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.
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.
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.
“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.”