My mom pretty much summed it up best when she said, and I quote, “Jesus, your story has more twists and turns than a telenovela.” For those of you not familiar with telenovelas, they are WORSE, (exponentially worse), than their American cousins, the soap operas. Drama, over-acting, ridiculous twists and turns that happen on a dime, ups and downs, love and heartbreak – yep, it’s all there.
On one-hand, she is right. Our story, so far, has been riddled with twists, turns, direction changes, heartbreak, and DRAMA. In fact, most people that have been following the “L & C saga” from the beginning have urged us to write a book or make a movie. Well, that’s in the works – for now, let’s start with a blog.
Welcome! Here, you can follow along this crazy journey with us! Now, you too can experience the wins, the losses, the frustrations, the happiness the ups and the downs as we work towards the goal … the relatively easy goal for most couples, but so damn difficult for C and I due to just about every barrier you can think of that is blocking our path – the goal of being TOGETHER, in ONE place at the SAME time.
Our story is crazy, it’s exciting, it’s frustrating, it’s maddening, it’s irrational, and inconvenient. But, it’s love. (Cue sappy music…. Now)!
For those of you not familiar with our story because, oh I don’t know, you’ve been living under a rock the last four years, or perhaps you just stumbled upon the blog in search of a good, out-of-the-ordinary, internationally-inclined love story – well, let’s get you up to speed, shall we?
Well let’s see, it was a beautiful Arizona-evening, the sun was setting, our eyes locked, and fireworks graced the sky… wait, just kidding. Actually, it was 187 degrees, it was August, and it was orientation for our new MBA program. We were hot, sweaty, grouchy and disoriented from all of the rigor of our new academic program. Truthfully, we were in the same cohort – aka ‘Chuckwallas’ – and not only could I not understand a word that came out of his mouth because he spoke so fast, I really had no idea how to pronounce his name. And, I’m sure we was thinking hellooooooo stereotypical American the first time he met me, so, no hard feelings 😉 Needless to say, it definitely was not “love-at-first-sight.” But, as it turns out, that’s exactly what is was — love.
Over the semesters we snuck around (although, I’m pretty sure everyone on campus knew what was going on, they just let us continue to think we were being clever in our ‘clandestine’ romance), until eventually it started to get a little more serious and feelings began to get involved. I made the classic girl mistake (c’mon ladies, we’ve all made it), and asked him the dreaded question so… “Where is this going?” Naturally, that pretty much ensured that whatever “this” was, was going nowhere and, yep, you guessed it, we broke up.
So, naturally, after our breakup, we got back together, right as we were about to graduate; super-convenient, as he was traveling back to Mumbai for work, and I, up to Portland, Oregon. Yep that’s right – literally half way across the world from each other – that’s 12.5 hours difference. Awesome. But, we made it work – the emotional connection only grew stronger.
C came back to the US (east coast) about 8-9 months after we graduated for a 1/2year stint with his company for a leadership rotational program. Well, because I, at the time, worked for a company that was headquartered on the east coast as well, was able to schedule and extend work trips to be able to see him pretty often! Our plan, was to just, you know, have his company let him stay in the US, or find another job. My God we grossly underestimated the work involved in that — how naïve we were! Well, not so easy as it turned out. And, with just a month left before he had to return to India, we were out of options, and out of hope. So, naturally, again, we broke up.
Now, I have to say, this was probably the most heart-breaking breakup of my life. Don’t judge… but it was overwhelmingly difficult. Having to let go of the love of your life and literally let him walk away because of logistical barriers (immigration, jobs, culture, long-distance to name a few) was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. For C, the decision to end our romance was an agonizing one. He deliberated over this for weeks. And, with a heavy heart, faced with zero prospects of staying in the US, and culture and other pressures, came up with the decision that our love had come to a dead end. The door was closed. It was pretty much unbearable for both of us – me, having to hear him say those words, and him, having to utter the words of finality in our romance…
So, after quite possible a few of the WORST goodbyes ever, he returned back to India, and I stayed in Portland, both heartbroken.
Alright, enough sad, because, 2 months later the love was still there, the passion still alive, of course it was, it never once diminished, so, we decided to give it one more “shot.” We decided to give ourselves 6 more months to see what could happen. What we were waiting for, I’m not sure, but we kept the distance-thing alive, and I went to India to visit with our mutual best friend – Meike!! This India trip was nearing our arbitrary “6-month” deadline, and naturally no progress had been made, and the same issues were STILL in front of us, so when I returned from India… guess what?? We got married! Hah! Just kidding, we broke up… (as if there was another way)…
This time, it stuck. We let each other go (in a matter of speaking). I reasoned with myself, that obviously, this guy was ‘NOT’ the one if he would not stop at anything to make our love work. And he reasoned that love should NOT be this difficult, that it’s just too risky to undertake the massive legal and immigration front that would have to happen if we were to continue. So, for nearly five months, we didn’t talk, email, text, chat, nothing. (Well, aside from a few quick and brief check-ins). I thought about him every single day. Seriously, I did. But, I was prepared to move on with half my heart, And, I thought, he was as well. I immersed myself in work and marathon training and hot yoga, and tried to move on with my life, but I never stopped believing, or dreaming, really, that one day we could and WOULD be together. I guess that’s the difference between TRUE love and just love… you just know… and I did. I think he did too.
And then, on May 11, 2011 I received an email that I will never forget. I will not disclose the contents of the letter just yet. But basically, C had written to me exactly what I was hoping he would say all along. That love trumps all, if you have love, you have everything – and he’d stop at nothing to make this, to make US, work. That he has always and will always love me, and that he wanted one more chance to show me that he would make this work so that we could spend the rest of our lives TOGETHER.
I re-read the email no less than 15 times, thinking to myself, could I be reading this correctly?? No, I must be dreaming. I called my stepmom and asked her “OMG – what should I do?!!” I’ll never forget what she said – that I will never forgive myself if I don’t give him a chance to explain. So naturally, I called him, but leave it to C to write and email like that and then switch his phone off for the next what seemed like an eternity. Finally, we connected, and talked. I told him that if he was serious, he would come to the US to tell me to my face…
Guess what, ladies and gentleman. He did. And, it was the single most amazing thing ever. The guy who I have loved, all along, showed up on my doorstep and, yep, professed his love for me. No, I’m not making it up, it’s the stuff movies are made of, right here. And, it happened. And it was nothing short of amazing.
And that’s where we are today folks. Let’s be clear now, that all of the logistical barriers of immigration and all that ‘fun’ stuff still remain in front of us. But the thing that DID change from day one, were our attitudes. We are both 100% committed to making this work. To sort through whatever we need to be together in the end.
So, that’s where this blog comes in. To chronicle our trials and tribulations JUST to be able to be together. So join us… it’s going to be a crazy ride.
Nothing is ever easy with C and I… people should know that by now – but to all those people that said to us that it’s not going to work… Watch us.