiance, was to get a Master’s degree (or Doctorate if she has her way). So I decided it was time to get my act together and after years of shoulda, woulda, coulda, I am taking the GRE and GMAT. I won’t be able to start the Master’s in Public Health program I found until at least next summer, but I have the months between to work on my applications to business school. Yay for that one!

On to the wedding stuff! I have started scheduling cake tastings for the end of the month! How awesome is that? You go eat cake. Really think about this. Someone makes cake for you to eat and has to listen to why you do or do not think it is good enough to be a part of a day that you will remember the rest of your life. I don’t even like cake that much and I am excited for this.

I think the biggest things left on my list are a limo and videographer and I am looking forward to booking neither one of them. I accidentally told my wallet how much the couple quotes I got were and I swear it let out a whimper. Maybe I will just write a phone app that lets everyone video the wedding and compiles the videos… And suddenly a position opened for an app developer at a startup I am founding.

Oh and groomsmen. I need to add them to the list of things to get too. If you know of any upstanding gentleman who like a good party and are free in just under a year let me know.

PostScript: A note on the rabbits I mentioned at the top – If you have any need for rabbit fur let me know. They are shedding and I have a very large amount of it sitting, floating, collecting around my place. Don’t tell Jess. She hates when the buns make a mess.

The First Night of Many

I want to start this post by saying that this one is a bit heavier than my others. That being the case, Jess feels slightly uncomfortable with my topic, but it’s something that I want to address because it is a part of our relationship. As many of you may or may not know Jess and I were “living” together for the past few months. We found that our situation was rather unique when it came to a Christian perspective.

Generally, the idea of living together and “sleeping” together go hand-in-hand and that was something we did not do. I spent most of my nights on the couch while she got to enjoy the full comforts of the bed. (Don’t read that as disappointment. My couch is criminally comfy and it helped me to stabilize my then sprained ankle.) She and I both spent a considerable amount of time in prayer over this and more than once almost said it was time for her to move out for varying reasons.

Generally people move in together for a few reasons:

  1. Save money
  2. Sex
  3. Convenience
  4. Marriage (I suppose this could be considered a summation of all 3.)

We were together purely for #3 for several reasons. Allow me to debunk all of the reasons for a second and I’ll get to why we lived together.

I moved back to Ohio with the intentions of being close to Jess. I knew that a long distance relationship is no way to be with a med student and, frankly, I did not like it. And while my job did provide a significant amount of the moving money, it was an investment on my part to move back here. Flights, gas, deposits, time, etc., there was no getting around it costing me money. We would have been saving money if, for instance, I was moving across town to live with Jess or if she was able to contribute more to living here financially. [She’s going to get angry at that line because I always rib her about her not paying as much as I do. (I love you, Sweetheart. That’s not the point I’m making now.)] The way we were living was more akin to a single income situation, so there goes the saving money part. Jess was making some money as a substitute teacher both in her hometown and here, but I wanted her to save it all for her school expenses so other than groceries she was not spending anything on our apartment.

To gloss over #2, we were not, and still are not having sex. The people that live together for this reason are likely not Christians so my reasoning does not apply to them and if they are, they should take a serious look into their beliefs, e.g. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. I will be the first to say that no part of that is easy, but if you are in a similar situation look to our example and find strength.

That brings me to #3 and #4. I think that most couples in today’s culture see living together as a precursor to marriage. As in, “Well I’m going to see how he/she acts and respond accordingly with my decision to pursue a “lifelong” relationship with him/her.” Where the fallacious truth rears its head is right there in that assumption. If you aren’t married, it is not like marriage. I think this situation can go two ways. Either both parties are constantly on their best behavior so nothing is learned about how they will act or they act in accordance with their selfish nature and they turn the other off to marriage because they too are selfish.

We were lucky. Very lucky. It is excruciatingly hard to see your own selfishness in a bubble like that.  I cannot speak for her, but I have had a lot of trouble adjusting my life into the reality that she has come to expect. But, knowing that our end goal was marriage, I changed my attitude. But I am not taking sole credit here! We have both grown in our relationship because we are moving toward marriage and desire to make each other happy.

So now to the point of this post: Jess has moved out and last night was the first of many lonely nights. She starts school on Monday so all our time until the wedding will be spent there. I did not expect the drain on my heart to be as great as it is and I know that I will miss her terribly. Not only are we going back to being long distance, but I am losing the close connection to my best friend. My near permanent evening fixture has up and left me to become a doctor and here I am with a bag of bbq chips to drown my sorrows. 🙂 I cannot imagine the heartache that one must feel when this occurs with a couple that has a relationship based on more physical premises.

On to brighter subjects, since I have more free time, both from work and fiancé-type commitments, I should be writing more often. One of the first things I’ll be writing about is our caterer.

That’s all I’ve got. Thanks for reading today’s update!

The countdown is on!

 

We are both so excited! Less than a year until the big day!

Not a whole lot new on the planning front. We got everything out of the way so quickly that all we have left is to make deposits places. And since Jess starts school in 2 weeks, we are trying to wrap up as much up as we can.

We are both a little bummed that she is starting so soon because for the past 4 months we’ve been able to be together nearly all the time. We have both had similar thoughts concerning her involvement with her studies vs. her involvement with me. For me it boils down to the fact that if we could make 800 miles work for a year and a half, we darn well better make 40 miles for two years no matter how much time we get together! (I’m going to ignore the years she isn’t in Athens for now. :)) We only saw each other once a month, maybe, so why would an hour drive be worse?

This coming week should be a nice retreat as I am being sent to Chicago for work and Jess is riding along. I’ll be working a lot, but we will have the evenings and she is going to be putting together things for the wedding. After that we have the 4th with my family and the 6th with hers. (And we meet with the caterer!)

I’m hoping to get a few more updates out this week. They have been a little sparse because I’ve started writing about 5 posts and not been able to finish any of them. I’m trying to do the good thing and have sources and real thought behind the ideas I’ve been having so please hang tight. Weaving literary masterpieces takes time.

On more technical fronts, I’ve started figuring out a whole lot of the word press platform so my blog will probably be changing shape soon. If you’ll notice on the top-right content bar there is a link to the Facebook page I created to go along with this. If you like it you won’t miss any updates and you can give me suggestions on things to write about there.