Distance makes the heart grow fonder….

Distance makes the heart grow fonder―or so I hear from colleagues, family, friends, and those few people in my life that I can’t imagine life without. But under what circumstances is this true? I’ve recently been with a man who flip-flops his focus and emotions: sometimes it’s work, sometimes it’s his family, sometimes it’s people he feels he needs to help, but infrequently me. That is to say, rarely can he make time to see me or go on a date. In the first few months I was the centre of his desire and in the second number of months I’ve been demoted to the bottom of the list. The time we do spend together is electric: Gatsby-themed parties, a wedding on top of Blackcomb Mountain, and even the simple nights of couch-surfing. Who doesn’t enjoy a lazy night?

Over a week ago he left for Europe with some friends. Hopefully, to have the time of his life. For the seven months I have known him we have not missed a single day of texting each other, whether it is a conversation, a thought of the day, or a simple good morning. He hasn’t e-mailed me, nor have I e-mailed him. Where does this leave us?

I’ve been waiting for the day he stepped on that airplane to Europe, knowing that time apart would be a catalyst in the development, or fragmentation, of our relationship. Emotions are in no way simple. I was certain the change would happen in him. At some point in his trip, probably later than earlier, he’d have to think, “Hey, what’s going on with Marlow? I haven’t talked to her. That’s different.” Who’s to say this is a positive or negative difference, him being a man scared to acknowledge the positive things in front of him because he then has to acknowledge what he currently, in the moment, does not have. I can’t begin to know what is going through his mind, because, to my surprise, the catalyst occurred in me.

Many times in life it is much easier to look outwards than it is to look inwards. Entering a place and head space where I no longer focus on him, I’ve been forced to look at my life as an independent woman. That’s not to say a single woman. This week has been a whirlwind of remembering my dreams for my future career and regaining the steps to achieve those goals. Unfortunately, or possibly fortunately, each one of us can only take those steps on our own. Do I miss him? Yes, but every time I’m hit with that feeling after seeing a photo of his smile or the two of us standing next to each other, I tell myself, “No, I cannot miss him. I cannot think of him.” I say this knowing how loneliness can creep up on me and render me unmotivated in my endeavours.

This first awakening occurred on the fifth day. Until then, he never crossed my mind and I had began to think that out of the two of us, I would be the one to walk away despite his fear of commitment holding him down. While I was on the usual bus route down 64th Ave to school, I had a moment where I discovered I didn’t need him to love me; I only needed him. Suddenly I was flushed with a sense of freedom, like the weigh of our relationship had been lifted off my shoulders. How confusing this was to me? I’ve always been the girl who wants a committed relationship with a future in sight, but suddenly the only future I saw was my own in my career. Despite losing what I valued most, I was more happy than I had been in our relationship for months.

A catalyst doesn’t always occur in a single moment, but in a series of events. When I saw another picture of him pop up on my cell phone screen, I couldn’t help but think, “I love him.” These were the emotions I had been pulling back in the last month so as not to have my heart broken. Even still, throughout these brief minutes of desire for him and desire to be solitary, I have not been able to hit send on the e-mail server. How is one suppose to know if that’s the right thing to do with such a relationship? Does distance make the heart grow fonder? Time can only tell as I sort through contradicting emotions that come out of thin like breath escaping my lips in the final thaw of Spring. I cannot know what he is going through, whether he has similar questions, or whether he is the cliché of “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” Maybe I’m waiting for him to know where I stand like I’m gathering all my emotions to throw at him as if to put him in motion? However, I wish to come to my own conclusion separate from the man I thought would be in my life forever. I only know there is more to come.



What Do You Know?

I was just taking a breather from my endless pile of homework by watching a few episodes of the first season of Once Upon a Time. For a moment I was able to live in a fairytale, but was struck by one line the main character, Emma, said to Snow White: if something doesn’t feel right it’s because it is generally wrong.

This wisdom felt like something I should have already understood in my life. However, sometimes as individuals with different thoughts and feelings, we can come to live certain lessons without actually being able to place a finger on what we are learning. For instance, the times when we take a bite of hot food, fight to swallow it, and repeat. We know that it hurts, but we do it again anyways. When we are in the centre of an issue we often get lost in it. It’s the cliché: blinded by love. However, from a distance, situations and relationships can look so much different, almost revolutionary.

I was just in a relationship that felt so right on the surface. We connected instantly and shared some pretty amazing moments. We went from playing golf to swing dance, painting his apartment to poetry festivals, and weekends in the wild to nights out on the town. As great as it was, I remained very guarded. Something about the beginning of our relationship didn’t feel quite right. When Brian and I met I was dating another man, at least I thought I was. Whenever we went out we were either a couple or just friends, but never both at the same time. However, Brian swept me off my feet and showed me that he wanted me. I never had the chance to figure out exactly where I was with this other man, nor end it on any understanding or clean note. Well, just as fast as Brian and I started, we ended.

After I heard this line: if something doesn’t feel right it’s because it is generally wrong, this whole situation became so clear, as did many others. Pay attention to how you are truly feeling and your intuition. Don’t lie to yourself. Instead, ask yourself, does this feel right to me? Not only in your relationships, but look at every facet of your life: your social life, your job, your career path, and even your hobbies. And I ask you (as I was asked in one of my writing classes), what do you know?



*Names have been changed in this article

The Roaring Twenties

We’ve all been through itHighschool. A place where we discover our first crush, our first love, or experience our first kiss, first no-parents party, or maybe take a swig from our first Bacardi Breezer. We just went through puberty and suddenly we want to share a cone with the cutest guy in school (or most gorgeous girl). We let go of the days we take to one-skate roller blading or riding a skateboard on our stomachs down the steepest hill in town. It’s one of the biggest changes most people go through in their life time, but we’ve heard it all before. From The Importance of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (which they are now producing a movie), to the evolution of vampire escapist literature, to teen angst websites; there’s not much that hasn’t been said. Now I’m not here to discredit Highschool. I’ve had just as many life changing, exciting, growing, and devastating experiences as any one else, but what about University?

We say our teens is the time we get to know ourselves, and although the process never ends as my mother likes to tell me, our twenties is often overlooked. University and the following few years is when we truly begin to see deeper into our being, soul, or inner self. We all call it something different, but we all experience it. Sometimes we can rationalize the choices we make like why we broke up with a particular boyfriend or girlfriend and sometimes it’s like a time bomb with no count down. It blows up in our face. What we planned turns out to be the exact opposite of what actually happens. Either way, we are left to deal with the bigger issues that influence our impulses and impressions.

I’ve been a University student for two years and in that time I’ve dealt with anxiety, had my first one night stand (and certainly not the only one), been in a polygamous relationship, published my first poem, found what I believed to be love and made some of the closest friends I’ll ever have, went through numerous breakups, started my own online literary and art journal with my friend Taryn Pearcey called Misfit Lit, and hiked up the side of a mountain to spend the weekend in the wild (my influence being Alexander Supertramp). I’ve traveled to Russia, Australia (where I lived for a year) and stayed on my father’s property in a little place called Beaton. The closest town is forty minutes away and has a population of twenty people.

Many of our experiences are completely new or come at us for different reasons than expected, but they all shed light on the person we wish to be. We hear it from our parents: even if a relationship ends we learn something new about ourselves. Our twenties is when most of us first move out of our parents house, work our way through University or find a better job, and finally lose that hated school night curfew. Suddenly our choices are made fully by ourselves and we are responsible for the consequences, be them good (and rewarding yourself for a job well done) or bad (left to pick up the pieces). It can be scary or exhilarating, maybe a little of both?

Whether the experiences are big or small, these pieces become a part of our make up of who we are, not who we appear to be, but how we identify ourselves.