This is a test

Just when you think you have it all figured out, it hits you upside the head: It’s not just my boyfriend that’s worried about the future – it’s me, too. Me, who I thought was ready for the next big thing, ready to say all my fears were behind me, ready to move forward. And then, I realize, I’m scared, too.

The next few months will be challenging ones as the bf graduates from law school next week, takes the bar two months later, and continues looking for jobs and moves out here to be with me in the fall. And all this time, I’ve been focused on dates. What day are you moving here? Tell me WHEN are you here? And I’ve been worried about what happens next. We move in together, then what? What if he gets a job back in Ohio? What if he doesn’t? Is it all perfect and wonderful and that’s the end? Do we practice for a little while to make sure it’s the right thing?

I was reminded by my dad that there is no test to figure out if something is 100%. I’ll never be able to pinpoint to one action or day that makes me say, “Aha! This is all going to work out into a happy ending. All our troubles are behind us.” So with that being said, we have to learn to be okay with the 90%, or 85%, or even 99%, because that’s what life and relationships are about. NOT knowing the exact future, NOT knowing what troubles, challenges, or opportunities lie ahead – but being confident that it can be worked through, and if it doesn’t work…that that’s okay too.

I realized that I wasn’t truly testing my bf, but I’ve been testing myself. I’ve been waiting to get to that moment when I feel absolutely sure that I won’t be alone, that I won’t be disappointed, that I won’t be hurt. The truth is that we’re going to get let down, and hurt, and disappointed. But it doesn’t  mean I should set myself up for it, by preparing to the very minute details, by throwing my test of myself onto others. It’s not fair to them or me.

When we think about things that scare us about the future, it can be any number of things: financial security, job security, not knowing what job is right for you, being abandoned, having some tragic incident befall us. But there’s only so much we can do to prepare for those things. We can hope and wish and pray and save and plan and make lists, but so much of is it truly about running on faith – in yourself, and in others. And I don’t mean faith in the religious way – I mean trust and confidence, and really believing what someone is telling you and what they’re doing if they’re not giving you any reason not to. And it also means having faith that if something doesn’t go well, that there’s still a way out of that, too. You just don’t know it, so it’s scary.

For the past eight months, I’ve spent a lot of time debating what is the next step in my career, trying to figure out where I would be okay moving to, and looking for signals that things AREN’T going to work. But now, I know that I’ve been working against myself – and I’ll never get an A+ if I keep on this same road. So my goal for myself for the next few months is to look for the things that ARE working, to widen my options, and to stop trying to get to 100% – because when I do, it will be that much more worth it.

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