Long distance is never ideal, but honestly, it hasn't been terrible. We have a very healthy relationship together, and, welp, that didn't change when I was at sea. We're both open communicators in terms of what we need, expect, and appreciate in our relationship. And we both (with very rare exception) follow through when the other asks for anything. It was important for me to hear from Puhg at the end of the day, so if my phone was eating texts, he would be sure to fire off an email to me. Puhg likes photos, so I was sure to send him four or five on my day in port. He wired me money to buy a new Easter dress. I delivered chocolate bunnies to the apartment. And at the end of the contracts I would always be going home. No amorphous blob of "future."
In some ways, I feel we have gotten closer. Because I went on a weird adventure, we shared a free Caribbean cruise vacation. We had the time and savings to visit Spain. We both encountered new challenges individually and were able to experience working through them as a team. After being apart for so long, we appreciate so much more about "regular" life. I miss the minutia. I am dead Emily in Our Town with a pang in my heart wishing I could hear one of his made up chopping vegetables songlets.
We've come across many could be perceived as obstacles forks from my artistic journey. Two and a half years ago some friends told me it was naive to want the dream and the love. How could I consider moving at all? But we love Chicago. It's made our lives incredible in so many unforeseeable ways.
When all I had was an invite to the ship audition, it seemed scary. If Puhg had told me "Don't go," I wouldn't have gone. But I suppose I'd also never be dating someone who told me "Don't go." It's too simple to reason, "If you're serious about this relationship, you won't endanger it with a wild experience." But, again, now that I am two short weeks from reunion, I know we are better for it.