Monday, October 06, 2014

365 choices

One year ago today I stood waiting on the street for Bruna to meet me with "a guy who works at the school" to attend a party in Zona Colonial.  It was by complete chance that Bruna and I ended up meeting on the way from the airport to my home for the week.  I am so thankful she thought to ask me to go with her that evening and that I decided I wasn't too tired to go. 

When I first met SM I didn't think anything of him really other than assuming he and Bruna were a couple.  He tells me it wasn't love at first sight (because even for him that seems silly) but that he was at once intrigued and knew he needed to get to know me.  Once we got to the party I learned it was in the streets near the ruins of a building that turns out to be an old hospital.  Everyone was dancing to live music and of course there were clowns on stilts. (Because Dominican Republic)  I was asked to dance by a few Dominican men and gladly accepted with nothing to lose.  I was there for the adventure, simply burning the extra week of vacation I had purchased for trips with SHF in the best way I knew how - in the country my heart was completely tied to.

After a while it became clear to me Bruna and SM were not a couple.  Within a few hours of meeting we were kissing in the street.

Pfft - what in the world is THAT?  That's not regular, conservative Kristin.  That's just "on an adventure" Kristin.  I left The DR expecting the relationship to end. 

Instead, it continued and has not ended one year, 365 days, later.

With Bruna the First Night we Met

Our First "Date"

Valentines Weekend 2014

Bavaro 2014

June 2014

I took this picture on accident but actually ended up loving it.

June 2014 - Zona Colonial
But that's not really the story I want to tell  one year into knowing SM.  I wouldn't say today is out anniversary.  It is our "meetaversary" (haha) but really he and I weren't exclusive in our relationship until February.  The reality is though I think of our relationship as really starting a year ago.  I've learned a lot from this relationship.  Mostly I've learned for the first time that "love" really is a choice. 

For 365 days I've woken up in the morning and had the option of deciding I didn't want to be part of this tricky situation.  In fact, just last week I was tired of it.  I was tired of thinking "maybe someday it will all come together".  Mostly I was just tired.  But that type of day has taught me that when you love someone you have to decide that on the days when you are too tired to really feel like you love them, you still choose to love them.
The tingly sensations stop after awhile of us being apart.  They come back on the days before getting on an airplane to go see him but once I get home, after a number of seconds/minutes/hours/days/weeks/months, those go away and instead our friendship and my commitment to us as a couple are all that remain. 

Oh don't get me wrong: there have been days in the last 365 that I have either chosen not to love SM or I have not chosen to love SM.  I've been mad and hurt and exhausted and devoid of hope on occasion and on those days I don't make the right choice.  But those days have been fewer than the days when it's been easy to make the choice of being completely in the relationship.  In my mind I tell myself I could choose to walk away any day, that distance is an escape hatch.  In my heart it's a different story and the idea of being without SM makes me hurt deeply. 
So I choose each day to love him when those tingly feelings are gone, when I'm frustrated and devoid of hope.  When I'm exhausted.  It's been a real lesson for me of love as an action instead of an emotion.  I know if I can make this choice over and over at a distance, I can do it again and again for the rest of my life.  Even when it has to be a choice because it doesn't FEEL natural.
365 choices...and counting.

1 comment:

Karisa said...

I LOVE THIS POST!!! And I have chills reading it. You are so wise, KT. Love is definitely a choice.