Back in Australia for just under two weeks and I have no one's phone number any more, so if any of my millions of Australian readers want to see me, email me at **firstname.lastname@example.org (actually my real name, not "myrealname"). I don't think Tohm even had a phone when I left, how things change.
So, on to the topic at hand. All my loser friends and little brothers from Australia seem to be in the process of painfully ending serious long-term relationships, still getting over the old breakups of years ago, or remaining painfully single even after moving countries to try and find some new poon whose friendship and intellect they don't value too much to sully by filthy, filthy sexual intercourse. But you know what? Right now, I'm super, thanks for asking! My favourite girlfriend who I haven't seen for months is arriving tomorrow morning and we're going to spend a large percentage of the next 10 days doing not much but making coochie-coo faces at each other and frolicking gaily through sun-kissed meadows of flowers. It didn't have to end up like this though...*
When I moved to Indonesia in late '04, even though in all honesty we both knew it wasn't going to work out, we decided to try the distance relationship thing. We lasted a respectable 4-5 months after which, because I was too much of a chicken to do it myself, she initiated the breakup and I agreed. The distance wasn't the hard thing, it was the open ended nature of it. I didn't know how long I would be away, I didn't make anywhere near enough money to fly home more than once a year, we're both young and it doesn't really make sense to be stuck in a relationship that didn't really seem to have a forseeable future.
We stayed in touch; in fact, I think the only difference between our "relationship" when we were together and when we were apart was that we didn't sign our emails "love you" anymore, and that we were back on the market. We still emailed and smsed about the same old inconsequential things we always did, in fact, a lot of things got more honest.
Almost exactly a year later, when we realised that in fact nothing had changed, we made the momentous decision to get back together. This, in the face of another year of distance relationship. Why? Well, it's simple really. Above all, she interests me. But enough about her, this blog is about me.
What horribly contrived-sounding cliches did I learn were true in the year we were apart?
If you were meant to be together you still would be, or at least, you will be again: This is the oldest cliche in the book, and for years I had thought it was a steaming pile of turd. It sounds like it requires a sense of fatalism that I just don't buy into, but in fact it doesn't. You've broken up, obviously this is because something is wrong, better you discover now than in 5 years. It might be able to be fixed, if both parties have the will, the best you can do (if indeed you want to reconcile) is remain open. In the meantime, though, get the fuck on with your life.
You need time apart to grow as people: This one sounded even worse than the first one. What a load of shit... I don't need to grow you condescending self-help book cliche spouting wanker. I don't know how to explain this to anyone else, but I honestly feel that I do know myself (and in fact my lovely girlfriend) better after spending 1 year and 355 days living in different countries... Go figure. I do wonder what Tohm's perspective on this is, as he went through a rather similar break-up relatively recently, he seems to be on the other side of it though... From reading his blog recently, I'm inclined to think he'd agree.
Don't expect Morley to be the better man: natch.
Damo needs to stop being a bitch: It's not a turn on for you to be worrying about the oppressive weight of the male patriarchy and it's impact on your conversation with the girl you are talking to. Ok, fine... I did that for quite a while, but I live in a country where it's much worse. You're in the first world dammit, they're just fine!
I read a quote recently by some old greek dude, probably a philosopher, playwright or something and he said: "the reward of suffering is experience". We're white (with the exception of Harvard and he's Chinese from Malaysia who are a ruling class anyway) middle-class males from first world nations, we can do with a little suffering now and then to keep us on our toes...
*Yes, I realise the potential jinx I am placing on myself, and the "not so smug now are you arsehole"s that I may attract in future by writing posts like this.