After yesterday’s post I received the following e-mail from one “M” – the female half of yesterday’s “Sed” story. Subject line: We don’t play baseball in Scotland, but I still get the metaphor.
M had a few things to clarify, a few more to expand upon, and a story about risk-taking in the name of romance that will give you chills. It’s published here with her permission, and my awe.
“M”s side of the story
or, this is the girl you release the pitcher from the bullpen for
I wanted to write to you and tell you that I got a really interesting text from “Sed” this morning. It consisted of: “Jessie wrote about me. I told her she could use all of this info. My decisions are past this part, but you may find it exciting to read about me, four weeks ago.” He told me about your blog last week, and I’ve been exploring it, hoping to catch something about our story. Your advice for so many things is right on point.
Sed is an amazing man, but he may have shortened the story for clarity’s sake. I am three-and-a-half-weeks into my life-changing move to Savannah. It feels like everything is speeding past me like reckless drivers on a highway. A bit of background about me: I had a three-year abusive relationship when I was very young, and never really recovered until about four or five years later. Since then, I’ve had my heart broken, done my fair share of splitting others’ hearts, and became less trusting than I ever expected to be. I am a happy person. I am an optimist. But show me intense emotions in a confrontational way, and I go running for the hills.
So why move to Savannah? I’ve asked myself this many times in the past six months. I moved here because I couldn’t afford not to, any longer. Sed is the only man I’ve held a flame for — I was going to say “a burning candle”, but it’s more like setting a city alight. I’ve gone through all the stages of loving him… from puppy-dog to “you are changing my life and I never expected you at all”. He’s a confusing mix of familiar and brand new. I didn’t know the man he is now… the man who actually lives in Savannah. I moved here for the man I thought he was, and the Sed I found blew my memory of him straight out of the water.
He is the first time I have wanted to hold firm, rather than setting off to flee. I read your advice to him, and it’s great. But I have to correct you on one point. By no means did this happen quickly. We joke that things are moving fast — by any normal accounts, they are. I had been here for 13 days and we adopted a kitten together because my landlord wouldn’t let me take her home. We had the “girlfriend-boyfriend” talk. He knows I love him with all I have. Last week, I invited him to come home with me for Thanksgiving. I am going to his for Christmas. This morning, we talked about moving in together in September, before I have to move back to Scotland for my PhD. This sounds absolutely insane for a three-week venture of any kind or type. But the part I keep reminding myself is that this hasn’t taken three weeks. It’s taken seven years and three weeks. This morning, I told Sed: “I don’t want it to feel like we’re moving too fast.” He replied, “We’re not moving too fast. Maybe we’re not moving fast enough. We’ve been behind schedule, and now we’re just catching up.”
Which leads me to pose a question to you: we all have our stereotypes about appropriate time, appropriate distance. We’ll risk our hearts for a long-distance, long-term romance if we don’t have to wait forever, if the locations are convenient for traveling or visiting, or moving. We probably secretly judge and admonish the people who meet one day and get married a week later. But why do we all hold to arbitrary conventions like “don’t call her until three days later”, or “don’t mention marriage until six months in”? Why do we let other people dictate our timelines, or where we find ourselves in the world, when every physicist will tell you that time and space are relative points?
I convinced Sed to go on a trans-atlantic date with me while I was still in Scotland. I told him that if we both went out on the same day, at the same time, thinking of each other, we would find ourselves in a situation that is one-part reality, and one-part imagination. Between the two of us, I argued, we should be able to come up with a whole date.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to find someone, or how far you have to go to get there. I had all of these technical concerns before I came to Savannah, before I found Sed again. But why are we so obsessed with technicalities, when love is far from technical? I have no more fears or questions about what to do, or how and when to do it. I know that I love him, that we’re here together now, and that all of the future decisions will take care of themselves when we get to them. I’ve waited seven years and traveled thousands of miles to finally be with him, when I really would have waited for seventy, and trekked the globe continually to get to this point.