Defining Terms

Practice Makes Tiresome

I said goodbye to my girlfriend yesterday. It was not the first time I have done it, either. In the last year alone, there have been three times when we have been apart for more than a month at a time. They say that practice makes perfect. They are usually right when they say things, but not this time. Oh, I’ve had the practice, but not the perfection.

What would it mean if we perfected these leavetakings, anyway? Would they be easy, fast, painless, or satisfyingly final? Perhaps they would just be appropriate. And yet my experience that started yesterday and is continuing into tomorrow was none of these things. This is difficult, slow and drawn out, painful, nebulous, and most definitely inappropriate.

Oh sure, the thought has occurred to me that this is normal, to be expected. Maybe it’s even a good sign that we have a healthy relationship and want to be with each other. Even if these things are true, they are not comforting. They don’t even seem relevant. The fact remains that it is wearing. It just gets old. But maybe all is not lost.

I have two hopes for my seemingly unending time away from Regan. First, I hope that somehow the experiences that we can have apart from each other are better for each of us than the experiences we could have together, so that we are individually enriched by the experience. Second, I hope that the act of keeping our relationship going during long periods of separation will change the relationship itself in a way that makes it stronger for future periods of being together. If these two things could happen, I think it would be worth whatever unpleasantness we have to endure.