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Connection in lockdown, and throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, has been a rare yet beautiful thing.
Something special, something to be held, nurtured, cherished because so much in the way of real face-to-face human connection and interaction has seemed so suddenly far away or out of grasp. What was “normal” has been rigorously ripped from our routines, and we’ve had to adapt.
The world of dating is no different.
During this pandemic, I found myself searching for genuine connection. In the absence of face-to-face dates and interaction, I found a connection that was built on more than that, and I’m enjoying the process.
I met an Earl—somebody who invests in me as I invest in them—with heart, integrity, vulnerability, and honesty. I count my blessings that I have found above all, a friend in the still yet restless “new normal” as I’ve adjusted to a quiet life at home, for now. A friend to calm the hustle and bustle of daily news hysteria and the panic “outside” as we all learn how to social distance and come to terms with the impact this naturally has on our well-being and socialising in general.
This is a time I will never forget, and his is a voice (and notification) I will never regret.
And so, I write this letter to my lockdown Valentine and myself—this is my wish for you, for me, for us.
Before we go further, just know this:
Today, I cherish you just as I cherish the rising sun. Grateful that I get to witness your light from afar every morning. You shine brightly with intention, despite not knowing what the new day will hold, ever-glowing regardless. The night is inevitable, but so is the fact that with a new day, you will be there, ready to shine the way only you can.
I want you to know that I like us, exactly where we are, right here, right now. The little messages, the video calls when we talk for hours about everything and nothing, even the little misunderstandings that come from talking via message and phone calls instead of face-to-face, hand in hand, and the way we talk them through.
You’re patient and listen to my rambles as you know that they are self-healing and a process I need to go through. You once said perspective is a useful thing, and you were right.
I love the loose plans we make for when we can meet again—oh, to look into your eyes, to feel your hand against mine. Don’t get me wrong, I know we both long for these times. But the fact that we cannot see each other in person has almost facilitated a path for a deeper, more spiritual connection.
This might surprise you, but I enjoy the space in moments when we don’t speak just as much as when we do (despite appreciating our regular check-ins), it is healthy. I sometimes think to myself—what are you doing? What would you think if you were here right now? You see, even when you’re not, it feels like you’re with me. I’m sure you’d laugh at my clumsiness when I trip over a log in the forest near home, and you’d hold me after a long hard day when I feel alone. Maybe you’d even bask in the fastness of my passion projects, and the way I light up when I feel “alive.”
Maybe we would then cook together, eat together, and be as happy apart as we would be in each other’s company—just as I am now—knowing that when the day is done, we have each other. Just like when the sun sets, it always rises for another day.
Maybe you’d play on the Xbox, go to band practice, and see friends whilst I write, gig, and write some more. I can’t wait for those moments, but in many ways, I can—I remind myself that there is beauty to be found where we are in this present moment. One day we might just wish that our “courtship” had lasted a little longer, before the reality of distance and the “world outside” beckoned, and might potentially pop our little bubble.
Of course, my mind wanders and imagines all the places we’ll go and the things that we’ll do; the things we might see, together and apart. The parts of our life and the stories we’re yet to share—good and bad. I want to learn it all, everything about you. I want to know you. Not what my imagination tells me of what you might like or be like, but you as you are.
But I like this, us, right now. The space in-between, the beauty of what is to come, the beauty of today, and the hope of tomorrow. Something that I know is a tender thought for us both, and once upon a time, one we perhaps didn’t think we would witness alone, nevermind with another being.
The other day, you said, “We’ve shared a lot of our lives with each other.” I think you meant we’d both opened up, been comfortable in vulnerability, and that has then undoubtedly yielded more vulnerability and a space where we collided and continue to float gracefully.
I then said, “We’ve shared a lot of feelings too.” And you said, “Absolutely.”
I feel—a lot—about everything, and my thoughts for you are no different.
I want you to know that if things were to change tomorrow in whatever way life may take us, I’m glad and lucky we had today. We’re lucky to have had the chance to be vulnerable and see the better side of vulnerability—the side where we’re both met by someone, a friend first and foremost, who listens, respects, and reciprocates with a smile.
We’re lucky to have had each other in a time where many felt so alone.
To trust is the most beautiful and natural (yet scary) thing of all, and I trust you. I promise to be kind and patient and not judge you with my previous experiences, and I know you already meet me with the same approach.
I appreciate how you’ve now learnt that when I say, “I feel out of sync,” this is not a reflection on you or your actions; instead, my way of saying I crave you and our little solace—our safe haven, to be held in the space we save for us, you and me. I crave it because it feels so good to feel connected, to surrender, and feel the butterflies. You’re learning to know what I need and what makes me tick, and I am picking up the same with you.
Slowly, steadily, comfortably. One step at a time.
It feels strange to say, but I genuinely believe that, in these moments, we write our future. I look toward that with a curiosity and a comfortable sense of wonder for what that might look like for you and for me. But for now, I’m happy to enjoy today and think about tomorrow, with the possibility of you by my side.
I like us, exactly where we are, right here, right now. And right now, you rock my world!
Happy lockdown Valentine’s.