Sometimes, wisdom and advice comes from the most unlikely of places. I have a love/hate relationship about this, but it’s so very telling of humanity and the romantic notions of fate that I can’t help but lean “love” on any given day. Anyway, this piece of wisvice (have you also noticed that wisdom and advice come hand in hand quite often?) showed up recently and I wondered if the person who was talking had me pegged more than I gave them credit for.*
Here’s what happened: I was rambling on about my life – how I tend to feel like my attention is in thirty-thousand places, how my days and weeks and months have been filled up with people, places, and things, and how sometimes, I’m still not sure I’m doing enough (I mean, I try to get 8 hours of sleep every night! How dare I). In my loquacious monologue I noted that I had realized that it’s my personality to just go go go and do do do. Forward motion, I say.** I’m not happy if I’m not on a project, if the hamster in my head isn’t whirling about looking for answers. And then, I noted that relationships often fail because of this. Maybe not because of it, but in part due to my constant need to be going and doing. (Chasing, as I’m also want to note in my aforementioned in the footnotes running blog. Are footnotes aforementionable?).
My conversation partner said something that stopped my chatter in its tracks: “What if you took that energy and put it toward the project of a relationship? Why don’t you make the relationship the project?”
Funny how I never thought of that before. Usually, once I get a relationship rolling, I tend to let it coast. Sure, I’m still me – I do nice things and cute things and sweet things, but hard as it is to admit, I let my attention wander. New projects! New things to do! The relationship becomes an expected constant, and I seem to thrive on consistency + feeling needed/helping.
It’s not bad wisvise. It’s insightful and it’s honest. And like any human, it’s hard to hear that the only way to have what I want, I have to change. It’s going to make things better. And as much as I love forward motion, I do tend to hate change. (Anyone else remember Meg’s story about leaving on the roadtrip and my breakdown? Yeah…)
I’ve always known relationships are work. But it is very different realizing that I treat projects like work, and do not always give relationships the same courtesy.
It’s not fair to say, but sometimes all I can think is, I’ve been on 50 first dates. How do I not know all this yet?
*Um, that sounds dirty. But it’s not supposed to. Darn you, Dan Savage, for not letting me say the word “peg” without images in my head.
**Read my running blog. I probably write about this every eighth post or so. I won’t barrel on with it here.