Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.
-Plutarch, 45-125 A.D., Greek Essayist and Biographer

Recently, a couple very close to me has been going through a tough time. I think, as of now, they're working through it but I have to admit, it was a little frightening from where I sit. Not because I had any part in it and not because there was anything I could do about it, but because I was reminded that even the most concrete relationship exterior means nothing if the insides aren't solid.

Being single, people will often ask me if I like it. Most the time, I do. Instead of fighting the reality, I've somehow taught myself to enjoy it. Of course, there are rough times, that sort of goes without saying but but I enjoy things like making my own schedule, a quiet house and the freedom to make decisions based solely on my own feelings (and bank account). When I enjoy it most though, is when I work to make it better. Things like blasting Aerosmith with [gasp!] the windows open and using the phrase "no thanks, I'm saving my money" are not things I've always been comfortable doing.* I always thought about what others might think. Will they judge me or will they see that I'm becoming strong enough to be myself. They don't know that I've worked hard to get there. I'm not sure those are things that I wouldn't have learned had I not been single but I am sure about this: now that I have learned how to make the best of it and the work that it takes to get there, I don't ever have to go back. What's more, and a little to my surprise, it even feels right.

Which is how I have to, or maybe need to, believe the right relationship is. It's got it's ups and downs. It's got it's own freedoms and restrictions. But when it's right, it's worth it to try to make it good. Like with my friends, who are both very strong people. They don't put on airs about how things are versus how they ought to be. They accept the differences between real and ideal and, possibly more important, the differences between one another. It's because it's not about the differences, it's about working with them.

And so it's all become a little more clear. Making something worthwhile and making it good means work. It's not just for the single girl that learns to get comfortable with turning up the radio. It's not just for the couple that finds themselves in a tough time. It's life, our commonality. Our constant. We aren't all on the same road or schedule but we are here and in that, have at least a chance at it. We just have to realize that it takes work and sometimes, if we're lucky, everything will work out.
*Okay, so I've always been comfortable with Aerosmith. Maybe just for different reasons.


Sizzle said...

very true. very well said. :)

justacoolcat said...

Nice job. It's about the differences before you're a couple. That's the best time to figure out if their are any deal breakers. Then assuming there are not, it's about working with what you have together. Which even in an ideal relationship, is a lot of work, but well worth it.

backofpack said...

Great post. Great relationships take work and can never be taken for granted.

GirlGoyle said...

Relationships that work are about not having to work to change those differences that make you who you are. Compromise is one thing but giving up who you are or expecting the other person to change into who you want them to be is the element that will doom any relationship.

justrun said...

Sizzle- Maybe I'll figure it out yet.

JACC- I agree. We can't live in a bubble.

BackofPack- I think not taking someone for granted may be the most important part of all of it.

GG- I agree. There is a difference between understanding and unrealistic compromise.

Ginger Breadman said...

really well-written post. Not just the relationship things, but about being by yourself. I admire how strong you can become by standing on your own, doing things for yourself, by yourself, and learning to make your own decisions. How can a person possibly give themself to another in a relationship, without first fully having the confidence and ability to know who they are inside and out, and be willing to stand on their own?