Miscelleneous

The Year That Was, 2020 ~ Learning Through Our Long Distance Relationship

Hola, my virtual family.

Hope you and your loved ones are safe and well during this global health crisis. ✨🤞
I rarely put up photos or write about my personal life on the blog, but these two photos deserve a separate post and some space on my website. The two photos in this blog post are taken almost 9 months apart and in both of them you see me and my husband, Manan Desai.

The photo below was taken on Christmas day, a few days before he flew to the Netherlands (31st December, 2019, was the day he left from India).

We were planning to move to the Dutch country, and I was to join him soon. However, things suddenly went haywire when Covid-19 hit the world. My appointment at the Netherlands embassy was scheduled on 25th March, but before that, came the nationwide lockdown. Our ‘we’ll be together soon‘ turned to ‘how soon can we be together??’.

A new beginning that we were looking forward to, became a never before faced struggle,not just with the long distance relationship but also because we suddenly had no clarity about our personal lives. 2020 was supposed to be a year of positive change and growth for both of us, but just three months into it, and we hadn’t even spent one moment of it together.

Fast forward (or rather slow forward) to September 2020 and here we have the next photo.
The photo below was taken on 4th September, 2020,right after I landed in the Netherlands. Yes, it took us 8 months to be together again, and to physically click a photo together (there were ample photos clicked of our video chats and calls screenshots).

So, that’s the story of our 2020. It will forever be the year we were in a LDR for the longest time ever. What did we learn and how did we as well as our relationship survive?

  • We both focused on our professional growth. And our individual productivity levels were at the peak. Thanks to this, I was able to put out my third solo book, engage in new forms of writing and promotions, interact with fellow authors, readers, and much more.(point to note : My third solo book The Art of Being Grateful & Other Stories is my best work so far and has also been my best received book by far)
  • We were there for each other more than before,taking interest in each other’s work,asking for tips and advice. And he even managed to learn to cook. I too honed up on my cooking skills while teaching him over virtual video calls. Now, we’re true partners in the kitchen too, saving a lot of time for both of us. So, breaking stereotypes and gender equality for the win, right? 😉 If that’s not personal growth, I don’t know what is.
  • The two most important things that kept us strong and going were:

a. Both of us were safe and healthy, and so were our family members. During a health crisis like this, that’s the number one priority, isn’t it?

b. Both of us were still earning, had a roof over our heads and were able to have our daily meals without struggle; which is not something many people are able to have during these dark and speculative times.

My biggest takeaways from this whole ordeal would be,

‘Distance doesn’t matter’

&

‘Focus on what you can do, rather than regretting over what you aren’t able to do’.

What has been your biggest struggle or challenge this year and how did you overcome it? Let me know in the comments.

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