4761 Miles Apart: Balancing a Long-Distance Relationship


A Story About Following Your Dream and Maintaining Love From a Distance

After seeing the pictures, the heading and the deep quotes you might be thinking that this is a cheesy and lame love story and have nothing to do with you. I’d like to assure you that it isn’t, and after reading this I hope you could see this matter in a new light. Because if you’re reading this you’re either in my class – or my parent – or you’re interested in knowing what it’s like to follow your dream, and what you have to offer to get it. Remember, everything has a price tag.

From the first time I truly got to know you, I knew you were trouble to me. For a long time I tried to convince myself that I didn’t date guys like you. But somehow all those days that you didn’t give me any attention, I was desperate to get it. I think I’ve never uploaded so many pictures at my Instagram account, like I did back then…
Before I met you I had been through a rough path and I had finally got back on my feet again; with a promise to take this time to follow my dream and to have some time to work on myself.
But suddenly there you were.
You didn’t fit into the picture.
You were in my way.
You were the loveliest person I had ever met. All the darkness I had lived with for so long just vanished in your company. You brought out the best in me.

I felt lost.

I needed to put myself together. Since I was a little girl I felt the pressure of doing something huge with my life and never settle for the ordinary. I had to go, but I had to have you. With the understanding of that you can’t really love someone before you love yourself.

Meetings, paperwork, more paperwork, and, did I mention paperwork? I had made up my mind and the process had started. I was soon moving from Sweden to California, and my life developed into an everyday countdown. Not only for me, but also for him whose heart I had been given, and for everyone around us. I began to hear comments, whispers about my choice circling around about my ego, being cold hearted and a relationship like that – would never work out. Poor guy.

All I kept thinking of was that I had made this decision a long time ago and I wouldn’t give in, I refused to give up. He knew this and we were in it together. One year apart is nothing…
But the feeling of counting down the months, days, and hours was nerve wracking. My mind goes to those couple that are experiencing this because of war or military duties. Going through this endless countdown and never knowing if your going to see each other again is unimaginable. All I know that the pain is real and saying goodbye time after time is heart breaking.

A gift my boyfriend gave me before my journey

A gift my boyfriend gave me before my journey

We were lying in my bed. It was my last evening home before taking off and my room was a mess after trying to figure out what to pack. My mom had made us dinner and you could really tell her effort for trying to make it as perfect as possible. I tried my best to tell jokes and to make a good evening out of it, but it was all a show. During the whole dinner I felt how my tears were burning in corner of my eye, seconds from revealing themselves. My body had lost all its energy, like I was totally empty and my appetite did not exist at all. I tried to dig my nails into my skin, biting my tongue very hard so I could focus on the pain and maybe I would  forget how close I were to tears. Because I knew if I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop it. But it didn’t matter how much I tried to hurt myself, the tears came even if I didn’t allow them. The tears lasted until the morning raised, and the bags under my eyes looked surreal.
Suddenly I was on my way, numb in my whole body with a gut that told me What The F Are You Doing. But I kept going because something inside knew it all was going to be worth it.

I had to go. I knew that I needed this for myself to find what I wanted in life instead of what everyone else wanted for me. I wanted to trust myself again without questioning every move. I also felt a hunger of getting away from the small town I had lived in for so long. I was ready to see what the world had to offer to me.
In my case finding love while being 20 was an inner battle between what I wanted for myself and with him. We chose to just make it work and that one doesn’t exclude the other.

After settling down in Santa Barbara, creating a new home with my roommates and started this wonderful school Antioch, I haven’t regretted this decision even once. Living like this has its price and you’re reminded of it several times a day, but it’s worth it.
I plan to have long life and to make the most of it, and if I don’t, I’m proud of myself over what I’ve done and whom I’ve become. I dared to take long road instead of the short, to face the challenges I once believed I never could’ve manage. No guts, no glory.
Many say it’s impossible, many believe your ego and you go against all odds.
My goal was to challenge myself, this was definitely the hardest challenge of them all.
But you have to go after your dreams and learn to love yourself in order to give back that love, or it will haunt you forever.


About Author

Carolina Bengtsson

Carolina is one of many swedes living in Santa Barbara, California. She is a media, communication and marketing major at Antioch University with an enthusiasm of challenging herself in her journey to become the best version she can be. Some of her many passions are traveling, design, and dancing. She has a lot of different work experiences, for instance, as a dance instructor for over five years. She believes that communication, especially writing, is the real deal to make a difference in this world. In the future, she wants to inspire others to make their own path and to stand up for their beliefs.

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