Archive from September, 2011

Lessons learned

I’ve spent days wracking my brain and my heart, price trying to understand why. Not just why it ended, see but why it happened. With each of my relationships in the past five years, patient I’ve known why that person or relationship came into my life and what I needed to learn from the experience.

The Adventurer came along two years after I started my business. For two years, work always came first – I missed family events, lost touch with friends, and certainly never made time for a man in my life. I won’t say that he made work drop in priority, but I finally made an effort to have a life outside of my career. And shockingly, the business survived. In fact, it grew. I found as I developed more balance in my life that I did a better job of my work. And so even though I was sad when the relationship ended, I walked away better for the experience.

With the Farmer, it was a little less about the relationship itself and more about what he personally taught me. Having said that, I will also always be grateful for the respect and courtesy he showed to me that I deserved. Back to the real lesson, though – I was in the middle of some serious family conflicts, and the Farmer guided me through the initial steps of repairing those relationships. He also made this stubborn, hard-headed woman see the importance of forgiveness. That people make mistakes, mistakes don’t make a person. And sometimes even if they aren’t sorry, you have to forgive them.

And then there was the Bad Boy. It was always tumultuous, but when it was good it was great. And that was the first relationship in which I began to open up and give myself to the other person. Though it was never “all in”, I learned a lot about being transparent and honest with both the good feelings and the tough ones. I knew when I walked away that I would be a better partner in my next relationship.

Try as I may though, I couldn’t see what I was supposed to learn or take away from Mr Right. I opened my heart completely, the relationship developed more quickly than any other, we started planning our life together… and then I had a bad day, I made a mistake, and he walked away. Nothing could convince him to forgive me or give me a chance to make it right.

I thought maybe there was something I was missing – a key element I wasn’t even aware of was making him that angry and unrelenting. Something to give me clarity on what I was supposed to have learned from the relationship. So I asked him to sit down with me and explain his perspective on what had happened.

There was nothing new. Nothing I wasn’t aware of, hadn’t apologized for, hadn’t learned from in the moment it happened. All he kept saying was, his career is more important than anything else and he can’t be distracted by a relationship that takes effort. I just shook my head in bewilderment (and then argued a bit) – how could any 31 year old man, who understands the short lifespan of his chosen career, not see the importance of having the person in your life who will be there whether the job is or not? How could you walk away from something that’s so positive in your life, convinced that the two can’t work together? And let me tell you, I did more to support his career and business in two months than I bet any other single person has. Logo, branding, photo shoots, social media development… don’t tell me I was detrimental to his career.

Now, did I add unneeded stress and distraction at one of his most important competitions of the year? Yeah, and I couldn’t be sorrier for that. Does that mean I don’t support him and wish for his greatest success? Certainly not.

So as I was driving home, trying to control my tears and figure out just what the Universe wanted me to get out of this, I realized maybe it was nothing. Maybe this is just supposed to be affirmation of how far I’ve come. Because five years ago that was me – putting career first, holding onto every “wrong” I felt someone dealt me, closing myself off to protect my heart getting hurt. Maybe in this instance I’m the teacher.