For someone who is very routine, very organized and very detailed down to a fault at times, I’ve had to think a lot more about being open-ended. I used to arrange my books and CDs not only by genre, but alphabetically by author or artist. I have to do lists on top of to do lists, and I like putting dates on the calendar years out. Although there are times when I say, sure let’s go grab a drink after work today, there are also times when I think, eehhhh, I need to go home and work out and make a healthy dinner.
All that aside, now is when I’m having to be more open-ended and open-minded about my life and the path it’s taking. Having a long-distance boyfriend about to start his third and final year of law school is a big part of this – it basically means that exactly a year from now, I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to just follow him to wherever he gets a job – it’s a joint decision – know that now. But, there is a very real possibility that I could be moving to a place that isn’t near the top of my list, or taking on a job that I didn’t think about a year ago or even now.
At one point – that would have scared me to a ridiculous degree. I would have been making pros and cons lists of every factor going into this arrangement, and trying to pinpoint a date when my life would change and all the things I’d have to do between now and then. But now, I’m slowly settling into a different approach. I’m realizing that things may not be as I originally planned, and that’s okay. I’m realizing that I may not go where I thought I would, but that it may turn out for the best. I realize that when you choose to share your life with someone else, there are so many other things that come into play than just yourself – and I think that’s the thing that I struggle with the most. Me vs. us. Yes I might have always thought there would be an “us” in my life, but it doesn’t really hit home until you start getting to that moment.
I spoke to a close friend from college tonight who is getting married in a year. A year ago, before she met her fiancee, she didn’t want to live more than hour from home, she was nervous about traveling abroad, and thought she was a long way off from finding the love of her life. Tonight, she was glowing about living in her new apartment in a new city, looking for another new job, and preparing for a trip to Italy with a friend in coming weeks. She reminded me of a conversation we’d had soon after we left college, when I urged her to take risks, to not be afraid of change, to embrace change. Now, I see myself having the same conversation with my boyfriend – and honestly, I could listen to myself sometimes. I am no stranger to moving, to trying new things and putting myself on the line for something I want, but I’m realizing that a big risk is also going to be figuring out how to balance my needs and wants with that of the person I marry.
Anyway – many of you know that I’m a couple years off from marrying anyway, but again, as the person I am, I think about this stuff. I’m just working towards not thinking so much and just being and doing, and letting it be more of an open, dirt road than a paved one with mile markers and dotted lines.