On Not Getting What You Want
In life, you often don't get exactly what you want. Sometimes what you want changes. Sometimes you get something better. Often, you get something completely different in a million ways.
When faced with not getting what you want, or getting something that you didn't want at all, we have to hope that we got instead what we need. It's amazing how often we look back on an experience when we didn't get exactly what we wanted, and are glad that we no longer want that thing. But instead, we had an experience which we would never have had otherwise.
Today would have been mine and Erick's one year anniversary.
It's hard not to feel sad about what could have been. It's hard not to think about the night he asked me to be his girlfriend. It's hard not to think about our whole relationship together. And the break up.
But I have to step away from that and think about what I got instead. I didn't get the boy that I loved. I didn't get the happily ever after. I didn't have my whole future in front of me with the man I thought I was going to marry.
But I also didn't have to carry on with a long distance relationship. I don't have the constant worry of wondering when I was going to see my boyfriend next. I don't have to feel lonely on our anniversary- my first anniversary with anyone- knowing that instead of dinner and presents, all we have would be a skype voice chat. I don't have to spend Valentines day knowing my boyfriend is 5000 miles away. I don't have to worry about how I am going to find a job and a visa in America, or whether he would move here for me.
It's not easy to think like this, but sometimes you have to. Erick and I broke up for a reason, and that was because we were from different countries, living 5000 miles away, and that we both wanted to do lots of different things with our lives and didn't want to be tied down. And I know it was the right thing to do, even if it wasn't what I wanted at the time.
Even now, I wonder about things being different. But I know I got what I needed, if it it wasn't what I wanted. I got the freedom to apply for jobs all over the country, the freedom to take a 3-month-long position working in the States this summer which could be anywhere in America, I got the focus to really work at my degree without being distracted by the stress of a long distance relationship.
I didn't want to crash my car last year, but maybe it saved me from a much bigger and more destructive accident. I didn't want my Grandad to die, but he didn't want to be in pain any more and we didn't want him to suffer. I didn't want to have to be looking for a job during the recession, but maybe it will help me to prove that I'll do whatever it takes to achieve my dreams, or maybe I'll find myself doing something completely different from what I had ever imagine.
Sometimes we just have to learn from these experiences, and take what we get, and not wonder what we could have had. I'm sure I'll be inundated with rejections when I start applying for jobs, but hopefully I'll get what I need.
edit: I wrote this post a few days ago, and I got up today and thought, today is going to suck. And then I decided no, I have a choice in this. Today is only going to suck if I let it suck. I'm going to push the date and the day out of my head and try to do the best I can with it. Because maybe that's the difference between life being good and life sucking. Accepting what we did get, letting go of what we didn't and moving on with our life. Because what other choice do we have? I could spend today calling my parents and being sad about everything that I felt I lost, but would it not be more productive for me to spend my day trying to live in the present and doing what I can with what I got instead? No-one gets exactly what they want, but maybe the happiest people are those that accept that.