Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Committed.


Over my week vacation in Long Beach Island, I enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's follow up to Eat, Pray, Love. I was seriously excited to start this book, since Eat, Pray, Love is one of my all time favorite books. Elizabeth's new read is called, Committed and picks up right where she left off, in "LOVE". I'm not really going to dive to much into the read because I don't want to ruin it for you but I can say the book greatly discusses relationships and marriage.

This book knocked me on my ass, seriously, I was reading the first chapter on the beach when I burst into tears, quite embarrassing I might add, bawling in public, but her words were hitting a little to close to home. At this point in Committed, she was discussing her long distance relationship with her long time boyfriend and what turned their whole world upside down. Elizabeth's boyfriend Felipe (who is Brazilian) wasn't allowed into the United States after multiple entries,he was arrested and deported.

 Now let me fill you in on one of my greatest fears, Kyle, my manfriend, plays professional basketball overseas, the next two years he will be playing in France. When I travel over there I have never been on a visa. I have nightmares of being whisked away by someone from boarder control and never seeing Kyle again. Realistically, I know that I would see him again but the anxiety I get every time I go through an international airport is unbearable.

So back to me crying on the beach, I am reading about one of my biggest fears and this is a true a story which only made me feel worse. I have to compliment Elizabeth and Felipe for remaining so calm but they are a lot older then me, I don't think I'd be as composed. Anyway long story short, the Homeland Security Agent that took Felipe away tells them there is a solution to their problem, and that's marriage. Well this wasn't the plan for Elizabeth and her man, who made a decision to never marry after both going through  divorces.  However, she loved Felipe and if a piece of paper that the government would recognize and allow her boyfriend to stay in the United States, what harm could it do. 

 They decided that they would indeed marry, and while waiting to get the OK from the United States Government to actually proceed with the marriage, Elizabeth spends her time traveling, studying marriage, and its history throughout many different cultures, so that this time around, (Her second marriage.) she wouldn't screw it up.  

As I dove deeper into Elizabeth's story, I began to think of the word "COMMITTED" and what it meant to me. I know every one's version of commitment is different but here is my take on what it means to be committed.

com·mit

[kuh-mit] verb, -mit·ted, -mit·ting.
verb (used with object)
  1. to give in trust or charge; consign.
  2. to consign for preservation: to commit ideas to writing; to  commit a poem to memory.
  3. to pledge (oneself) to a position on an issue or question; express (one's intention, feeling, etc.): Asked if he was a candidate, he refused to commit himself.
  4. to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance; pledge: to commit oneself to a promise; to be committed to a course of action.
I met Kyle in April of 2008, I at the time was not one single bit interested in dating. This was after the end of a four and a half year relationship, that didn't end the Samantha and Smith Jared, Sex and the City kind of way. After this breakup there were tons of tears and fears, at one point I think I told my family that I was joining the convent.

Then my life changed in a way I could never have imagined. I met someone that I never believed could have existed. I'm not going to go on and on, on why I think Kyle is indeed the cheese to my macaroni, I will say though, that he did something to me that I hadn't known how to do in a really long time, he taught me how to smile again. I was smiling because this man believed in me, he loved to see me happy, he loved me for me and most importantly, he was committed to me.

When we decided to give our relationship a go, it relied heavily on the word, "committed". Kyle had one year left at the University of Notre Dame, which is in Indiana. I lived in New York City, so we did what every couple dreads, a long distance relationship. We were committed to each other and wanted us to work, we weren't going to let a couple of hundred miles get in our way. We made it work, I flew out to Indiana any chance I could get, knowing we just had to get through the year and then we'd be together for good.

Life had other plans though, Kyle got picked up to play in the NBA D-League after graduation, playing for a team in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I was still living and working in New York. So distance it was again. We promised each other one more year, that was all and then we'd be together for good. This was beginning to sound like a broken record, would we ever end up together in one city, in one home? Kyle proved over and over again that he was committed to making us work and had to reassure me time and again that the distance would be over soon.

So we braved another year of distance, it wasn't easy and I don't wish a long distance relationship on anyone. However, there are some good things that come out of long distance relationships and that is commitment, you have to work everyday to keep the relationship going and we were proving to each other that we could conquer this challenge, it made us stronger as individuals and as a couple.

At the end of Kyle's first year as a professional basketball player, we decided wherever he plays the following year, I would go. We earned it! Kyle ended up signing with a team in Athens, Greece and I went overseas with him. This was another test to prove how committed we were to each other. We never lived together, now we were living together in a foreign country. We had to rely on each other, we were homesick at different times, which is never fun. This was a challenge but we learned that we were a good balance for each other.

After the conclusion of his season in Greece, we got our first apartment together back home in New York. This had commitment written all over it and I freaked out a little bit. I kept saying what a big step this was, but again Kyle reassured me that this was going to be a great thing. It was actually one of the best things to ever happen to our relationship, we learned even more about each other and how much we wanted "us" to work, we were committed.

A few weeks ago, Kyle was offered a two year deal to play for a team in France. I was so proud of his achievement, but I was also a nervous mess. Would I go out to France to be with Kyle? What about my job, my security here? I had a lot to think about and it wasn't helping that everyone else wanted to know what my next move was going to be. What are you going to do? Are you getting married? What are you going to do while you're there? My mind was spinning and I knew Kyle was feeling pressure from all angles, including myself.

I didn't like this feeling I was having, I was confused for the first time in our relationship. I just needed to know, we were on the same page about things. I needed to know we were both committed, which when I think about it now, it was pretty stupid, but sometimes a girl just has to know. I came home from work one evening and found my answer, written on our dry erase board on our fridge, "I'm committed to you 150%." It's like he knew the exact words I needed to see. I didn't need marriage, or a signed contract, I needed a few words which made every question and stress around me fade away. Those words gave me my answer.

Kyle is now in France and I'm writing this from my apartment in New York, we are in fact going through a long distance relationship again, until I join him in France at the end of October. Which we've promised to each other this is in fact the very last time we will have to be apart from each other, for such a long stint. Until then, we skype, we facebook, we email, we text, we send postcards, we do what it takes to show that the commitment is there and that it isn't going anywhere. I am applying for a long term visa, to calm my fears of being kicked out of France.

Commitment is proving to no one else but to the person or thing you love, that you will give it your all, that this thing very much matters to you. That no distance, obstacle or what other people think will get in the way of your commitment. Commitment can be a scary thing, entrusting your faith in someone else or you can look at it as one of the most beautiful things out there. You be the judge.





1 comment:

Trish said...

i love this post.

 
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