I moved around a lot as a kid. By the time I was in 6th grade, I lived in 6 different cities. After high school I moved over 14 times, including a 3 month period of crashing on couches and floors.
You learn a lot when you move. From a young age, I learned how to adapt quickly and let go of attachments. I was always well-liked, so I never had trouble making friends but I struggled with laying roots. I was always jealous of my peers who had friendships that started at birth because most of my friendships were new and only lasted until I moved again. And because of this, I never feel fully grounded. To this day, everything feels temporary. Relationships, apartments, jobs… nothing feels like it can last forever.
A strange side effect of this seemingly perpetual motion is that I go along with things very easily. Some may call this “being flexible.”
Most people may say that it’s a good thing to be so flexible. Though some may perceive me as high strung, I can roll with the punches. Since I have spent most of my life adapting to new situations I don’t freak out when routines change, and last minute alterations don’t faze me a bit. But the problem is that I am never satisfied. I never get what I truly desire. I have gone along with the agendas of others for so long, that I tend to put myself last. And what’s worse is that I’m afraid to speak up for what I want for fear of sounding too needy.
Now don’t get me wrong, I never do anything I don’t want to do. I never do anything I’m uncomfortable with or that I regret. But lately I’ve grown a bit tired of just going with the flow.
Clearly a big step in fighting against this tide was my relocation to New York a couple of years ago. My complacency put me in such a state of unhappiness that I decided to shake things up. And shake things up I did. I restarted just about everything in my life. I wasn’t following anyone else’s script. I was making my own path. And this has truly made me very happy. And still does.
But then there’s the dating dilemma. I have had many guys come in and out of my life since I moved here. And it’s been fun. This is the first time I ever dated casually. However, more than once I’ve found myself falling a bit for someone and wanting more, but they didn’t want the same thing. So, I end up settling for what they want… which is really just a fraction of what I actually want.
I suppose the idea here is that I’m flexible… I can be whoever I need to be for that particular person. But I know what you’re thinking: grow a backbone and don’t settle for anything less than what you want. It’s not as easy for me. I’ve had this concept burned into my brain forever- that if I actually say what I want and fight for it that I will be seen as needy or high maintenance. I worry that if I speak up, I’ll just end up with nothing at all.
I took a big risk coming to New York. I had no job, no apartment, no friends… but I stuck to my guns and have managed to do quite well for myself here. I have new goals all the time and I’m inspired and encouraged by the city and all the wonderful people I’ve met here. I didn’t back down and settle… I went for it.
They say fortune favors the bold. If I was able to risk everything to move myself across the country, surely I can fight for what I want out of a relationship. Even if I risk losing someone I care about in the process. Easy to say, but much harder (for me) to do. Stay tuned.
Blog song title: “Go With the Flow” by Queens of the Stone Age