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Why Long Distance Relationships Never Work

Well, thanks for coming over to my blog! I haven’t written anything in quite a while, but that’s because of college term papers and life in general. Now that I’ve had time to sit and contemplate life, I think I’ve found a topic worth considering. Today, I want to write about an idea near and dear to my heart, which is the thought that – on most occasions – a long distance relationship is doomed from the start.

(A disclaimer: I am not speaking directly to any individual. I have experienced nothing but love and support in my growth and my relationship, but I have seen others who weren’t as lucky. I love the people who have been around me, and my hope is that you will see both sides of this topic and come out of it with understanding.)

Sadly, long-distance relationships are doomed from the outset.

You want to know why?

It seems like it fails because people decide to make it their personal ambition to destroy the idea that two people can care for each other from a distance.

Guys.

Really?

Why the lack of faith?

Did someone do something to cause you to see distance as insurmountable?

I’m of the mind that love can work across any distance, if it is real, and the parties who are in love are willing to work their hardest to make the relationship work. It isn’t an issue of money, and it isn’t an issue of distance. It is a matter of the heart, and if it’s right, it’s right.

I have my own opinions on what it takes to make a long-distance relationship work, and I think it takes a concerted effort on the part of two different parties for a successful experience to occur:

1. Friends and family (the outsiders) that are observing the relationship develop, and

2. The people in said relationship.

First, I want to offer three concepts to understand for the person who comes from an outside perspective:

1. Yes, the people in this relationship are gluttons for punishment. They wait for days, weeks, even months, do see their significant other, and often, those visits only last but a few days. Do not think of them as childish, because it takes a great amount of composure and maturity to keep from crying like a baby every time their S.O. leaves (I know this, because I was in a long distance relationship for two years and nine months before I was able to see my S.O. consistently). These are two people who work very hard to maintain loyalty and constant contact with their S.O., so my hope is that you will honor the fact that they are doing their best to care for a person who they find to be very important.

2. No, it is not easy for your friend to bring their long-distance S.O. up for a visit at any time. This is tough, because naturally, if your friend could have their S.O. with them at all times, they would do anything they could to make it happen. Sadly, most people are in long distance relationships because they can’t find a way to shorten said distance. Not a major complaint, just something to remember.

3. Yes, this relationship does not make sense, but try to be encouraging anyway. I know it’s hard to believe that people would subject themselves to such deep hurt every time their S.O. leaves, but I promise that the person in this relationship thinks it’s worth the hurt. If this person didn’t feel like being in this relationship was right, they probably wouldn’t have ever decided to pursue it. (Another disclaimer: if your family member or friend’s S.O. is clearly hurting them and they can’t see it, just be honest. But be loving at the same time. They will never hear you if you are a jerk in your approach. Help them to understand that their relationship is damaging in a kind and gentle way. And if it isn’t, stay supportive.)

Remember, you are key in the success of this relationship! If you do not commit to encouraging and supporting this individual in his or her endeavors, then there is a chance that their relationship will not succeed. Be good to one another. That should be obvious.

Now, I want to offer three ideas to the person who is in a long distance relationship:

1. It will be okay! Remember why you are doing this. When it gets hard, just know that your S.O. is probably feeling the same way. Long distance relationships are hard, but they are tremendously rewarding. To think that this won’t work out is to hamper your chances at success. You have to either be fully committed to the relationship, or you shouldn’t date this person at all. Half-hearted people have a hard time succeeding when hard work is necessary.

2. Understand that the people around you may not be able to make sense of your relationship decisions. I’ve been in a long-distance relationship, and I can’t even make sense of my own decisions! Be willing to explain the dynamic of your relationship, and just what about your S.O. really makes you want to press on.  Just a thought: if you are willing and able to explain just what makes you happy about your S.O., then you might find out some interesting things about that individual and yourself. For me, talking about my girlfriend actually makes me love her even more (as if that’s possible!). Communicating your thoughts clearly shows a maturity that is hard to discount, and it is a skill that helps you avoid being labelled as “immature,” or “angsty.”

3. Something my dad told me as he was going to bed today (I am writing this late at night in my living room) really struck me. This advice is multi-faceted, and very applicable in this context: Stay focused, stay on the narrow way, and avoid heartache. Being in a long-distance relationship is tough. It is like a long road race. You prepare for this race, but there is no experience like actually running it. You hit bumps and potholes and bends in the road, and sometimes it gets so narrow that you are not able to run side-by-side. When you get to those points, you can be confident in your Heavenly Father and your significant other, who will support you in different ways. A key to this analogy; however, is that you are willing to support him or her as well. Long-distance relationships do not succeed if you do not work at them, so you must understand that constant effort is key. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Be aware of just how quickly you are moving, and how quickly your partner is moving. Finding success is all about finding the right running mate.

Long-distance relationships are doomed to fail.

If you don’t have faith.

Work hard, and love even harder. Don’t give up, and know that – if this person is the one you are meant for, then you will someday find your joyous reunion.

A quote:

“Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough…”

This is the girl I dated long-distance for two years and nine months. We are now happily dating face-to-face!

This is Tori, the girl I dated long-distance for two years and nine months. We are now happily dating face-to-face!

 

Beautiful Words

Since I am in a haiku mood, I thought I would write a cycle called “What is beauty.” It took me a while to write this, and since it is late, I ask that you grant me a reprieve for anything you find particularly egregious. Thanks for reading.

What is Beauty?

Is it a social construct

or open for change?

 

Beauty is not on

the outside but within you.

Embrace what’s inside.

 

It is not defined

by someone else from outside

it’s up for debate.

 

Beautiful is not

new or pretty or showy

it is heart and mind

 

Beauty is thinking

It is moving to action

love epitomized

 

It is in small things

like roses, smiles, and hugs; moments.

little ideas

 

Big dreams, successes,

failures, and in between, all

can be beautiful.

 

I tell you all this:

If you think that you’re ugly

you are wildly wrong.

 

You are beautiful

Just as everyone else is.

Embrace confidence.

 

Find someone who loves

you for who you really are.

Not for an ideal.

 

When you find people

that you want to spend moments

with; make memories.

 

You will then see what

beauty truly is, and that

is no lie; truly.

 

Beauty is no joke.

It is not a thing messed with.

Beauty is our dream.

 

We desire beauty

like milk, keeping us awake

at night, pushing us.

 

So we go on; restless

wanderers in faithless chase

after an ideal.

 

Beauty lies within

the sacrifice of a Dad

who sent baby Boy

 

To die hard for us,

a lamb to the slaughterhouse

all for salvation.

 

That is the beauty

we seek. A life with the Son

who came to save US.

 

Young Carpenter, hung

on a wooden stake for me.

Because of His love.

 

So I sit in my

ineptitude; pondering

the grace that abounds.

 

This is beauty also.

The love of a father, too

great to comprehend.

 

I guess beauty lies

in all things, big and small; we

just have to find it.

 

My Entry for the Creative Writing Challenge

Well, I saw a haiku contest, and I wanted to enter. It is as simple as that. I will post all five haikus here at once, and hopefully they will be rather good! I call this “Haikus on a rainy Monday.” I will post a link below for anyone else interested in the little game.

Here we go!

1. I wake up

I wake up sad; angry.

It is snowing out my window

And I still have class.

 

2. Time to get ready

I get out of bed

And throw some pants on, I’m rushed.

I don’t want to leave.

 

3. Class

British Lit, why not?

Sense and Sensibility

My mind; worn to mush.

 

4. Work

I sit at my desk

Pondering mysteries of

Blogging or sleeping.

 

5. Bed again

Sweet sleep, so far gone

Time to catch up with you now.

Close my eyes sweetly.

They may not be great, but it’s a start! Hopefully you will be able to get your creative juices flowing. Here’s a link! http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/challenge-haiku/

My Lady, My Main Squeeze, My Good Ole’ Southern Belle.

Well, today is pretty special. My girlfriend, who I love so dearly, has successfully tolerated me for three years. Three whole years! Isn’t that pretty wonderful? She still loves me…unbelievable. Today, I am posting what is essentially a shout-out to her: I am going to tell you three reasons why I like her, and then show you guys all a poem I wrote about her (for what it’s worth, I am waiting to know if it will be published – would add to the excitement). Here we go!

1. Tori loves Jesus way more than she’ll ever love me, and that is great. I firmly believe that the way to grow closest to your significant other is by pursuing God together, so Tori has provided me a challenge, being someone who holds me accountable, someone who helps me to see what I need to see in order to become a more Godly young man. 

2. Tori isn’t afraid to laugh at my jokes. For gosh sake, couples are so boring! People love each other madly, but don’t seem to have any sense of humor sometimes. They look like they have lost interest in each other. Tori, whether fake or not, laughs at my jokes, and I laugh at hers. We both find each other fascinating, and I pray that never ends. Humor is enormously important to success in our relationship!

3. Tori loves Jesus, but also loves me. I cannot understate how wonderful it feels to have someone who desires to spend time with you. It really is great. You could say our love is sweet like poetry…heh heh. 

 

I love her, as you can tell! Here is the poem:

 

Beautiful blonde girl sitting across the table from me,

Deep blue eyes staring into mine.

She holds my hands and we tell wonderful stories,

Another night

Where she is looking divine.

I love her

I think of her all the time

The way she loves, the way she can make a moment out of a subtle

Pause-

She gets me so excited that sometimes I forget how to rhyme.

She means the world to me but I don’t think she’ll understand the gravity

of it all.

Her red like roses lips, her diamond-shiny smile, how she walks about effortlessly.

The way she laughs: not loud, not too soft…just as it should be.

A cacophony of melodies singing straight from her beautiful

soul.

This girl, she’s perfect.

Perfectly passionate about those less fortunate,

About a God who provides,

One whose love she reflects like the moon does the sun.

From the moment I saw her five years ago, I knew

She was the

One.

She is also perfectly

Imperfect.

Not afraid to admit flaw or failure,

And

always ready to embrace mine

And that’s why I love her above all else on this Earth.

She is wonderful, and just what I need.

And best of all

 

 

She loves me

 

 

 

 

 

Happy 3 year Tori!

Bolivar, the Bean, and some of my Best Buds. (Alliteration is fun!)

Well, life in Ada, Oklahoma is splendid. I am getting better grades, paying nothing for school, and loving spending time with the love of my life daily. Things are great. I will say though, there is one thing lacking from Ada. You wanna know what that is? Its in the title: The Bean. I love that coffee shop. I love the memories I made there with some of the best friends I will ever have. Here are three things that I will miss the most about The Bean 3:16 in Bolivar, MO:

1. Good coffee. Guys, I hate coffee. The Bean made me like coffee. Its weird. Their Hot Chocolate is splendid also, as you see in the picture I’ve so wonderfully uploaded for your enjoyment. The way they make it is delicious, and it is actually decently priced.

2. Christian values. The place’s name is The Bean 3:16 for gosh sake. Its a great café owned by wonderful people who really are seeking to run an ethical and successful business. They make a habit of bringing in local performers (and some darn talented ones) just about every weekend, and everything just feels so homey there any time I go.

3. Great memories with great friends. I miss The Bean the most because of the times I spent there with some amazing people. Whether it was a well-written stand up routine by Sarah VandaVeer or a tightly woven melody plucked on Jared Pollard’s guitar, a night at The Bean was always a good one. I remember singing high harmonies to an Adele song just because I could and no one judged me for my ability (or lack thereof). The Bean is just a good place full of good people, and it should be the top coffee stop in Bolivar for a long time.

This all seems so random, but its okay. Its my blog and you can’t do anything about it. lol. But seriously, if you are ever in Southern Missouri and hankering for coffee and a family atmosphere, check it out. I don’t regret the hours spent there.

Here’s a link to their website: http://thebean316.com/index.html

Image

Toward the Unknown Region…sounds pretty exciting, huh?

Sorry. I really am. I know its been a while since I started doing this and I’m only posting for the second time. I really do apologize. Forgive me? Anyways: life has been a bit crazy and its taken a while to format my thoughts on my last three weeks. Do you want to hear about my adventure? Sure, I’d be happy to tell you about it! 

Well, I’ll start at the beginning. Kind of. Over Thanksgiving break, myself and my family began the process of praying through our options about school. I am officially a Junior in college now, this was during my Sophomore year. At the time, I was attending an amazing school, which also happened to be very VERY expensive. I’ll get into that later. But yeah. We began to pray, and try to consider all options for schooling in regards to cost-efficiency and major, and I had the idea that I would go to school with my girlfriend, Tori. (By the way, she has a blog called “The Pastor’s Daughter,” and its pretty good.) This sounded like a great idea, so we ran with it. 

I brought the idea up to her, and she loved it! In discussion, we decided that it would be a good idea for me to look at getting an Associate’s Degree, and it ended up working out to where I had all the classes I needed to succeed. 

This is all well and good, and I felt right about the decision, but I had a few problems. I had a great job on campus, I was extremely plugged in, and there just so happened to be some insanely difficult classes in between me and my degree. 

I took a deep breath, and started trying to make dents in the issues at hand. I stepped down (Which was really hard, I loved the people I worked for, and I miss them alot already), and I really began to pray about what I could do and what I needed to do to get through. 

After a semester of scares about Science grades and chapel credits, I am proud to tell you all that I graduated! I finished my Associate’s Degree in General Studies, and I now can consider myself somewhat of a college graduate! I am not done, I will be headed to East Central University in the Fall to pursue a degree in English Education. I am aware that this is only a small victory, but with how hard I had to work to get to this point, I feel the need to relish this moment in my super comfy gown. (Not really, but I thought you would enjoy the picture of me dancing in a gown.) 

This has been a crazy few weeks, but as I sit here and think about the bright future, I also consider some of my great friend and memories made at SBU. I will really miss my first University. 

SBU is a small school in southern Missouri, only about 1,600 attendees at the Bolivar Campus. When I found out my college was smaller than my high school (Go Seckman), I was a little disturbed. Thoughts like ” is this going to be a farm town,” or “why am I doing this, I am a city boy and I don’t like little places,” came to mind when I was on campus visiting SBU. I was really worried, until I arrived at Welcome Week and all of my misconceptions were changed entirely. I fell in love with SBU from the outset. Seeing students who seemed to genuinely care about each other, and being at a school where Christlike community was stressed really became selling points in my decision to go to and really get involved at SBU.

I think about my time there, and I see moments where I really learned about myself and my work ethic. I think of times in Honors Composition where I had to work as hard as I could to pass, and when I did pass, I celebrated with my parents. I still have friends from that class today, that became my friends because of a mutual distaste for a teacher’s style. I remember moments in my dorm where friends on my hall would help me get through tough homework assignments, and the success I felt when I got good grades and brought them to those friends. I also remember moments in my job on the Welcome Week Steering Committee where I would be challenged on an idea that I had, and I needed to learn how to rework the idea to make it fit into the overall idea of Welcome Week, and not just what I wanted. These ideas and moments in themselves did not change me, but when I put them together on a timeline of my life, I came to the realization that each of those moments and many others really shaped me as a student and as a man. 

The major moments in my life at SBU are not the only things that affected me. I would say that the most vital part of my time at SBU was getting to know the group of friends that I still am in contact with. These people are too many to mention, so I won’t say any names, but as a group, these friends really helped me to understand some challenging life lessons, and I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without their help. 

I am sorry if I am rambling, I realize now as I type that I had more thoughts than planned for. I will miss one other aspect of SBU, and that is choir. I sang in two choirs at SBU, and the music made in each ensemble was not even the best part. Yes, I know that I’m saying I didn’t do choir for the music, but please bear with me. I loved choir for the beauty of the words sung and the friendships made. I spent alot of time with the people in the ensembles, and I would venture to say that we became one big, dysfunctional family. We grew so close and sang so well together: I really feel like that was the difference. Spending time learning about the music in cultural and historical context makes the music more meaningful. 

In discussing choir, I come to explaining my title: To the Unknown Region. This is the name of one of the pieces we performed in choir this year, and the lyrics come from poetry titled “Darest Thou now, O Soul,” by Walt Whitman. If you read carefully, the words present a journey, a story of a life moving on from the familiar into a place of newness. Here it is:

DAREST thou now, O Soul,

 

Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region,

 

Where neither ground is for the feet, nor any path to follow?

 

No map, there, nor guide,

 

Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,

         5

Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.

I know it not, O Soul;

 

Nor dost thou—all is a blank before us;

 

All waits, undream’d of, in that region—that inaccessible land.

 

Till, when the ties loosen,

  10

All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,

 

Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds, bound us.

 

Then we burst forth—we float, 

In Time and Space, O Soul—prepared for them; 

Equal, equipt at last—(O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil, O Soul.  15

 

The words in this bit of poetry really struck me, especially in the period of transition I am in. It is hard, sometimes, to see the bright light at the end of the tunnel when the tunnel seems so bleak. With help from friends, family, and God, I think I am rolling through, and moving on to that bright end of the tunnel. 

If you are in a period of transition, do not fret. It will be okay! Change isn’t a bad thing, and you will get through it. Don’t be afraid to seek help, because sometimes, the destination is not nearly as great as the journey. Be excited, the future is ahead, and the path will bring lessons you never thought you’d learn. Don’t be afraid to step into the Unknown Region, knowing that your friends will be there to go on adventure by your side.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate you.