Strong for 2

My boyfriend and I spend more time apart than we do together due to his career path(s). He’s a law enforcement park ranger as well as an EMT in his off season. For now, he’s working 2 hours away, so I see him on the weekends; come May, he’ll be down on Cape Cod until October (6 hours away). Starting in June, I’ll see him 4x a week vs. 2, so that’ll be great; but when August hits I’ll spend from August until October seeing him only a few times a month (and that’s if schedules/time allows). This cycle will continue for another year at least, probably more like 2 or 3, until he can get a permanent job at a park (and I can get a job teaching in that area). So for now, this is the reality of our life. It’s not ideal. It’s not entirely fun and it can be incredibly lonely, especially with the type of work he’s doing and the hours he works.

One of my biggest fears is being alone. I hate it, and I have to face it every night I go home. People often wonder and ask why I spend so much time at school or the gym. I can joke, and feed them half truths- “I have so much work to do”, “I’m training for a marathon”, “I want to get ‘summer ready’ for my beach days to come- but the truth, it is so hard to go home to an empty apartment. It not only makes me sad to cook dinner for one or to watch a movie cuddled on the couch alone, but it’s also the constant fear that something could happen to me. I don’t consider myself to be extremely strong mentally, physically, or emotionally. I’m not weak, but I don’t know how I would handle something dangerous like a fire in the kitchen or a fall in the shower, or something scary like a knock on the door in the middle of the night or the sound of someone trying to break into my car in the driveway.

I’ve taken self defense classes and I know how to call for help or how to get out of a burning building; but the thought of having to go through any of that alone terrifies me. I want to be independent and I want to know that I could handle anything that happened to me, but I long for him to be around for comfort and protection. I have a man who is a federal officer. He’s trained in law enforcement and pre-hospital emergency medicine. Everyone who encounters him during his shifts is extremely lucky because he will do everything to make every situation as safe as he possibly can. He’s there for everyone else 5 days a week. He’s here for me (physically here) for 2. I can’t help but feel jealous of those strangers who get his strength, help, and comfort, while I’m at home with my eyes wide open hoping I can make it through another night alone.

It’s paramount to him to know that I am safe here, because without that knowledge, he can be mentally and emotionally preoccupied, which is never good in the emergency response field. He consistently reminds me of how strong I am, and even though he’s gone so frequently, he never lets me forget how important my safety is- because I am important to him. While I can’t always do something about my mental state of fear and anxiety, I can do everything in my power to make myself physically strong. I will continue to work out and take classes that teach me how to take care of myself in all aspects of my life. Weight training, boxing, yoga, meditation- I need to be strong. He needs me to be strong.

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8 thoughts on “Strong for 2

  1. I’m really glad I read your slice today–I think about loneliness a lot. I agree with you that you’ve got to come to some peace with being lonely or feeling lonely while your boyfriend is away, because we humans are by ourselves a whole lot in this life. And that’s normal. But loneliness is like a relationship–some days it feels challenging to do things by yourself, whereas other days alone time is welcome. Got to take the good with the bad! But being with someone you love is so wonderful–savor that time when it does come (sounds like you will)! Well done.

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  2. and YOU need you to be strong too. I think there’s strength in being able to recognize this about ourselves. There’s a strength borne of loneliness, but that doesn’t make the loneliness any easier. Thanks for sharing this look into your heart and your day. I bet it’s something you don’t share a lot.

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  3. I was going to say drop everything, marry him and live in a camper attached to his truck (I’m assuming he’s a truck guy.. aren’t most park rangers truck guys?). Cook for him when he comes home and live like two gypsies, your’e only young once .. but then I read that this is temporary, and I sense y’all commitment to being “responsible.”

    Once upon a time, I was a responsible 24-year-old who lived apart from the hubby because I had full-time teaching gig with insurance and he just did contract work. Years later, I thought it was the worst waste of my life. Why was I so hung up on what was “proper” (a job)? Total waste because we were totally in love. I wish I had the support of someone to tell me to say “dash it all to hell!! go to him!!”

    I didn’t have writing, like you do now, though. Sometimes writing can transport you out of your lonliness — temporarily. Temporarily because it can’t compare to the love and arms of your love.

    I wish you so much peace, though, as you go through this. I hope you feel better so soon!!

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  4. I would be the same thing if I was alone too! I remember when Steve and I first got married and were living in Lisbon. He was late getting home from work and we had just moved in. No furniture yet and no cable, etc. I sat between two windows in the living room because I was scared someone could see me from the road. I feel your loneliness and worry about something happening. We are just “down the road” if you ever need anything!

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  5. I only live 5 miles away from you so feel free to come visit! There are plenty of adults (me, my hubby, my hubbie’s mom, my neice, my son and his his girlfriend, a baby, a 5 year old, 4 dogs, 5 cats and a rabbit that you can hang out with! No loneliness here!

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