A friend of mine met her husband when she was traveling in the South of France. A few days later, she was introduced to his family and shortly thereafter she entered into a long distance relationship with him. Within a year, he had applied for a work visa and moved to Los Angeles. They have been together seven years and tied the knot three years ago. While her husband applies for permanent citizenship, she is becoming fluent in French, and they are planning on starting a family. Had my friend not ventured out of her comfort zone in both traveling and dating, she may still be single. I asked if either of them were concerned when they met about the distance and how it would impact their lives. Hell, yes. They knew there would be obstacles, but they would work them out. They could not ignore how perfect they were for each other and were willing to take the risk of having loved and lost than never having loved at all. Embracing love outside their immediate geographic zone worked for them and it has worked for others.
My own sister, who was living quite contently in Canada, met a man who resides in Southern California. After a few months of courtship, a brief evaluation of her dating life in Vancouver, and she abandoned her career in law, sublet her town home, took a consulting job which she could do from any Wi-Fi hotspot and set out on an adventure of sailing around Central and South America with him. Two years later, they are engaged to be married. I imagine she will move to SoCal for a much sunnier married life than return to Vancouver where her dreary single life existed.
In my previous blogs (Pardon Me for Sticking My Tongue Down Your Throat, and 5 Dating Resolutions for 2011), I have mentioned the statistics on finding love and happiness in one's own back yard. The odds are abysmal. Often people move for careers, why not for love? Whether the man uproots or the woman does, it is a migration in the right direction - towards happiness. In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith's character reminds us that happiness is somewhat of an enigma. It does not just appear one morning on our doorstep with a big red bow wrapped around on it. Neither does happily ever after. We have to hunt it down and kill it... errr, embrace it. The idea is to breathe life into love - not squelch it before it begins, because it’s a little difficult. Who said life was going to be easy?
This begs the question, would you go the distance for what could very well be the difference between living a happy, full life with someone who could be your soulmate, or would you slam the door in Cupid's face and wait for something more convenient? Faced with the opportunity, I would pack my bags and head wherever my heart had already landed. After all, happiness and love are a state of mind, not a country, city or hemisphere. My cats might hate me for the flight to the other side of the world, but I hope they would forgive me when they saw me purring with content. Of course, everyone knows that cats are selfish bastards, so they may not even give a damn.
Some of my father's last words were a reflection on what a beautiful world we live in. He had seen much of it and was well-loved. He was willing to make changes in his life. Some were good, some not so much, but over all he showed me that fear is death and challenges remind us that we are alive. The moment we stop living is the moment we start dying. Life is short and I choose to live it to the fullest. How about you? Are you willing to shake up the scrabble pieces in order to spell happiness? Would you move for the right person?Would you take a risk on a long distance love affair?