I have been going through a lot of old photos recently — backing them up, transferring them from one online storage space to another, consolidating albums, etc. In the process of doing so, I received an email from one of the online album sites that I recently updated. The subject read, “Your memories from this week 8 years ago…”
I clicked on the link,expecting to see photos that looked ancient. But this? THIS WAS EIGHT YEARS AGO? I actually went back to the original photo files to see if the dates were correct. They were.
Eight frickin’ years ago today Sly and I were in Austin for a wedding. We had only been dating for a few months and were still living on opposite coasts. Dating long distance did not come easy for us (or maybe just me) — a lot had happened the previous year on my end and I wasn’t sure if I felt ‘ready’ for a ‘serious’ relationship. The thing with long distance relationships is that they tend to either be serious right away or super relaxed and open-ended. I wasn’t looking for the latter, but I wasn’t sure I was ready for the former either.
Sly will tell you I put him through hell while we dated, but I was pretty conflicted too. I saw Sly as long term material — something I felt immediately when we reconnected — but I didn’t know if the timing, location, etc was ‘right’ for us to make it work. I “just wanted to date and see where things went” but that was proving difficult to do when we lived on opposite sides of the country.
From the original blog entry way back when:
I asked if I could bring along a date. I never really thought too much about bringing a date, but it seemed like a good middle ground for the both of us (Sly and me) to meet up, as well as a good way for him to meet all my Austin friends…
Sly and I ended up driving out to Hamilton Pool–a waterfall/natural pool in the middle of Texas Hill Country. I love it out there–it always has some kind of power of relaxation. We played in the water in our floaties, and then walked around under the caves, and then slid down the mossy rocks underneath the waterfall. Afterwards, we relaxed on the rocky beach and ate grapes and cheddar goldfish, and fell asleep. When the crowd and echoing voices of children against the canyon walls became too loud, we hiked to the pedernales river–which is super shallow. You can essentially walk across the river, going from rock to rock. We found what we called, “nature’s couch” and ended up sitting there for a while, watching dragon flies flutter over the gentle current. It was very nice. Very peaceful….
This trip to Austin was the first time Sly came ‘home’ with me. He met my mom, brother, nephew, cousin, and a bunch of my long-time Texas friends. I took him to a lot of my favorite places, including Hill Country and Hamilton Pool Preserve. In a way, it was sort of a turning point in the dating part of our relationship.I have always loved Texas hill Country — it’s just one of those places so closely tied to my soul. Seeing Sly in that setting, among family and friends and favorite places made me realize how much he fit right in.
At the airport, Sly waited with me until I boarded, and I actually felt kind of sad to say goodbye. Not that I don’t miss him, but something about this trip was just right. For the first time, I felt better about things…about *us*. I felt relaxed, like we were just living in the moment, not worrying too much about the future, enjoying being home.
Maybe that’s what it was. It just felt like home.
A couple weeks after this trip, my mom sent me this email:
When will you and Sly get together again? I like him! Too bad you are so far from each other. But if you care for each other, nothing can stop the relationship. No one thought Dad and I could end up in marriage in the US. Sly showed that he really cared for you. His effort to continue seeing you every 2 weeks proves that too. Hope he’s the one for you.
We always talk about moving back to Texas one of these day, specifically to Hill Country. Or, now that it’s super trendy to live there these days, maybe some place further West.