Bon soir my fair friends! I sincerely hope that this post on this fine Friday evening finds you out sitting on a patio amongst good company, lots of wine, and fabulous food. In fact…if you are a Clevelander I am recommending Humble…the new hot spot wine bar in Lakewood on Detroit for this exact combination of awesome. The food is fantastic, the wine is perfect, and there are built-in troughs into the family style tables to keep your favorite Pinot Grigio chilled while you nibble on tuna tar-tar crostinis. Oh yes…the patio boasts some excellent people watching and the restaurant is chic and relaxed.
The wine chiller at the table on the patio at Humble.
To my dismay I am not one of those lucky ones on a patio this evening. I am an invalid laid up recovering from a small procedure I had this morning. So yes…I may be loopy and probably shouldn’t post this. But I am a rebel so I will post anyways.
I have spoken to many a woman whom have hit their mid twenties and found that their stomachs no longer support the abrasive eating habits they were used to in the past. Long gone are the days of eating anything you want with an iron stomach. I have come to find…I am more delicate and highly sensitive to food these days. I have joined you, my friends. Aging is stupid. I’m about seven days away from 26 and by no means am I saying I am old here. I still get carded everywhere I go…and sometimes even asked for a second form. Trust me good sir, that is me in this photo and this is my credit card. I would happily refute my identity if it means I don’t have to the pay the balance on that card, but alas…it is me.
I digress…my bad. I have been traveling per the usual for work to Chicago and Detroit…and spent my last three weekends in either Charlotte, Wilmington, Pittsburgh, or Cleveland for one or multiple of the follow: wedding, bridal shower, and/or bachelorette party – it really is wedding season in my book. Over this crazy time period my stomach went bananas on me which led me to a lovely appointment with the neighborhood gastroenterologist. One colonoscopy/endoscopy later… I feel like a 50-year-old man, but am now as clean as a whistle. TMI? Yea, I know…but I share this with you because I am a huge supporter of taking care of your body. However and whenever you need to do it. If something feels off, do something about! Get it checked out.
Also something really awesome/hilarious happened at the hospital today. Besides me being totally looped out from the anesthetics, I went in for my pre-op procedures and my PA happened to be one of my friends from childhood! Out of all the hospitals and all the nurses….I got her. It was so nice to have a familiar face to talk to while I peed into a cup and put on those awkward/awful gowns made for 300 pound men. Seriously I felt like Jack Nicholson in Something’s Gotta Give. You know the scene I’m talking about. But what was so awesome about having her there was realizing that the people I used to do homework and attend football games with are now real grown-ups in society. I mean we all have friends out there and if we don’t work with them on a daily basis, how often do you really get to see someone you know at their place of employment in action? Uhm…that’s pretty much a never to me.
Author Note: The hospital socks are awesome. No really…I’m serious.
So like I said, my travel schedule has been insane, but absolutely fabulously fun. I have been able to spend some time in Charlotte with some dear friends and a few days sunning and bar hopping on a beach in Wilmington to celebrate some more lovely friend’s matrimony. I got to take an architecture boat tour in Chicago with my work colleagues during a large conference and even got to meet up with a close girlfriend who just moved to the city for some sushi. Went to Pittsburgh to partake in bridal and bachelorette celebrations for my closest friend from college, Julie and was able to spend some much-needed time with that crew. This past weekend included another fun-filled bachelorette evening for my girlfriend, Lesley gallivanting around downtown Cleveland. By the way…Pickwick & Frolic is delicious and just down the stairs in the same restaurant is a fabulous champagne bar! Hidden gem!
Hanging on the beach in Wilmington
With Lory at the beach bars in Wilmington, NC.
Matt & Lisa Hinson
At the White Sox vs. Yankees game in Chicago
On the Architecture Boat Tour with some colleagues in Chicago
With the bachelorette, Julie!
All the girls at the Perle the champagne bar in Pittsburgh for Julie’s bachelorette
Lesley’s bachelorette at dinner at Pickwick & Frolics
Along for the ride, Andrew is re-joining me this evening so my parent’s can pass the “take care of Jillian” torch over to him. He’s so lucky. For those of you that do not know, after Andrew returned from Afghanistan and we had our lovely time together, he had to report to Ft. Benning for three weeks of training to see if he would make it into the Ranger Regiment. Andrew is a Ranger already, but we found out two Tuesdays ago that he has been selected to serve with the 75th Ranger Regiment (a regiment of all Rangers) in Ft. Benning, GA! Another adventure in our future. Can’t stop, won’t stop! What have I said before? Get comfortable being uncomfortable? Oh yes…we both take this to the next level. Ha! Anyways if you see him give him a high-five. It’s been a dream for him and it has made my heart so warm to watch him work so hard to achieve this goal. Super proud! Gush gush gush………
We will have a month or so together before he heads back down to Ft. Benning for good. It will be very magical month because something awesome is gonna happen. We got tickets to the Killers concert in Windsor, CANADA! Yay for international travel. Remember when you didn’t need a passport to go to Canada? And because we are obsessed – rock it out – we got some really great seats…like hoping the sweat drips off Brandon Flowers onto us good seats. Woot woot! I also have to go to Chicago again for business this week, so I decided to take a day off and introduce my man to the windy city that I have come to spend so much time in. He has never been so I am super excited to be able to show him all my favorite spots and just walk the city with him. Perhaps a trip down Michigan Ave. is in order?
I will be spending my birthday weekend in Nashville celebrating my friend Laura’s last hoorah as a single chick. I have never been to Nashville before and am super excited to check this new scene out. The group rented a house not far from the city on the river for the long labor day weekends. My best friend, Sara (and MOH) said we might be playing beer olympics?!? I mean…………………..yea!
Obviously I am a person who tends to wander. I have never lived in one place longer than a year minus childhood. When I lived in Charlotte I moved three times in three years! I enjoy being planted somewhere firmly, but the other half of my heart is drawn to new places and what could be around the next corner. I love this life. I want to be able to see all I can when I can. But sometimes I need to slow down and take care of myself. But I am thankful for all the opportunities I have been given and will explore for as long as I possibly can…or at least until that one little test turns out positive.
On another note, I have met so many followers of this blog out and about and I have to say I am so flabbergasted that you tolerate me…or even find me remotely amusing! Honestly this is just a bunch of rambling bs that comes out of my brain unfiltered. I really should get an editor….or at least have Julie give each post a read through before I upload it. Julie used to proof all my papers in college. Yep. She’s a dream. But I have digressed again. It is really so great to hear from you and have your support!
So in that spirit I wanted to answer a question that I have received so many times from readers:
Person: “How do you do it?”
Me: “Do what?”
Person: A long-distance relationship?”
Disclaimer: I am not an expert…I’m just a woman in love.
A: Let me set the stage. I have had three hard-core relationships in my life. Defining hard-core to me means we were together for over a year. I say this because anything under a year and you are still honey-mooning, especially in long distance. It takes time for the mundane demons to surface and to really settle into each other. Two os those relationships were three years with one of them long distance. And then my current relationship is a little over two years old and hopefully the last hard-core relationship I will ever have to be in! 😉
So the simple answer is…I just do it. It’s all in the frame of mind and your perspective and attitude. Personally, I don’t really see the distance as a challenge. Does it suck? Sure. But not all the time. Are there nights when I get sad and cry? Sure. Are there nights where I get mad at Andrew? Sure. But for most days I am just happy to know I have someone out there that loves me and would do anything for me. I’m stealing something Andrew always tells me, but “every day you have to choose to get up and make it work.” And I mean every day. Some days it will be so easy it’s not even a choice. Other days it may be more difficult. Love is easy and hard whether you are a thousand miles or two feet apart. Commitment is something to work for and work at everyday. If you see the bigger picture and he/she is the one that’s supposed to be your constant in the bigger picture…then you just do it.
The one piece of advice I do have is to communicate. I am much better at this than my counterpart (sorry, hon), but I know that my effort helps his effort. Don’t let feelings fester. It is easy to get jealous when you are surrounded by “normal couples” who get to see each other every day and go for movie dates and don’t have to jam pack all their fun into multiple weekends. While you may think that the grass is greener on the other side…the truth is the grass is greener where you water it. So if you have an issue with the current status quo, talk about it. If neither of you are willing to make the necessary sacrifice of your own personal goals to be closer together, then you have to work with what you got or make a change.
What I have found to be helpful is to make as many plans for the future as you can. I don’t mean grandiose plans, but little things like “I would like to go pumpkin picking with you in October, let’s make a date to do that.” And when you do have that precious time together…for goodness sake…BE PRESENT! I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH…BE PRESENT!!! Try as hard has you can to put the iPhone and the gadgets away. Touch, cuddle, talk, watch terrible television, cook together. Not every time you see each other do you need to be climbing Mt. Everest. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit still and be a “normal couple.” And as funny as this sounds…give each other hugs and kisses and look each other in the eyes! Those tiny connections help you stay centered when you have those weeks or months apart.
Being in a long-distance relationship isn’t easy, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world either. Many couples over all walks of life manage to do it. Your heart will know if you aren’t built for it, so just stay true to who you are and don’t let your head rationalize you out of something that could be amazing. Do I want to be in a LDR my whole life? No definitely not. But would I if I had to? If it was for the man I loved…absolutely.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend friends. It was so nice catching up with you! I will now spend the rest of my night on my couch with Breaking Bad and day dreaming about getting a little golden for my own. (Thanks for the video, Mom!)
Until next time…