Warning To A Young Man: You’re About To Go Through It
It’s been far too long since I wrote my last post. Usually I wouldn’t kick off a new post by acknowledging this. I’d just blog like I never left. But this latest hiatus has been eating at me to the point where I’ve lost sleep over it.
I don’t know when or why it became difficult for me to write a post. Long time readers remember the days when I was on here publishing posts five days a week. Now it’s a good month if I do five posts in 30 or 31 days. I could blame life or a career that already requires me to write. It could be both of those things, one of those things, or none of the things. In other words, the reasons I haven’t been writing on this blog as frequently as I once did are far too complicated for me to understand. I just know things aren’t what they used to be.
Luckily the anecdote for this is a simple one: Just write.
So I’m going to make an honest attempt to do more work here on this blog. I don’t know if ti will be all about relationships anymore. Honestly, that’s one of the things that held me back. But it doesn’t matter what I write about nearly as much as it matters that I write period.
Now that we got all that out of the way, I return with my response to a question a young man recently sent me. Here is his question in full, and my response is below.
I’ve been with my girl for a year and 8 months. I graduated a year before her so I moved to out-of-state while she finished school. When I left, I struggled and settled for a job that wasn’t in my field. After she graduated, she started applying everywhere in the US, and eventually found a job within a month, which pays way more than what I make. She will be relocating (not sure where yet). In addition, she has reservations about living together (due to her beliefs). I’m just struggling with showing that I’m happy for her while also dealing with the possibility of cross-coast distance, feelings of inadequacy career-wise, and loneliness, as most of my family and friends are back home from where I moved.
There is a lot to unpack here, but I’m going to do my best to help you out. As I always say, I have no solutions, just a perspective that may help you look at your situation differently and give you the clarity you need to make the best decision for yourself.
Obviously you really love this girl and you want to be with her. That has been proven in the actions you’ve taken to be close to her. Most of us want to be as free as we can when we graduate college. You, on the other hand, wanted to be as close to your girlfriend as possible, so much so, you took a job that wasn’t even in your field. I’m going to guess it’s a job you don’t like very much, and that has caused you a great deal of frustration — frustration that not even your girlfriend can help you handle.
One of the reasons she can’t help you deal with whatever issues you’re having is because she’s about to go through a major transition herself. She’s probably excited about this new journey into adulthood, as most first jobs out of college can be. Add to that she’ll be in a new city with new people, and her future forecast is looking very bright and very promising.
Yours, however, not as much, and I say this because of everything you said you’re feeling.
Your relationship, the one thing you’ve invested the most energy into for the past 20 months is about to be handicapped by distance. That’s going to hurt. Even if she manages to be located close to where you are now, she’s about to start making more money than you fresh out of college. That sounds like it’s going to make you feel some type of way too. The hardest thing about both of these situations is they are beyond your control. She has to go where the job is being offered and what it pays her has nothing to do with what you make. What is in your control, however, is your ability to be happy for her, and that is what I really want to focus on helping you with here.
The reason you’re struggling with being happy for her is because you’ve given too much of yourself to this relationship. You moved for it. You took a job you don’t really care about for it. And now, as your girl comes up on a crossroads in her life, she is choosing a path in which you are not a priority. That has to suck, but it also should serve as an eye-opener.
You need to put some more energy back into yourself if for no other reason than it will help with your ability to be happy for others, your girlfriend included. You can’t be happy for her when you’re not happy for yourself. The decisions you’ve made up until this point, however noble, are beginning to eat at you, which means you have to clear the table, and start anew. I say that with the heaviest of hearts because it won’t be easy, but this is love we’re talking about — loving someone else and loving yourself.
Wherever you choose to start with this resetting is completely up to you, but not doing it is not an option. You have to do this for yourself no matter how difficult it is because if you don’t, you’re going to end up even more upset than you already are and that good heart of yours which led you here will dissipate. Understand, even if things never worked out the way you planned, you didn’t do anything wrong. You followed your heart, you took risks. There’s something to be said for going all out the way you have, even if you didn’t get the return for which you had hoped. Love deserves our best efforts. Most people don’t realize that until it’s too late. Be happy you’re not one of those people..
Trust me when I say this period of growth you’re about to go through will be challenging, but I truly believe you have the capacity to see it through. That good heart of yours got you to where you are now, and as long as you start protecting it by looking out for yourself, it will take you even further.