Commitment and choices

As my friends and I have scattered to far corners of the country after graduation to continue our education, join the 9 to 5ers, or (gasp!) get married, the issues of commitment and choices have become so much more magnified. We must choose how to spend our money wisely, we must choose to commit to a profession or discipline of study, or as many are doing, committing to a relationship.

I came out to D.C. not wanting to leave my boyfriend, but knowing that it was right for us to do our own thing for a few years until making an official lifetime commitment. In this time, we are learning about ourselves and about each other, and making choices that affect our present and future together. As friends from school and coworkers get engaged and married, it makes me think about how people show their commitment to each other and to their careers and selves. For instance, I know one couple that is still in college, and when the guy decides to move for a job or grad school, the gal has chosen to follow him. But a good friend of mine has been doing the long-distance thing since almost the moment she met her boyfriend, and is unsure of how to show her commitment to him because she has yet to live in the same city with him or know what it’s like to see her boyfriend everyday, because she chose to follow her dream of moving to D.C. to pursue her career.

Neither of these instances are right or wrong, I just like to take a step back and compare the two, as well as compare them to myself. One of the things that happens when you are in a commitment with someone is that you have to learn when you can change them and when you can’t, and what you have to accept and what is a deal-breaker. Living alone for a few years as I am now will help me to become more accepting of change, of flexibility, and of occasional chaos. When you don’t know when you will see someone next, or what the next few years will bring, you learn to let things go that you can’t control. It’s a tough process.

And then there are the more trivial commitments that people make, such as my never-ending quest to keep a consistent exercise schedule and eat healthy for more than a couple weeks in a row. It takes 21 days to make a habit, but only one day to break one. Boy, does that ring true for me. But in the end, it’s all about commitment, and what it means to you. If it’s not important enough to you, you won’t follow through- whether it’s working out, doing your job, or maintaining a relationship.

What are you committed to? What choices have you made to show it?

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