I’ve been inspired over the last few weeks and have been asked by friends about how my partner and I make it work, our so called ‘secrets’. While I know we aren’t the most perfect couple out there, I mean who is? right?, I feel aware of just how lucky I am in my relationship.
I met my soul mate about 6 years ago. Yes, I know the term ‘soulmate’ sounds like a pretty loaded word, something unreal, unattainable, that which we hear about in movies and see people fail to capture or find but never really value it’s true meaning until it was too late. How pop culture feeds off of these tragic love stories. Well, my life aint no movie, and for me love was never really about anyone else or anything else, but just the two of us. And that I think is the best of all. We’re all different. So when you meet that one person, heck there probably is other people compatible with you out there, but when you meet the first person of those people (haha depending on what you believe, I for one, being my soppy romantic self do believe there is one) grab them with all your heart.
How do you know? you ask. Well, what does pop culture say? That ‘you just do’? I guess that is a pretty broad answer and one I think each of us will interpret differently. What I do agree with though, is a quote out of a really great movie I saw recently called ‘One Week’, a Canadian film starring Joshua Jackson (yep that guy out of Dawson’s Creek, if you recall), it’s a great movie to remind you of priorities in life, and one little issue they talk about tackles what I’ve just been writing about. In the movie, Joshua’s character asks “How did you know it was the real thing?”, to a man who has been married for 25 years (and still very much in love with his wife). The man answers, “If you’ve got to ask, it’s not, and you already knew that”. Now I know, I’ve heard about cold feet, etc. But to be honest, all the greatest love stories I’ve heard, from REAL people, not just pop culture, defined their love from a great spectrum of descriptors, from passionate, to challenging, to simple things like ‘he made me laugh like no one else could’. A great love story of one of my friends was this, summed up in just a simple sentence that captured my attention, “she saw something good in me that no one else saw, she believed that there was more to me, challenged me to be my true self, to be a better version of me and for that I knew she was the one”.
All these stories had one thing in common, there was never a question of ‘if’ he or she was the one, but more a question of ‘how’ they were going to get it all together, the key word being ‘together’ of course. They knew pretty much straight off the bat that they wanted to be together, not thinking of future or past in that one second but knowing just having a few moments with this other person was worth everything. Ok, so I sound rather cheesy now, but it’s true. When I met my guy, I tell you, it was on. I am laughing out loud now writing that. But it really was how it went. I was pretty young so I wasn’t hearing wedding bells or anything, but I just knew this guy was special. In the 6 years we’ve known each other, we have been through pretty much everything together, our relationship has been tested like there was no tomorrow, but there was never once a question of us breaking up or like I said before, “if” we should keep going it, but always, us together knowing that our end result would be us together no matter what, and that’s why I am calling this blog post, Travelling for Love because that is exactly what he and I did.
But I should probably backtrack here to give you a little context. I met him through a friend but we didn’t meet for a year, we were mail buddies, and if it had been another era I guess you could say we were in the courting stage, sending letters across the ocean to each other. But I was completely unaware really that love was rearing its way to me, I was going through my crazy teen years, complaining about boys etc. not realizing I would grow up very fast and learn that love was nothing at all what I expected to be, it was much, much better. The reason we couldn’t meet – we lived in different countries, thousands of kilometres away. Our first test of course was that little issues of not being in the same country let alone the same continent. When I decided to move back to Australia, it wasn’t for him, although having him there was a great thing too. I can stay true to that decision as I had been dreaming of moving back and finishing my degree here for years throughout highschool. He lived in Sydney and I in Brisbane. And that was our 2nd test – long distance in the same country. I would get to see him maybe every few weeks, and the days we had together I will cherish always. Our first year we can easily recall thanks to our scrapbook which documented all our little sweet nothings, dates, and surprises (for more info about scrapbooking see my earlier blog post about romantic ideas). After about a year and half of this back and forth travelling, he was able to get a transfer back to Brisbane. Two years zoomed past, and we were faced with our next obstacle, now that I graduated I planned to move back to the Philippines. And this with the cincher. Without a second thought, he agreed to move over with me. It being pretty much a very big culture change. While he is half filipino, he grew up in Australia, so he’s pretty much just like me. We were both so lucky that his job allowed him to do this, him being this IT genius (he’s too humble, so I’m just going to say it) he could work remotely and so, I got to, as I can most easily say, bring him along with my suitcase.
Since then, moving around isn’t viewed as a test or an obstacle anymore to us, we’ve done a lot more travelling (for love as you could say) since then, including him moving to Darwin for my work, and now going back to the Philippines again. We’ve gotten good at uprooting ourselves and reintegrating every now and then, because throughout it all we’re together.
Earlier I told you how we have been tested in many ways, so there was long distance, travel, those things were old news. As we got to know each other, we realised we shared so many things in common, a passion for music, for travel, our puffs (hehe little inside joke, which I’ll explain in part 2) similar values and outlooks in life, which I have been told by my more experienced friends who have been married for years, is very important when you plan to build a life with somebody so that you don’t grow apart. But we also realised not so good things we had in common. And this takes us to our most challenging obstacles. He has seen me at my worst. I have seen him in what you could say his most vulnerable. We found out we both have serious autoimmune conditions, which our doctor finds rather funny, as we seem to become more and more alike. Sitting at the bedside of your loved one in a hospital is not a very pleasant experience, and could drive any person away, out of fear, out of feeling helpless, but throughout it all we have stood by each other. I know we have more obstacles to face but as long as we are together, we’ll make it through.
Sorry I think I may have veered a little bit off topic. Everyone is different, and needs to be loved in different ways. Finding that person and learning how to love them and be loved the way you both need to be is important. So what is the answer to how my partner and I make it work? It’s us knowing we’re both in this together but also appreciate that we are still individuals with our own friends, passions, and to support each other (like he did coming with me to Darwin hahaha). For me, true love should never hinder you from being who you really are, it should add to your life not take away. Another thing I think, is that no matter how many years you are with that person, never underestimate the power of surprise dates, keep it spicy, but that my friends I shall save for part 2 of Travelling for Love. Much love guys and thanks for reading.