On ships, we never expect things to last. Friends leave, assignments end and your memories become a folder on your computer but then someone lasts and it changes everything. It is scary though when something goes from temporary to long-lasting and meeting Julian was not any different.
Happy 1 year and 4 months read the text message that I saw this morning and I honestly had to read it a couple of times. The first time we ever wrote to each other it was to say that we could never make this work and yet my cellphone still chimes with these messages many months later. It still catches my breath every time.
For the longest time it felt temporary even as the months kept going by, and it is still scary to accept that someone might be staying awhile. Conversations that used to happen only in English can now happen in broken Spanish and broken Dutch. When I revisit places we have seen together it is like he never left, when I think about the future he plays a part in it, when I think of family I feel like I have two.
However, talking about our future is always nerve racking because we are young. Julian summarized it perfectly in a skype call when he said It made him scared because it was a lot of responsibility. What I think he doesn’t know is that I am terrified too, so much so that lately I only whisper I love you once he has gone to sleep, or as a sign off in a written letter.
I never thought we would have time , time for the word kisses to turn to bisou because he is traveling in France or for Natalia to turn into Liatje because it is a cute Belgian nickname. So I can say that I didn’t expect the change that came with time. How our lives became intertwined with each other, how talks about the future happened once in a while, and how we continued to support each other in our goals even if it meant we would be far away. Accepting that we could be there for one another through all of it, that it is possible, that I didn’t account for.
With time comes change, but it doesn’t have to be swift. We share the journey one step at a time and every month another chime on my cellphone, another breathtaking moment. That is all I need, the rest will come together in time because I am slowly starting to believe that we will have it.