Thursday, 19 January 2012

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.

17 comments:

  1. Such an inspiring post. One of my flatmates is having a hard time with her long distance relationship and I think she'd really find this helpful x

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  2. Its good 2 see your keeping your chin up :) your only young don't worry just yet about finding the one. Focus on uni first. I was in a long distance relationship at 20 with the guy i thought I was going to marry but worrying about him being so away & when we'd see each other next made me neglect my uni work in my first 2 years.one we split up and i'd got over my grades went up. I still graduated but I could have done so much bettter if i'd thought about it.

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  3. wow Charlotte, that was incredibly inspirational! I know exactly what you mean, I've just been doing a work & travel thing in Australia for the last 4 months and it hasn't been what I wanted at all and I've been so upset because I didn't get the experience I wanted but you've just made me think, hang on, I did get an experience and maybe I should see the good in it because I've done something many others can't or wouldn't do. So thanks! 
    I hope you feel better about your breakup soon! It sounds silly buy time does heal all wounds! Keep your chin up, things will be alright again :) 
    xxx

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  4. Oh sweetie, that is such an honest and well written post - your words are beautiful.  I'm sorry you went through this, I'm glad you have taken away such knowledge from the whole experience, it will carry you well through life!

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  5. I love this post so much. It shows how much thinking optimistically really helps you go through the toughest times. There is always a brighter side on things that just stink. I needed this reassurance and got it at the right time...so thank you :) And the last paragraph you added: I couldn't agree more!

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  6. I think these dates come and go and it'll lessen. There is a huge burden off your shoulders, as relationships are a good burden but they do burden us too, I think the long distance aspect and the constant worries is something that it is good for you to be without even though it makes you sad now. I've been there I know it feels awful at the minute but there will come a point when it'll be ok.

    :)

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  7. Very inspirational post Charlotte! I like to think everything happens for a reason, especially break-ups. I broke up with my boyfriend of 2,5 years because we had grown apart and both wanted different things in our lives, of course this can't compare to what you've been through but I learned to stay positive and think about the upsides of being single and be able to do whatever you want. And I think you are so brave for chasing your dreams and going to America! And I'm sure the perfect guy for you will come along :)

    xx

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  8. You go, girl! I know sometimes it absolutely sucks letting go of something you think you want...but it sounds like the opportunities are opening up all over for you! Best of luck!
    -giedre

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  9. Oh I hope she is okay. LDRs are really tough. In many ways I wish Erick and I had been able to make it work, but somethings just aren't worth fighting for, I guess. If she ever thinks about ending it and wants someone to talk to, give her my email address. Losing Erick was one of the hardest times of my life, but I know it was what we had to do.

    Charlotte x

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  10. Thank you so much! I will try to stay focused!

    Charlotte x

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  11. Thank you so much. I was really nervous about posting this but I'm really glad that people can respond positively to it. I hope your experience goes well and that you can enjoy it as much as possible!

    Charlotte x

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  12. Thank you so much. I was so worried about posting this and that people would respond badly so this really means a lot, thank you.

    Charlotte x

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  13. I ended up having a really good day on Thursday so I'm glad I didn't decide to have a bad day!

    Charlotte x

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  14. I've got to say, I'm glad it's over. I was dreading it but I got through it. I know there are going to be more days with memories attached to them but I know I have to just get through it.
    I'm just getting sick of not being over this yet. I hope the day that I feel okay comes soon.

    Charlotte x

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  15. Thanks so much Siel. I know he did the right thing breaking up with me and I know I'll see that more and more in the future. It's hearing from people like you who got through these breakups and went on to better things and better people which really help me to move on.

    Charlotte x

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  16. What a post, and it obviously took a lot of insight and bravery to write. Well done for looking at a possible picture rather than dwelling on things that have not been, and thanks for writing this. I'm sure it'll give a lot of people a lot to think about. And if it isn't happy, it isn't the end. Sounds like you're doing an excellent job (especially from the added part), but I'm gonna say it anyway - chin up, you're fabulous. (:

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