Time for changes?

Music Note Bokeh
Music (Photo: all that improbable blue)

Isn’t it funny how certain songs seem to resonate with you at different times in your life? I’ve always been a fan of Fleetwood Mac, but recently a particular song has been playing over and over in my head. Or rather part of a song:

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older, and I’m getting older too

The song is, of course, Landslide and is sung by Stevie Nicks.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing: While I haven’t actually been afraid to make changes as such – in fact, I’ve tried and tried to improve and become the best person I could possibly be in an attempt to prove to my boyfriend that I am worth taking a chance on. But very few of these changes have been for me – I won’t say none, because some have (like learning how to make friends. It hasn’t worked, in case you were wondering), but most of what I’ve been doing has been for our relationship – I’ve built my life around you.

The Passage of Time
The Passage of Time (Photo credit: ToniVC)

But time makes you bolder, even children get older: One of my favourite people in the whole world had a baby last year. On 15 February, that baby will be a year old. And since he was born, nothing seems to have changed in my life. All my friend’s babies are growing up – my ex-boyfriend’s daughter will be 2 in May, and a second baby is now on the way. Sometimes, I don’t think much time has passed, but then I see how much all those tiny babies have changed and realise that it has, in fact, been literally years.

And I’m getting older too: I am getting older. There’s no two ways about it. I’m going to be 30 soon. The big 3-0!! How did that happen? I still remember panicking about turning 25. A whole qarter of a century! I couldn’t have imagined anything worse! But I survived… and now it doesn’t seem like 5 years ago. Each birthday since then has crept up on me, then I’ve woken up the next day feeling no different. 26 is not that much older than 25 after all, and is there really a difference between 27 and 26? Probably not. But the difference between 25 and 30 seems huge, and now I find myself wondering how did I end up here, like this?

change_thoughts
change_thoughts (Photo credit: MMcDonough)

I won’t be breaking up with my boyfriend just yet. For some reason, I still have hope (things have improved over the past year, after all), and we’ve also agreed to at least give it until he finishes his PhD, which will hopefully be in October (meaning he has a lot on his mind right now, even aside from whatever is going on between us). But stay or go, it’s time to make some changes. Not for our relationship. Not to become who I think Jan wants me to be. This time, I want to change for me. So that whether I stay or go, I can be happy within myself. The first step is to figure out what does make me happy.

Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

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14 thoughts on “Time for changes?

  1. It is always a mistake to try to become who someone else wants us to be. It is impossible to satisfy them. Marilyn Monroe said this: “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

    Of course, that goes both ways in a relationship; but if one person does all the giving and the other does all the taking, that way lies unhappiness and resentment.

    What you have to consider is that you have asked him to change; has he asked you to change, or are you just trying to be what you think he wants? Is he doing the same?

    Happy relationships are about compromise, so there are no winners or losers, no resentment, just trying to be the best for the other and yourself. It ain’t easy; but it’s possible.

    1. It’s complicated (isn’t it always?!). I have asked him to change, and he has definitely improved. Previously he would change for a while then relapse, this time the improvement seems to be sticking (my ultimatum obviously did something, even if I didn’t go through with the actual moving out).

      He has also asked me to change in the past. The changes he wanted were perfectly reasonable and have helped to improve our relationship (like not losing my temper over things that are actually completely irrelevant – I had to admit he was right with that one. I really did get mad for no reason, and it was hurting our relationship but was also bad for me). Other things are all in my head, and when I really think about it I know they are. I have been trying to be what I THINK he wants me to be.

      We did recently have a conversation about this things (without arguing, which is an improvement in itself!). He told me that when he suggests things I could improve, it’s because he thinks I need to do this things for mysel and that it will make me happier. I, of course, automatically assume I HAVE to change precisely those things so he will stay in a relationship with me. Apparantly, it hadn’t occurred to him that I would see it like that.
      We’ll see what happens. Right now, things aren’t bad between us and I’ve finally realised it’s pointless to try and change for him without even knowing whether that’s what he actually wants! A revelation – hence this blog post.

  2. Turning 30 is big deal for most women. By that age, most of us expected certain things out of life, and whether or not our expectations have been met, it’s evaluation time. I know it sure was for me! So what you’re doing and thinking now as you approach 30 seems to be perfectly normal to me – and valuable too! You’ll figure out what’s right for you, it just takes some time.

    And by the way, expect more of the same when you hit 40, only even more intensely!

  3. Ah, so much of this sounds so familiar (and I can’t comment on the making real-life, proper friends, because I’m awful at that too, but I would like to think we have both managed to make at least one new friend in each other this year!) It took until after my break up for me to realise I needed to work out what makes me happy and change for me, and I’m still struggling with it. The changes I have made have been hard and are proving slow going, but I know it’s worth it and I’m sticking with it! Here’s to your changes too! (and as for the babies thing – you know I’m totally with you on that!)x

    1. The more you comment on my posts (and the more of your blog I read) I get the feeling we’re sooooo similar! I definitely hope we’ve found a friend in each other (virtually at least). Maybe one day we’ll actually meet in person as well – I still need to go to Manchester so maybe once you’re there something can be arranged!

  4. I nodded my head in agreement with a lot of points here. I’m with you on loving Fleetwood Mac, and freaking out slightly over the impending 3-0. Most days I’m reasonably happy with the choices that I’ve made and the person that I am, but other days I get on FB (damn you FB!), and see almost everyone I know with a kid or three, building their new homes, ex’s getting married, and I those days I do question the choices I’ve made. Luckily those days are pretty few and far between, but it takes a long time to really be happy with the person that you are.

    If you feel that there’s something you need to change about yourself, that’s the most challenging but most satisfying change to make in my opinion. Doing it for another person is alright, but ultimately I think it’s more important to be who YOU want to be, not just to make someone else happy. But as everyone above me as said, communication and compromise… can’t have a relationship with ’em. Good luck!

    1. Thank you – I think I’ll need the luck!

      COmmunication is (luckily) the one thing my relationship isn’t lacking. It’s usually me that initiates any talks, but I’m sure that would be the same with any male. And Jan is almost always willing to listen. Whatever happens it won’t be lack of communication that ruins things between us 🙂

      Damn you FB is about right!! Every time I start to be happy with how things are, I see another “Guess what – I’m having a baby” post and start to question everything again. Especially when the person is younger than me! Aargh!

  5. It’s easy to say and hard to do
    So I’ll say it in rhyme
    To thine own self be true.

    Yeah, I know. It sounds like I’m full of (&* and I may be, but I have never had any luck changing me for someone else’s vision of me. I’ve tried it a time or two, but it just didn’t work. Change yourself for yourself, not for anyone else.

    Tim

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