The Ups & Downs of Long Distance Relationships.

Right now, we’re sitting in the same room, at Nana’s place. She is working on a project for her plans to re-enroll in studies again (acting), I spent two hours on tax documents. This is a completely unexciting way of spending time together, and yet this makes me happy. I am completely incapable of dealing with tax and admin stuff by myself, but when I am in the same room with her, I can totally do it. Things like that tell you more about how and if a relationship works than much other, more “exciting” stuff. Yesterday, we booked a holiday together that we’ll go on at the beginning of the new year. I am really happy about that.

In the past weeks, we’ve had our ups and downs. Maintaining a long-distance relationship with FaceTime and Skype calls is not easy. You’re hardly ever in the same “groove” when you speak with each other. The distance on these video phones makes it so that it only seems like you are together and in the moment, but you’re not really. There is a disconnect that is hard to grasp, because you think you are really connecting in that moment, when in fact, somehow, you’re not really.

The things that made me angry almost a month ago have been pretty much resolved and are fine again. As it is often with the things that we get angry about. What has been annoying in the past weeks was that I was, like many people now with the beginning winter, ill again. I had a cold with coughing and throat ache, which went away again, and then about 10 days ago, a new and different cough came, and was bothering me again. Last Wednesday, I decided to stay at home for the day. I happened to find “Peaky Blinders” on Netflix, and watched the first and half of the second season. Fun!

Still, I cannot manage to catch a breath. So many days find me rushing, running, trying to keep up, with the emails, with all the stuff I need to do, to keep things developing in the right direction. So much stuff that needs to happen at the same time, so all the balls that I need to keep bouncing actually do stay up in the air. My professional life at our company has been like this for so long … I wonder what that is doing to me, to my health, to my well-being. On a longer drive on Friday, I listened to the TED Radio hour on the NPR app, to the programme “Quiet”. And that was really wonderful. I’d already heard the Susan Cain talk about introverts, which I had really loved. Hearing some of her thoughts again, in a slightly different context, made me think about why I always felt so incredibly stressed by the many things that I have to do for my job. And I am wondering to what extent it may be due to the fact that I need to behave like an extrovert, when I would so crave to behave in a much more introverted way. Spending more time inside my own head, with less need, force, obligation to connect with the countless requests of my colleagues who rely on my help. It will be another year until I can move to a life that allows me that. And I really sometimes wonder how to make it through that year.

We had an international meeting in Paris a couple of weeks ago. Same pattern as always, me losing my temper, in exchanges with some of our more whiney colleagues from some of the other countries. Again, part of the above story, maybe. Instead of spending (wasting?) time with people who don’t really add anything to my understanding of the world, I’d much rather be left alone, and free to do my thing. I had another meeting in London, with my friend Earl, and he also invited me to come to their place and stay over the night before. That was a much different experience, pleasant, interesting, enriching, fun.

There have been other concerns in the past weeks – I was worried about tax stuff which I couldn’t quite figure out, I am always – on and off – concerned about my health, in one way or antother … It’s not easy being a hypochondriac … And, well, like I said: always the paranoic rush of the job. Oh yes, and also, a company in Berlin that I am involved with as a shareholder, is about to be sold. And I feel like I am not contributing as much as some other people, who are much closer to the action, and who are really helping out. But then again, what am I supposed to do, being a 1000 km away, and really busy in an operational job that I cannot just leave behind?

And now I’ll be at Nana’s for a couple more hours, until I need to drive back to Italy. And we’ll move back to being on video phone with each other. And we won’t see each other for a few weeks now – next weekend, I’m visiting Berlin, and the weekend after that, I’ll go on a little trip with my parents in Italy. But I am very much looking forward to these.

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About The Outer Rim

I am trying to remember my life. By posting about it. Starting January first 2011.
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