Our LDR

April 2009

We got together when we were 19. At that time, he was still serving NS and had a while more to go. The next step in his life was university and I had alr known he was going to study overseas. 

We both hated the idea of being physically separated for 4 years, me more than him, I think. 

He found a way to make it slightly bearable, by choosing to study ICOM in KL for 2 years and then finishing off the last 2 years in Boston. He chose KL because that meant he could still come back to Singapore on the weekends and we could at least have the weekends together. My poor boy.

He would take the coach from Singapore to KL, enduring a 4-5 hour journey. Every Sunday night, he would lug his trusty Timberland bagpack filled with a week's worth of clothes and necessities & his beat-up guitar case to board the bus. Every Friday after school, he would lug the same stuff back to Singapore. 

I was studying in uni at that time, so Monday to Friday, I would also be in school. We talked over the phone and we would look forward to the weekends. 

No matter how tired he was, he made it back. There were times when he couldn't come back - when his visa application was being renewed etc. I hated those times. I felt like precious weekends were being stolen from me.

This KL-SG life went on for about 2 years. It was the first time I am in a relationship - separated by an entire country. It wasn't easy but we are kinda on the halfway mark already right? Right before he went to Berklee after his 2-year in KL, he was back in SG for about 6 months before his school starts. 

June 2012

He took up an internship at Sony here & we had a bit of time in Singapore together. It felt so surreal having an actual boyfriend who I could see at any time I want. We would have dinners after his work, and it was a real dating life. What sucked was I knew exactly when he would be leaving. Again.

It felt like, I just got him back, and then he was going again. I tried to forget about them and concentrated on his presence for the moment. I broke down ALOT. And he always held me in his arms, comforting me, holding me. He was, still is, the strong one. 

About 1 month before he left, we went on our first solo trip to BKK. It was just two of us for a few days straight and it was pure bliss. Yet, it was hard because I know it was going to be the last few times I get to see him for a long, long while.

The night before he left, he celebrated pre-Christmas and pre-Valentine's day with me because well, we couldn't spend actual days together. He also gave me bunny - my stuff toy, which haven't left my side since. I've cried into bunny too many a times when missing him was too much to take. 

He also made sure to test-drive FaceTime a couple of times before he left! We tried skyping before but it has failed us too many times. When FaceTime function came about, we were absolutely delighted. It was truly God-sent. Or Steve Job-sent. Whoever it was, it allowed me to survive my LDR. 

He made sure to cushion this blow for me as much as he could. To think that he was the one who is gonna be there - all alone and yet to figure anything out there - and yet still remained incredibly worried for me. How was I gonna survive without him? 

28 December 2012

This date is burned into my memory - That was the day he left.

It was an early morning flight. I remember feeling very surreal at the airport as both our families sat and had awkward breakfast, him making most of the conversation because he is naturally good at that. I couldn't speak much. I knew if I did, I would be a total goner. 

As time crept closer, I could only remind myself to breathe and not cry. But I failed so bad, obviously. I started weeping even before we got to the gate. Right before he went in, I hugged him and buried my face into his chest, taking in his smell one last time. 

While trying to hug/console me and walk to his gate, he actually left his guitar behind! Luckily, someone remembered and thank goodness because idk how was he gonna start school without it. It's quite funny - looking back now, but trust me, I wasn't laughing at that time. 

The minute he entered the airport lounge, he facetimed me!! #needygirlf here 🙋🏻 

Seeing him always made things better, even if it was through a miserable screen. There were times I hated the bloody screen. Wanted to be the ghost from The Ring who can crawl out through the screen, just to reach him. Can see, cannot touch. It was almost pure torture. 

This was my very post on blogspot on the day he left. I remember crying while typing this. In fact, for a long while, everytime I wrote, I cried. Everytime he called? I cried. Such a baby. 

Pretty much dehydrated by the end of the week. Yes, I now have a sense of humor regarding this topic. 

Before he left, we also made a trip to ikea and picked out two photo frames. We made each other a personalized frame to look at when we miss each other. His frame makes me laugh every time I look at it. Everytime. It's hilarious and so sweet and so him. His size and face makes him look really intimidating to others who dk him but the guy in the frame? That's the funny guy I fell in love with. He also got a bouquet in advance to celebrate our pre-valentines day. 

What took getting used to was he was literally living in my yesterday. Him being 12 hours apart meant I had already finish the day before he starts his. 

I spent my days remembering what I did, had for lunch, or any funny thing that happened so I could tell him about it. When I eat my breakfast, he would be having dinner. When I woke up, his night just started. I would text him throughout the day, but it was lonely cause there would be no reply when he's sleeping lah duh.

What helped was that the boy promised me that we would FT at least once a day and I live for those 'once-a-day'! 

Ok lah, it didn't work out eventually but this promise really made the both of us worked for it! Even if it was a rushed 2 minutes, it was 2 very important minutes that we can see each other, so we try to do it daily. Sometimes, on good days, we get to talk for hours which happens mostly on weekends and that makes up a lot.

We definitely did have a lot of downs throughout as well. However, I think I've become a better person through the whole thing! I learned patience, and most importantly, I learned to trust. 

Let's just say I wasn't quite emotionally-stable as he would like when we first started out. But hey, I really think this LDR has made me a better person.

January 2013

I went on to start my first official job as an adult being! Keeping myself busied meant that time flew by even quicker. In the education line, my job revolved around a school schedule - 2 weeks-June and 4 weeks-December holidays! That was one big perk of the job. 

His first summer meant that he had 3 months off from school and he landed another internship in HK! Thankfully, June holidays fall right in the middle of summer in the US Off I went on my first solo airplane trip to see him after a few grueling months of missing him intensely. I am really very bad with directions and my parents were super worried cause I couldnt even find my departure gate in Singapore. Hey, I made it there and back!

8 June 2013

 

This was the VERY first time we saw each other after 6 months, and I cried like a baby again. I took this photo to show my parents I didn't get lost and I found him

The next 2 weeks were amazing but passed waaaay too fast. We stayed up a lot to catch up. We went for late-night 2am deserts and morning hk breakfast. The second he was done from work, he would bring me around HK to eat and shop. We even headed to Macau for egg tarts!

I was crying when I had to leave and I come to realize, no matter how many times I say goodbye to him at the airport, Imma still be bawling like a baby. When the 2 weeks of bliss was over, it was back to work for me, back to work and school for him. The next time round we would see each other would be December. 

1 December 2013

 

Dec holidays couldn't come around fast enough and once again set off on a solo trip. Only thing is that it is now a 28-hr trip to Boston! I was terrified because it is a whole new surrounding but I made it too! Traveling alone was daunting; especially with immigration process in the US. I felt like I was interrogated the whole way thru. 

It was so cold when I arrived - definitely not packed for the weather. He was finishing up his finals and was then gonna spend the last 2 weeks with me. We even made it to NYC! 

Leaving Newark airport set me off like a baby, once again. I hated going through security and we would smile at each other through the long custom queue until we couldn't see each other anymore. So back to work I went whilst he went on with more school. Just like that, one year of him in Boston and me in SG!

Don't get me wrong. I am making it sound cooler than all that really happened. What goes behind the scenes were a lot tougher. We had fights and arguments like every couple but we also had to put in extra effort to make sure we fought and made up. Even if it's through a screen, or whatsapp or the little phone calls in between. We also had to trust each other a lot when it comes to things. 

10 June 2014

 Taken at UO on the West End of NYC!

Taken at UO on the West End of NYC!

Following June, he landed himself another internship in NYC. Another 24-hr solo trip for me. He worked in the day and I wandered NYC by myself, then after work, he would bring me around, even tho he had a long day. 

Every second of the 2 weeks was important and so memorable. On weekends, he brought me out and we would explore NYC together so we did a whole bunch of tourist-y stuff lie visiting Statue of Liberty and watching Broadway Shows!

A lot happened after that trip back to Singapore from NYC. Personal stuff mostly. 
I finished up another term at work, dug out all my savings and went up to stay with him in Boston for a while after that. It was a breath of fresh air.  

Long story short - I stayed with him for awhile and came back to SG in May 2015. Shortly after, in June, he came back to SG for a holiday too and that's when we decided on the ROM. Getting married means I am allowed a dependent visa and we won't have to be separated anymore!

I was thankful I got to work and save to visit him during the holidays. Everyone said I was so lucky to have gotten the 'chance' to travel. The truth was - I would rather have him by my side than to travel. Each moment was always precious and you always know - that there would be an end. 

That at the end of it - you got to board the plane and travel back alone, without him. 

I was horrible at LDR. My boyfriend was my pillar throughout these few years. If he wasn't as strong as he is, I think we would be very far from where we are now. Whatever it is, I'm crossing my fingers, hoping if all goes smoothly, I'm finally bidding this LDR bye-bye 👋🏼 ! I really hope I don't see you, ever, ever again.

pearlyn neokeith and pea