Time Zones

Though my focus in writing here for the last ten years has mostly been professional, I’ve never tried to pretend that this wasn’t a personal blog. (In fact, I dispute the distinction: my professional life is extremely personal to me, and though my focus is often on professional stuff, I’ve worked very hard not to be, as Bitch Ph.D. was fond of saying, a brain on a stick. I haven’t always succeeded, but it’s a fight worth fighting.)

That said, I’m often really uncomfortable writing about the personal-personal stuff, and so when those are the things that are taking up my brain space, I’ll tend not to post at all.

But this morning, I feel an acute need to write something, and the thing I least want to write about is the thing that’s most on my mind: R. is leaving for Paris today, and it’s not at all clear when I’ll next see him.

Immediately that begins to feel overly dramatic — which is no small part of why I avoid writing about the personal-personal stuff. I’m all but positive I’ll go spend Christmas with him, and I’m fairly sure I’ll see him sometime between now and then. So it’s not like this is some grand parting, and I’m not quite immobile with grief.

But Paris is far. We’ve spent years commuting – I did the math not long ago, and of the 21 years we’ve been together, we’ve lived in different time zones for 13.5 or so. So on the one hand, Paris is just a slightly more extreme version of what we’ve been doing all along. On the other, it’s a slightly more extreme version of what we’ve been doing all along.

The good news is that we had a great few weeks together, culminating in a great birthday trip for me. And I’m in a place I love, doing stuff I love – and he will be, too.

I just keep hoping that we’ll find a way to do things we love in the same great place.


5 thoughts on “Time Zones

  1. Gosh, I’m sending you a big hug. If we lived in the same city, I’d buy you a drink/coffee. I have seen my fair share of separations with my fiancé and they were always hard. I have all sorts of feelings when he/I have to leave, but I tell myself the same thing you do: “we do work we love.” I repeat it to myself every time he packs up for Arizona for Spring Training and leaves the house for six weeks.

    1. Thanks for this, Liana. I’m sorry we can’t have that drink/coffee, but if you find yourself passing through the city, let’s find a way to get together.

  2. I imagine the hardest part is not knowing when precisely you’ll get to see each other. My commuting work life stinks to high heaven, but at least it’s only a few days at a time, and I know exactly when I get to see my family again. It’s rarely ever more than 72 hours away.

    1. You know, I was thinking about you during this bout of whininess, Mark. That your absences are no more than 72 hours is indeed a good thing, but I continue to remind myself that there not being kids involved in my situation makes things a whole lot easier.

      It’s possible that it also allows a good bit more self-absorption in how bad I feel about all this, because there isn’t anyone else around who might feel bad about it, too.

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