Chapter 41 - Holy shiz, it's 2020 and wth is happening...
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
#spillthebeansonlove - Chapter 41
Here's the deal - I took a break from writing our story because quite frankly I wasn't emotionally ready to face 2020 all over again. I promise to write this part of the story one day, but for now, I am going to give you the high-level cliff notes because I just can't quite go there. As they say... 'too soon?' Yes, too soon, indeed.
Guapo and I survived, not only in life but in our relationship. I think if anything was going to tear apart a long-distance relationship it was a global pandemic. However, in life, I think we typically have two choices fall into fear or fall into love. Even though seeing each other got harder and way scarier during the pandemic, our love got stronger and our bond deeper.
Obviously going through a crisis teaches you a lot about yourself, your priorities, and your dreams, perhaps even new ones. It makes you question everything. It flips you inside out and allows you to look deeply within. It forces you to pause, breathe and take inventory of your current situation for exactly what is.
At times I felt extremely alone during the pandemic. Other times I relished in the idea of having fewer commitments and more time to 'just be.' I missed my workouts and particularly the social aspect of my fitness classes. I missed meeting up with friends, I missed jumping on a plane with carefree stars in my eyes, but most of all I missed the human touch of both Guapo and my family.
I remember visiting my Grandma (yes, THE Grandma who told me to give Guapo my phone number) about 8 years ago in her assisted living while she was still lucid. We were standing at her vanity looking at her make-up and jewelry - our favorite thing to do. She looked up from what she was showing me and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She paused, examined herself, and said, 'I don't know when this happened, I don't even know who that person is looking back at me.' That moment stuck with me. I knew EXACTLY what she meant. Those two sentences forever changed how I look at life, life circumstance, and the speed at which it all goes by. I said, 'you're so beautiful, I do know that.' We paused to let the moment sink in. It was powerful and even more so in its silence. Then I asked her, what do you miss most about life before you moved here and her answer was so simple, 'human touch,' she said with tears filling her eyes.
It's been 22 years since I have lived near my family and 2020 made it feel more like 100. I did all the typical pandemic things, like face-timing with my friends and family but the lack of social connection and interaction was uncomfortable, isolating, and depressing. There was in fact, no human touch. Human touch had now become the faux pas of 2020.
I saw people at work, thank goodness, but at times it was downright scary to go into the building. With all of the confusion in the news and the misinformation flying around, I found myself feeling very scared and alone. At times, I completely retreated into the left side of my couch (I'm currently writing from that spot) for what seemed like days at a time. I don't write any of this for sympathy...we were ALL going through our own sifting of emotions. All things considered, my loneliness pales in comparison to what others endured. I only mention it to set the scene and say how grateful I was for Guapo's love, strength, and consistency at a time of such uncertainty.
After learning Guapo's story of how he immigrated to the United States, I knew he was strong, steady, and the bravest person I knew. Going through 2020 together, yet apart, I found out that even through his own fear he was able to put love at the forefront. He would talk with me every day, he would check-in, he would ask if I felt safe. He would offer to travel to me at a moment's notice and he was officially the bright spot in a very dark year. His consistency in the most inconsistent year was my solid foundation. With this solid foundation, we were able to achieve some pretty amazing things during the pandemic (more on this in a later chapter).
Our love grew, but this time it grew in a different way. It wasn't all about the fun dinners, nights out, and amazing vacations. This was a year where we learned about each other's fears, hopes, dreams, and desires. This was a year where all we had was the ability to use our words to communicate. We learned that consistency in our communication was the key to staying connected and forming a deeper bond. We learned that by staying connected our anxiety of the unknown would subside. We learned that through thick and thin we could count on each other. And we learned the deep importance of human touch.
It was a trying year on many accounts, but with the bad, we found some really good! 2020 taught us some cutting lessons, but it also opened some life-changing doors. It allowed us the time we needed to redirect our energy and create some beautiful new beginnings...