26 Hours for 47 Days


You know how people are always saying and writers are always writing to fall in love with your best friend? You see, I did that, & it’s extraordinary.

People, because people are naturally curious & genuinely care, rather frequently ask how Matthew & I are doing or if we still really like one another, & their question is typically paired with a sympathetic, “how’s your heart dealing” look. Understandably so, considering we spend a majority of our time 600 miles apart.

Annapolis is a really cool city. It’s a perfect compilation of brick streets, ivy-covered walls, & colonial houses with colorful window sills. But it was never a place on my radar of “must-go” locations until one of the world’s greatest humans committed to the USNA. Now, that two-hour flight to BWI & 30-minute cab ride is one of my favorite commutes. So, when I woke up this past Friday, I had a hard time focusing on my 8 a.m. lecture considering flight DL1153 to Baltimore was boarding in three hours.

From the time Matthew had liberty to the moment my car picked me up, there was a 26-hour gap. So, that meant we had 26 hours of time together in 47 days. I think anyone could see the unconventional nature of our relationship, & no, I don’t love how infrequently I see his smile. But I do love the people we are & how much sense it makes that we are together. & within our 26 hours this past weekend, I realized just that.

There’s a philosophical concept that states “He who has a why can endure any how” & I find that I carry those words with more weight than I credit at times. There’s so much “why” to our love story. There’s “why” in the way that he sometimes says aloud the thoughts in my head, in the way that “travel warning” labels on the map mean “let’s go there first,” in the way that in the days we spend apart we still do life together in the form of phone calls & journals & admiration of the same sky. When I ask, “How many days until…?” he answers in counts of sunrises. Any story we have can be tied to a song. I come up with the wildest ideas, & I always hear “Let’s go.” in response. & with all that “why,” 600 miles becomes short in the completely endurable list of “how’s.”

In loving Matthew, I’ve learned how brilliant it is to be in love but to remain your own person, & I’ve learned a lot about making the most of each of the days. I’ve seen that it is possible to be in a love that doesn’t require you to give up parts of yourself. I’ve experienced that, even though you can’t have it all, when you’re with the person who is your person, you can have all you need, & that’s more than enough. I absolutely love our unconventionally constructed love story, & I’m still surprised each & every day that I am the person who gets to love Matthew, who gets to be the person with whom he does life.

There are 54 sunrises until the next time I’m actually able to see my person but that undoubtedly doesn’t mean that I won’t discover new “why’s” each day in the adventures that congregate to become life.

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