Yesterday was the anniversary of my first time meeting my long-distance relationship boyfriend.
Since then, there have been many transatlantic flights, nine months spent together in England, thousands of hours on Skype, and one big decision:
We’re getting married.
I hadn’t really planned on announcing it yet – mainly because he hasn’t officially proposed. As with many long-distance relationships, the decision to get married happens a little differently. We weren’t together when we decided – we were on different continents. We’ve been talking about marriage for a long time, but we didn’t know when. I guess we can thank UK Visas and Immigration for answering that question for us. Because it’s so difficult to secure the unmarried partner visa, marriage is our best option. Besides, we knew it was coming eventually – and when you know, you know.
Still waiting for that ring, though… 💍😉
Being the anniversary of when we first met, I’m reflecting a lot on our relationship. Since we’re made it this far successfully, I want to share five tips that have helped us get here. Some of these are specific to LDRs, but some apply to all relationships!
1. Visit often
2. Communicate constantly
3. Don’t play games
4. Be honest
5. Talk about goals / plans
How much is your time + freedom worth to you?
And how can a little success be your worst enemy? Read on to find out.
I am what has become known as a ‘#girlboss’. A ‘#bossbabe’. I prefer entrepreneur.
At an early point in my adult life, I realised that working for other people was simply not going to be for me. It was ten years ago that I pulled out my laptop and started searching: How to work from home. How to be self-employed. Ideas to make money on the internet. There were a few leads I chased up – but reading about one particular site, which was only a few years old, would change my life forever. That site was Etsy.
Apparently, people were selling jewellery, and art, and anything else they had made, on this site. But that wasn’t all. They were also selling antiques & vintage clothing. I had always considered myself an old soul – with a deep appreciation for 60s music, black and white films, and – lucky me – secondhand clothing. I first started buying and wearing vintage when I was only 15, and I hadn’t looked back since.
After a bit of research, I launched my own Etsy shop in 2008 (it has since been reopened as a UK Shop & USA Shop). Though I saw a little success in my sales, it wasn’t until years went by – years of experimenting, learning, losing hope and getting a “real” job again, then quitting that “real” job, experimenting some more, and finally – meeting my brilliant and business-savvy boyfriend & partner – that I began to see the income I’ve always wanted (currently grossing an average of over £400 // $550 weekly). And – even better – sales are still steadily improving.
So, if I could go back ten years – what would I tell my younger self?
Some of my Etsy shop photos, Year One
View of Hythe Beach from my flat
On my last stay in England, I lived mostly in the seaside town of Hythe. Hythe is a small town on the English Channel, in County Kent – “The Garden of England.” It’s a sleepy, beautiful place very near the Channel Tunnel, which joins England to France. On clear days, I could see the French coast, and I remember watching the fireworks across the sea on Bastille Day.
Stationed on the Southern shore – the first line of defence against invasion – Hythe has an ancient and rich military history. Now, it’s a residential haven near the larger port towns of Folkestone and Dover. But sometimes, it’s the small towns which hide the most often missed gems. Hythe is very sunny and temperate compared to much of England, and makes a lovely summer holiday spot – plus, it’s the gateway to France and the rest of Europe!
I wanted to share a few places that you shouldn’t pass by if you are able to visit Hythe.
My spring perfume came yesterday!
FYI: I’m a perfume hound.
I’ve wanted Yves Saint Laurent’s Paris Jardins Romantiques for years, but this is the first time I’ve gotten around to ordering it. (Though I was heartbroken when what was left of my La Petite Robe Noire by Guerlain leaked out during my flight from England about a month ago, I also knew I’d have to replace it, and that maybe now would be my chance!)
For the last 5 years or so, I’ve worn different perfumes for the different seasons of the year. Some women choose to wear a different perfume for day and night, but I wanted a small way to celebrate and mark each seasonal change.
But perfume shopping can be an assault to the senses, and honestly? That girl behind the counter doesn’t always know which perfumes smell like violet, versus verbena, versus vanilla. I’ve had terrible suggestions from sales associates who were probably being told to promote the new scent, when it was far from what I was looking for.
Here’s how I choose my seasonal scents, and my current favourites for spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
My first blog post was fashion-focused, but today, I’ll get a bit more into myself & one of the most important things to me: my relationship.
I am into my third year in a long-distance relationship. I know there are a lot of you out there sharing the same challenges. I was fortunate enough to spend nine months in England, living life with my
gorgeous, charming, infuriating cross between Gordon Ramsey and Paddington Bear ahem, partner – but until we work out a more permanent immigration solution, I am back in the United States.
Today, I’ll write the first of a six-part series: Lessons I’ve Learned from my Long-Distance Relationship
Lesson One: TOUGHEN UP, BUTTERCUP
According to researchers, up to 20% of the population qualifies as “highly sensitive.” I am definitely one of those people. What does it mean to be highly sensitive?