A New Beginning
After nearly 6 months, it was over in a flash.
This past Saturday, I decided to part ways with my partner. It was not an easy decision but it was one that needed to be made. The truth is that for whatever reason, my partner just wasn’t the person that I believed them to be. I can’t explain it, but my partner was suddenly lacking the passion that first drew me in. I know a lot to do with it has to do with a busy work schedule, but this time it was something more. The spark was gone. My partner was simply going through the motions. As someone who puts forth his best each and every day, I simply could not understand how and why my partner wasn’t doing the same. With my partner’s job expected to become more and more demanding, I realized that things were not going to get better anytime soon.
My partner and I will remain friends. I have no doubt that my partner will achieve success with the job or other ones down the road. There is a tenacity that shines through the work on a daily basis. My partner is always looking for the next challenge and truly believes in serving others. That is rare to find in this day and age. But my partner right now is involved in a job unlike any other. It’s taxing and demanding and requires constant travel. There are lots of meetings with a team of high-profile professionals on a daily basis. My partner has to make sure that there are no mistakes or miscommunications. There is constant pressure to one-up those in the field and there are those in the field that would like nothing better than to tear down my partner. It can only be described as exhausting to come home to a social media feed where thousands of strangers would like nothing better than to see you fail. My partner knew all of this would happen and still chose to go through with it and earned my admiration for making this difficult decision.
Maybe my expectations were too high of my partner. After all, I never expected perfection. But what I did expect was someone who would give it their all but could also could admit mistakes and see them as learning opportunities. What I’ve seen most recently in my partner is an inability to admit those mistakes or to make excuses for them. Like my country, I want my partner to strive toward becoming more perfect but I also want somebody willing to admit fault. For whatever reason, my partner has been unable to do this. Perhaps there is the perception that admitting fault is a weakness. Perhaps there is the fear that the competition will seize on any mistakes. I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that for me personally, I cannot in good faith be with someone who makes excuses rather than simply apologizing. To err is human and for someone to deny their errors is to deny their essential humanity.
I thought I was ready to fall in love again, but maybe I moved too soon. After all, my last relationship was also extremely intense. My partner at the time was also involved in a challenging job and this one had her constantly on the road. I knew she would need my help so I actually moved across the country to help support her and her work. For five months, I did what I could to support her and to work with others in the community to find ways to support everything she was trying to accomplish. I did that because I believed in her and her vision. She was the smartest and strongest person that I knew and she was unquestionably qualified for her job. The challenge was that many people were intimidated by these strengths, so my partner was constantly in an uphill battle. Toward the very end of 2016, she was actually passed over for what would have been a significant promotion for a man who was grossly unqualified. This crushed her and, in turn, crushed me in seeing her that way. She was able to move on but she and I were never the same and we eventually had to part ways.
At the end of the day, though perhaps what it comes down to is that I may never get over my first love. I was only a year out of college and this person walked into my life and inspired me from the very first moment. My first love was a terrific speaker, a humble person, and someone who I wanted to emulate each and every day. We were together for 8 years, and each day I came home to a world that was comfortable and safe. Sure, my first love had those who wanted to undermine the work, but those detractors were never able to remove the hopeful vision that my first love had for this country. It was this vision that kept me going through my first and then second career even during the hard times because I knew that there were things worth fighting for in this life. For eight years, I saw my first love fight for the things I held near and dear to my heart and it inspired me to do my small part in my small corner of the world. When my first love left his job to move on, I was crushed but I knew he had no other choice. He had simply given his all to the work and needed time to retreat and recharge. I knew he needed his space and I knew that day would come but it didn’t make it any easier. Like many of those close to him, I cried during his last day on the job because I knew that it was a job that he was born to do.
So here I stand, twelve years later since meeting my first love. I’m older, wiser, and have much less hair on the top of my head. But I’ve come to the realization that like all first loves, mine shares a strong sense of emotional passion. I’ve come to find that I simply cannot compare my new relationships to my first love because that is not fair to them. But I’ve also come to realize that I have certain expectations and I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I know what I want. I’m no longer afraid to be with someone because they are the safe choice or they are someone who I think I should be with. No, from this point on I will be thorough and open and really look at what I need and put my needs first. I don’t need to rush into a new relationship. I don’t need to compare my future partner to my first love. But what I do need to do is to take my time, go on a few dates, and really get to know my future partner and understand who they are. After all, I really don’t need to be in a committed relationship until next July anyway and so for me to jump into something now seems foolish. I’ve got more than enough time to research my potential partners and to see who, at least for the time being, is the best fit for me.
Because whoever I end up loving as a presidential candidate in 2020 is getting one helluva cheerleader.
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