love out loud: choose life, not plans
Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.
I was not supposed to have a boyfriend this year.
At some point towards the end of 2009, I decided that I was due for another boyfriend in 2010, rationalising that I’d consistently had a partner in even years (probably because I needed the odd ones to recover) and I was ready to have a significant other in my life.
I thought this was fulfilled pretty early on in the new year when a friend kissed me and a few weeks later, we were “going out”. But we were incompatible for a multitude of (mostly boring) reasons and barely lasted a couple of months.
From there, I was pretty content being on my own. I was spending a lot of time with my friends, becoming really involved with lip and just generally being busy to the point where having a boyfriend was probably going to interfere with my VIP schedule.
I met Julio in January. I’d been toying with the idea of moving interstate to do my Honours year in psychology (then I moved house and never got my acceptance/rejection letters anyway), whilst also thinking about applying for internships in the US in the latter part of the year. Conversely, Julio was a couple of months away from moving to Melbourne with his band and had most of the year mapped out based on their recording schedule. Naturally, a girlfriend didn’t feature in it.
Nonetheless, we started dating with the understanding that it would end when he moved, but within a few weeks, I was in love with him. Their move to Melbourne was eventually delayed by about two months and by that point, we’d decided to continue the relationship even when we were apart.
I’ve previously written about long distance relationships and although I do believe that everyone has to decide what’s right for them, my default attitude toward LDRs had been that they’re too much stress and pain and bound to fail, especially when you’re young. And yet, here I am. My boyfriend is interstate, and moreover, my plans for the future have changed.
Many relationships end because of bad timing. Often it’s the kiss of death for a blossoming union between two people who really like each other and work well together. But as important as it is to hold onto your own ambition, it’s also important not to get too attached to a particular trajectory. Things rarely work out the way we think they will and if being a little less rigid in what you thought you were going to do means keeping someone you care about in your life, that’s not a bad thing. Of course, some opportunities are too good to pass up for anyone else’s sake, and I concede that it is a really difficult thing to balance (unless you can see into the future) but often the decisions we make are inconsequential when considered in a broader sense anyway. And sometimes making compromises for another person can lead to different, if not altogether better, opportunities.
I’m finishing uni in a month, which means that the draining questions have started – ‘What are you going to do next?’ ‘What do you want to do?’ ‘What are your plans?’ – but I’m really content to shrug and say that I don’t know, that I’ll see what comes up. But I do know that I’m no longer just thinking about myself, and that feels nicer than I ever thought it would.
Choose life, not plans.
(Image credit: 1.)