Caution, fellas, things might get mushy in here. Now that that little disclaimer is out of the way, let me give some background.
I met Scott, my boyfriend, two years ago. Two months later, I left Denver (where we live) to study abroad in Thailand for four months. We knew we wanted to keep in contact and that we wanted to be together, so much so that I blurted the first “I love you” as he was dropping me off at the airport. What can I say? When you know you can’t keep it in. A month after I left, Scott bought a ticket to come out and see this other corner of the world with me. We made it through a trying first bout of distance and even made the most of it. We both stayed in Denver for the most part thereafter, aside from the occasional family visit, small trips with friends or work trips, until I recently went to Nepal for a five-week internship. This time was easier with less worry of the unknown. When I got back, we had about six weeks together before I left for the Pacific Crest Trail—did I mention I just graduated college? Needless to say we were a bit clingier than usual.
Now that I’ve been out here for a few weeks, some things are the same while others are different. This applies to both of us. We both know that the first week or so is the hardest. We’re both used to having each other around and then one day we just don’t. This time around, the first week was really hard. Unlike the other times, we can’t communicate at all for days. Then, once I get to town, we don’t have much time to talk if I’m not staying in town and need to do the town things I need to do pretty quickly—resupply, eat, replace consumables, etc. Meanwhile, he’s probably in the middle of a workday.
We weren’t really able to talk until I’d been on the trail for over a week. Let me tell you, it’s hard not talking to your best friend while you get used to one of the wildest lifestyles you’ve ever lived. Emotions on the trail are intensely amplified. With the mountain-sized ups come the mountain-sized downs. There isn’t a high moment that I don’t wish I was experiencing with him. There isn’t a low moment when I don’t wish I could turn to him. Not a day goes by without me wishing he is with me. Every time I see something beautiful, feel a sense of accomplishment from a steep or long climb, or meet amazing people, I wish I could share it with him. Every time I’m hurting, exhausted, cold or hangry, I wish he could be here to make it better. But, despite the roller coaster, there’s something about believing in each other’s dreams and cheering on each other’s choices that draws us closer regardless of physical distance.
It isn’t that I don’t still miss him, but the missing is starting to get easier. I have happy daydreams. I’m reminded that this summer is so small in the grand scheme of our lives. I’m reminded in the letters I write him or he writes me, how much I do love him, and in the special times when I get to talk to him, nothing feels so much like home. I know I’m safe here and there. I get to live like a nomad, a wanderer, a wild woman, and have someone as amazing as Scott who supports me throughout. I also get to one day go home— to him, to my family and friends, to another life I know in love. And, for so many reasons, be just as happy with both lives.
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