This picture was taken in early January on my walk through the woods and off the beaten path a few miles from my house. When you have a sense of adventure, are wearing boots and warm clothes, and are going stir crazy inside your house, you will do things that do not seem normal to most people. In my case, it was walking through thick brush and across wetlands that may or may not have been completely frozen.

I snapped this picture right after I escaped the sketchy-seeming ice and the term “Winter Wonderland” came to mind. The fresh coat of powder from the late night and early morning snowfall covered everything from the trees to the tall grass. The sky was fairly bland due to how overcast it was, but the Sun was trying its best to peak through the gray clouds. By far the most captivating part of the picture were the power lines and towers which stood ever still, each one stretching further off into the distance until I lost sight of them completely.

Distance is a topic many of us are not fond of, but it is something which is often unavoidable depending on the situation. Situations which could take you away from the people you care most about (i.e. your family, close friends, or a significant other) include going away to school, taking a job somewhere, or choosing to take part in a long distance relationship. I have been through some of these situations before, as I’m sure many of you have, and only one thing can be said; they are tough.

There are not enough words to describe how difficult it is being away from those we care about. Physically having them by your side when you are going through a hard time in your life, or being able to be by their side when life gets hard for them, feels so much more comforting. The same goes for being able to share a triumph or goal you have reached or something amazing they have accomplished. You want to be there to share those moments with them. As sad as it is, sometimes a text, phone call, or video chat is the best we can do.

Photo Credit: Ryan Magnuson/Trail BlazerRy
Photo Credit: Ryan Magnuson/Trail BlazerRy

On the flip side of this, which is the positive angle I love to take, I think of the quote “Distance makes the heart grow fonder”. Wait, how could that be? How could being away from someone make the things you feel in your heart grow more often? Wouldn’t things be easier if you were able express your love and how much you care in person more? Sure, you can be homesick or lovesick when you are away, and it would be convenient to be able to show how much you care in person rather than not, but I think that the quote is saying something different.

I don’t think the term “fonder” is referring to a longing for something, but rather a realization of what is important and the willingness to do whatever it takes to make sure everyone is seeing eye to eye. When you are away from someone, whether it is for a short or extended period of time, you need to communicate what matters to you. You need to leave everything on the table and hold nothing back. You need to be on the same page. Only then will you realize what is most important to the both of you, which will make things that much easier.

If something or someone truly means the world to you, you will find a way to make things work. It will take a lot of hard work and may take an adjustment in how you live your life, but it is my belief that we must make sacrifices for the things and people that we care about. They may never understand why we do the things we do, but that is okay. They aren’t supposed to. When dealing with matters of the heart, it is perfectly okay for others not to understand, just so long as you know where you are at.

The heart can be tricky in the most special way possible, which is why it is unlike anything else in our body. People often think that listening to what your heart is telling you doesn’t always work out, and they are right. However, if your mind is clear and you know what is important to you, the things your heart is telling you can be the only reassurance you need.  Listen to it.


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