dating / EXs / friendship / life / long distance / me / relationships

Life: Expectations and Realizations.

I have this awful respiratory infection that is causing this horrendous cough which in turn, is keeping me up way later than I should be when I have such an early day tomorrow. With the exception of yesterday, which was a gigantic mistake, I haven’t been able to make it to the gym at all, which has made me feel a little shittier, but I am getting better. I was pretty alright, despite the cough and the pain for most of the week, until it peaked on the weekend. For most of Saturday I didn’t even have enough strength to pull on a pair of socks and had nobody here to take care of me! Boo hoo, I know.

This is a photo of me pouting about something completely unrelated to this post but it's also exactly how I feel about being sick. Pouty.

By the evening I’d been feeling a little bit better and took up the opportunity to head out with my friends. I really shouldn’t have. I feel like if I’d skipped the beers and the UFC fight and just stayed home to rest I’d feel about a million times better today.
Too late now.

Being sick happens but I just don’t have the time or patience for it when my “busy season” is starting and I have days filled with playing cars and trains scheduled.
All I’ve really done for the last few days is lay in bed, or on the couch, with absolutely no energy. I can’t even fall asleep because I’m too uncomfortable, which results in a lot of thinking.
And a blog post – of course.

I’ve been laying around thinking about a whole lot lately but what I keep coming back to are the milestones I had planned for this point in my life and things I’ve learned along the way. Did you know my birthday is coming up? It’s an awful time of the year to compare yourself to where you expected to be at this point, really. Especially when you’re laying (kind of sitting because the fluid in your lungs makes it impossible to breathe when you’re laying down and is total balls) in bed, at midnight and haven’t had a whole lot of sleep in a few days. Let me also apologize in advance if this post doesn’t make any kind of logical or orderly sense. My head has been in a bit of a fog lately.

In a week I am going to be 25 years old.

When I think back, maybe ten years ago, in the middle of high school, in “love” for the first time, I recall being certain of where I would be right now. Here, was nowhere in that equation.
Toronto, Vancouver, California, New York – somewhere big and exciting with lots of possibilities and lots of opportunities for me to find the writing career I’d been so set on.

I remember many lazy date nights, laying on the couch or on the beach with my high school boyfriend (we both lived across the street from one) looking up at the stars and planning “our” future. Where we wanted to be, what we wanted to be doing and how we were going to get there.
I honestly, at that point, thought we’d be together forever.
We’d planned college, our careers, our life – engaged at 24, married at 26, kids before we were 30.
It seems funny to me now that 1) we ever thought we could plan life – If I’ve learned anything it’s that life isn’t something you can plan, it’s just something that you live and 2) I saw us working out.

We had a lot in common – we met during class, I was in auto and he was in construction, our classrooms were connected and we crossed paths a lot going back and forth. We bonded over cars, science and philosophy, got along with each other’s friends and with each other well but looking back now it’s easy for me to say that I’m glad things didn’t work out.

If they had I would be really disappointed in myself – it’s easy for me to see now, and I think maybe even back then although I would never have admitted it – he just didn’t treat me the way that I think I deserve to be treated. I can’t say I didn’t learn anything from our relationship though. That’s where I came up with one of my most used relationship rules:

You don’t ditch me for friends and you don’t ditch your friends for me.
It’s disrespectful and it goes both ways.

There were a lot of things that should have tipped me off that it wouldn’t have worked out but until the end of the summer after high school graduation it never occurred to me that he was actively planning on not being with me – that the commitment wasn’t equal. We  had spent the day out on the boat and were laying on the couch, enjoying the fireplace when he said to me,
“You know we aren’t going to be together forever, right? We’re going to break up eventually.”

This was after spending almost a year talking me into not attending one of the highest ranked journalism schools in the country and staying to attend the college in the area we lived in.

When you’re young and in love, you make stupid decisions.
If I had to pick anything in my life as a regret – that would be it.
Although the experience wasn’t terrible and I did a lot of amazing things while I was in school here at home – and I met a lot of incredible people, most of whom I’m still close with today.

But, that’s where I came up with another of my relationship rules:

Never make life decisions based on a significant other – relocation (or lack of) included.
An obvious (and pretty much only) exception to the rule would be marriage – you never know what kind of compromises you’ll have to make.

When I realized that he wasn’t really interested in our relationship anymore it caused me to pull back and distance myself from him.

When we broke up he told me he knew I didn’t care about him anymore because when I’d come home at night I stopped asking how his day was. Or something like that. It’s a little foggy at the moment.
But there was more to it than that – factors that he contributed to the break up of our relationship directly, and he’s not the only one to blame – but I’ve already regaled you all with the glory days of my romantic life *sarcasm* so I’m going to skip the details for now.

It”s not that I particularly think that I didn’t accomplish my “goals” but it’s really interesting to reflect back now and compare what I thought I wanted to what I want now and what I know makes me happy.
I know that I’ve definitely grown as a person in the last ten years. I’ve developed into more of a complex person in many ways but figuring out what makes me happy and content has gotten simpler – if that makes sense.

Looking back, relationship, education and career-wise, I don’t think there’s a whole lot I would have changed and I can’t really say I regret any of it (I actually have a post about the specifics of that statement waiting to be published when the time is right) but there may have been individual decisions I might have changed, if I’d gone into those situations knowing what the outcome of my actions would be.

I feel like everything I’ve experienced, from the friendships to the relationships, has taught me something valuable and a little bit more about myself along the way. I can’t say that I’d never date a friend again, or even try a long distance relationship again because I don’t think it’s really the situation or the circumstances that affect the outcome, I think it’s the people involved and their commitment to one another. Their willingness to make it work and the amount of effort they care to put into things.
Broken promises, infidelity and commitment issues will plague any kind of relationship. The possibility is always there – it’s how you deal with it as an individual and as a couple that matters in the end. It’s going to make you or break you.
If you tough it out and work hard at it, there is strength in that.

So, I may not be married or have the dream job that I had wanted for as long as I could remember but I’m content. I’m happy.
Things didn’t pan out in the direction I always thought they would, but not in a bad way. They’re just different.
Different can be good.
I’m Mama to a beautiful little boy.
An entrepreneur.
A college graduate.

The only thing missing in my life that was on my list is a man to enjoy all of this with me.
I’m okay with that.

Life works in mysterious ways and you never know what you’re going to find.
Sometimes I think it’s destiny that things don’t work out the way you’d planned and other times I think it’s life telling you there’s no such thing as a plan.

My love. My heart. Crazy hair, spiderman toothbrush and all.

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing, through the overtaking and possessing of a wish discovers the folly of the chase.”
-William Congreve

*I truly do apologize if this post doesn’t make a whole ton of sense. I’m all (legally) drugged up and exhausted beyond my mind’s capability to deal with it. I’m pretty sure I had a point when I took my laptop out and started writing but if I never made it to one, let me know. I have a terrible habit of never proof-reading (take that 2 years of pointless Journalism training) and I rarely go back to read my own posts – so I probably won’t catch it myself.*

14 thoughts on “Life: Expectations and Realizations.

  1. You’re a pretty cool person. You’ve got a lot going for you and I’m impressed by how well you’ve sorted things out in your head. I mean that. I’ve got 12 years on you and haven’t thought about half the stuff you mentioned in this post. The nice thing is you’re only 24 and look how much you’ve already accomplished. I’ve wanted to own my own business since I was maybe 20 or so and look, you’re doing it. Congrats to you.

    By the way, the pouty face picture is very cute and your son is quite adorable as well. Sorry about the sickness bug. It’s been going around here too and I don’t want it again. I was knocked out for a couple weeks, coughing like a seal night and day. Get well!

    • I started it more out of necessity than opportunity – although I’ve always wanted to be in business for myself. I just figured it would be somewhere down the line when I had more experience to do so. I’m really happy with the way things are progressing so far though!

      Thank you for all of your kind comments 🙂
      And I am starting to feel better, but now the little dude is catching it!

  2. Don’t worry!! I’m 37. There is NO WAY I expected to divorced at 35 & remarried at 37! Just no way. God, when I was 25 I thought I had it all worked out…guess life wanted to prove to me that I don’t know shit. You never will. That’s OK though…things work out in the end…just sometimes not in the way you imagined they would 🙂

    • I can’t way to see the way things turn out.
      I have faith that it’s going to turn out wonderfully and that I’ll eventually get my happily-ever-after – whatever it might be.

  3. If there’s one thing we all know for sure – you can’t plan out your life. I never thought I’d be divorcing at 34, I never thought I’d be wanting children at 34. I’ve had a lot of horror stories relationship-wise, but I’d live through them all again, including my marriage, if it got me to where I am right now. I’m happy, I’m satisfied. I’d probably tweak a few things here and there, but overall, I’m pretty much okay with where I’ve ended up!

  4. You are far wiser than I was at 24. I’m only 29 now, but I was a dreamer and a regretter at 25. You are so much more realistic and have learned so much more from life than I had back then. I feel like we are the same age.

  5. Pingback: It’s My Birthday: 25 Photos For 25 Years « Mister Mama, Sir

  6. Wow, this post strikes a chord — not because I’m a month away from my 25th birthday and evaluating the same thing, but because I’m in a very similar place. Yesterday I was talking to my best friend from high school who is 2000 miles away and who I don’t keep in touch with as much as I should, and we talked about the same thing. How when you think about your future when you’re in high school, you imagine that you’ll be 25 and have everything figured out. That you’ll go to college or you won’t, but you’ll be living on your own, doing your own thing, and it will work. And that being an adult is amazing.

    When, really, being an adult is hard and being in your 20s is always a struggle. You gotta “figure it out” and know that it’s OK not to follow the plan but let the plan (life) roll out in front of you.

    This is great. Happy belated birthday, Mister Mama Sir.

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