It's funny sometimes when I look at my life right now compared to a few months ago.
A few months ago I'd have told you a relationship was what was missing from my life. That otherwise I had everything figured out; good job, house, making ends meet, good friends, body was…well, on its way.
In the last two months I've spent a solid chunk of money. I've gained weight. And things at the job are fine, but stressful, and I've made a few mistakes lately. These things are all, in some ways, interconnected. The job stress means I stress eat. Part of stress eating is often take-out and other expensive foods. And I've never been the kind of person who finds exercising relaxing (maybe we can change that story, but I haven't yet).
But wait, Tom. Finding the right girl was supposed to solve all these problems! I was supposed to be super confident! My life would be in perfect balance!
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP ISN'T THE SOLUTION TO ALL THINGS
I mean, I knew all this, really. I didn't really expect it to solve everything. But I expected a relationship to just slot nicely into my life. I expected ease. Now, mind you, I didn't plan on a long distance relationship. I didn't plan on flying as much as I am.
And let's be clear. Overall, my mean happiness has improved drastically. There's a bounce in my step that hasn't been there in years. I'm traveling more, seeing people more often, and in general I think this will end up being one of the best summers of my life. (Unless you think we can top it next summer, Klutzy).
But I've noticed my waist line expanding. Things are tighter. I've managed to reign in work a bit but it's still busy as Hell, and I know soon I need to get my search for a new opportunity in gear, or see about expanding my role in the current one. I haven't been writing as much, I haven't been reading as much. I've thrown a lot of my spare time into my relationship. And, also to be clear, I wouldn't change one bit of that. It's helped us grow as a couple, and it's been incredibly fun.
In the future though, I need to start finding those balance, and that means working with Klutzy. Figuring out a time to go to yoga or the gym. Working together to motivate each other. Finding the right time to read and write (which maybe is different than when it used to be). And for once I feel comfortable saying, occasionally, that I can't hang out on a given night cause I need to do X or Y. Previously in relationships I felt so insecure I needed to throw EVERYTHING into it cause obviously otherwise she wouldn't be with me.
I need to keep up with therapy, as I know I still have a ways to go in that confidence.
It's different now though, cause I have a partner to support me. We talk about finding a yoga class together (or, rather, one that occurs at roughly the same time in Chicago and Toronto). About waking each other up for morning runs. About finding ways to eat healthy, together. I know that I could sit with her, on video chat, reading. I know what times work best for reading (on the train).
So, in brief, relationships don't solve all the problems. In actuality it's a little like picking up a second job. A job that, you know, you love, that pays you back in incalculable ways, and where your boss tends to be pretty hot. And, if you play your cards right and find the right boss, it's a job for life.