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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Love Knows No Distance

February 5, 2024

I'm sitting alone in a busy coffee shop, looking around for anything to distract me from my work. I look across the room at a pair deeply engrossed in each other's presence. They are having a beautiful moment together in their own little world while laughing and grinning. My desire for that kind of connection causes a small amount of heartache. As I watch, they give each other tender glances, and their bodies are perfectly synchronized as they lean inward. They appear so happy and at ease, which makes me long for their adoration. I observe other couples leaning against one another, holding hands and having private moments. I can't help but feel a twinge of jealousy as I long for my own partner's embrace because their love is so evident.

I take a long breath, closing my eyes and savouring the warmth of the coffee cup in my hands. I let go of the yearning and remind myself that everyone has their own route to take. I can't help but think about my long-distance boyfriend as I sit here, lost in my thoughts. I'm excited and anxious just thinking about being reunited with them. I picture our embrace, how it feels to have their arms around me, and how they fill the room with their presence.

Time has kept us apart for months, leaving us unsure when we will be reunited. Holidays and seasons come and go, leaving me with an unbearable sense of ambiguity. But amid the uncertainty and longing, I cling to the thought that distance means so little when someone means so much.

I make an effort to keep myself occupied and divert my attention. Still, it's difficult to ignore the joy all around me. Other couples' grins and giggles just serve to highlight how much I am lacking. I yearn for the comfort of my partner's presence, the tenderness of their hug, and the simple act of holding their hand. I can picture my partner and I walking together hand in hand while enjoying the cool air on our faces and the warmth of our hands on each other. I cherish the memories we have created together and the prospect of our future as a couple until then. Knowing that love will always find a way to bring us back together helps me withstand the uncertainty.

I vividly recall the memory in my thoughts when I reflect. My thoughts are dominated by the idea of closing the gap between us, coming back together, and sharing that embrace that will take away all the pain of being apart. But, the knowledge of our separation gradually returns to my consciousness, towering over my thoughts like a gloomy cloud. It is intolerable to consider having to go once more and say goodbye. My heart is heavy with the notion that I don't know whether or when we will ever meet again.

Every time we get together, it seems like the moment is slipping away, and I must go again. It's a sensation that many couples might never have or comprehend. We can only imagine having the simple act of being able to treasure the moments we share with our partners, such as a hug at the end of a difficult day, the warmth of their touch, and a romantic date night.

It is challenging to see other couples take their time together for granted and fail to appreciate how lucky they are to be in one other's arms. We treat every moment as if it were our last and grasp it tightly like a firefly in a jar. Long periods apart from your lover feel like you're missing a part of yourself. Seeing your partner six or fewer times a year is a constant reminder of your separation. Since you never know when a memory will be your last, you grasp onto each one like a priceless gem.

But, despite the distance, every second spent with a loved one is magical, like catching a glimpse of a shooting star. It's a time to treasure, laugh, love, and create fresh memories to cherish. Each reunion is a moment of pure joy, like a warm ray of sunshine after a long, bitter winter, even though saying farewell may be difficult.

Although it is an incredible experience, long-distance love is not for the weak. Just the idea of someone going above and beyond, both literally and figuratively, to be with you is simply astounding. Knowing that despite being separated by miles, they are willing to put in the effort, the patience, the trust, and the love that is necessary to make it work is an act of love that is incomparable. What makes it even more precious is learning new methods to love and communicate and finding tiny moments of intimacy far away. The love that two people share can close the gap, even when it appears insurmountable.

Sometimes you feel hopeless, like giving up, and wonder if it's all worth it. Closing your eyes and picturing your loved one during these times is crucial. You must pause and reflect on all the best times, remembering that everything will be worthwhile. With concerns about where to live, how to get a job, and leaving behind family and friends, the uncertainty of long-distance love may be overwhelming. Yet what sustains the partnership is the belief that everything will turn out okay in the end.

So even if long-distance love might not be for everyone, it is still lovely. It is a once-in-a-lifetime voyage of love and development that grows increasingly rewarding with each passing second.

The memory comes alive when I open my eyes, and I'm taken back to that unforgettable time. As I picture that breaking-the-distance hug, my pulse beats fast with excitement and trepidation. The thought makes me grin as I nearly feel their warm embrace.

The promise of a future reunion and the ability to embrace each other once again keeps me going even amid this emotional agony. I take a long breath, open my eyes, and smile at the concept, foreseeing our eventual reunion. Shortly after that, we'll be back together, sharing the same physical space, laughing over a cup of hot chocolate while holding hands and creating new memories. So, for now, I'll relax with my coffee, enjoy solitude, and observe the world around me.

I'll keep sipping my coffee, taking in the noises of the coffee shop around me, and feeling appreciative for the love that knows no boundaries for the time being.