Monday, June 26, 2017

Real talk: a life + love update

For anyone who's ever been in a long distance relationship before, you will understand how hard it can be. I never thought that I would end up falling in love with someone who lives 5,000+ miles away, but seeing as how my life has always thrown me interesting curve balls, this actually came as no surprise (in some funny way). Since that very first day that we matched on Tinder in January (yep, that is how it happened), we have been talking, face-timing and texting non-stop every day (sometimes all day on the weekends if we're lucky!), and have been lucky enough to visit each other a few times since he was here in January. Leaving each other each time we have to go home is the hardest part of this whole process. I'm not going to lie, I've had days where I've just cried in bed because of missing him so much, and longing to be where he is. It feels so wrong to not get to be together in person except when we make big trips to visit each other. I'll admit, I get jealous sometimes when I see girls with their boyfriends and husbands at home, doing boyfriend/girlfriend/live-in partner activities (cooking, having movie nights, even doing boring chores together). But then I brush it off and try to remember that someday, that will get to be us, too. We have already begun the process of applying for my residency visa so that we can live together, and we are SO excited about it. The moment that we pulled into Strömstad after he picked me up from the airport, I felt right at home. The town itself was beautiful, the people were friendly and kind, the air was clean, there was no traffic (hooray!), the food was delicious (hi i like meatballs + kebab rolls and ate them every single day i was there, no shame) but what I loved most of all was being in his apartment because it felt like mine, too. Whenever we would visit other towns and bigger cities, my heart ached to be back in Strömstad, and I knew when I had that feeling, that it was time to start the moving process, which began literally the day after I arrived back home.

The paperwork itself was fairly easy. We just had to answer questions about our family and relationship, and submit some documents. The hard part is really just the waiting time. It's now been almost three weeks and... nothing. But I'm not surprised. The waiting time for an interview could be anywhere between 2-6 months, and then once you get the interview, it could be another long while until you finally get approved, but I keep crossing my fingers that we'll be lucky and that any day now, I'll receive that e-mail asking me to book my interview at the nearest embassy. In the meantime, we continue to talk as much as possible and plan for his next visit which we're hoping will be in August. I've also started a scrapbook containing literally every receipt from our shopping excursions together, to print-outs of our first conversations on all the apps, photos of us together, candy wrappers from the candy he sent me back in February, and even our boarding passes from our travels to each other. I'm glad to be a pack rat in some way because our relationship is so unique and I love having these memories to look back on forever. I can't wait to keep filling it up as we continue on our journey! I'll share more of it on Instagram soon.

Many people have asked me what I plan on doing when I get over there. For allllll who know me, this should come as no shocker: I really, really want to work at a candy store. Desserts are something I am truly passionate about, and the candy in Sweden is no joke. There is a teeny tiny candy store in his town that I fell in love with when I visited, and I would be thrilled to get to work there (also just a quick walk from his place!) - not just because of how yummy it is, but I really love that it has a real sense of community. You can tell that this is the kind of place everyone goes to, and I want to be fully immersed in this culture as much as possible. There's also the really, really big candy store located at the biggest mall in town. I made a few stops in there to pick up gifts for friends, and snacks for our movie nights. So I do have a few leads so far. Aside from those two shops, I plan on continuing to work on my social media and would LOVE to help build a brand's social media in Sweden, and maybe write for the local paper, and in my dream scenario, would love to take over the social media for my boyfriend's recording studio (someday soon, hopefully!) I'm also actively learning Swedish and am hoping I'll be pretty close to fluent once I'm living there! Vi ska se hur det går. ;)

People have also asked if I'm nervous or scared about making such a big decision. The answer is... nope! I'm lucky - beyond lucky - to get to call Max the love of my life. He has changed my life for the better, and is essentially the male version of me in so many ways. I'd always dreamed of finding my soulmate, and now it's finally happened. So, going for it is easy for me. Totally easy.

So how am I feeling about my hometown, then? I've lived in Los Angeles almost my entire life, and I am so grateful for all of the memories I've had here,  for all of the friends I've made along the way, and for my family who I'm lucky enough to get to see pretty much whenever I want to. It will be an interesting transition moving to a completely different part of the world, but I'm ready. I feel like I've been ready for much longer than I even knew, which is crazy but true. Lately I've been doing a little pre planning by getting rid of clothes, cleaning out my fridge, organizing, and whatever else will make things easier for when I actually do have to start getting rid of things. I also will have to get Ringo his own little passport and all of that. If anyone has any advice about moving a pet across the world, please let me know! I do plan on doing all of my favorite LA/CA things before I leave, including hitting up Disneyland, making one last day-trip to Palm Springs, and definitely having some tacos + In N Out. But seeing as how my family and friends live here, it won't be long until I'm back to visit.

If you're still reading this, you're amazing and have a lot of patience (truly, ha ha). If you have any similar experiences about dating long distance or even moving to another country, please leave them below in the comments! I'll continue to share updates on the blog + Instagram as things progress with our application. Thanks for reading! <3

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