Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Best09: Challenge

I'm diving into this blog challenge with a challenge theme...

Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

This one is actually easy for me since this entire year has been one big challenge: buying a house and moving in with my boyfriend.

Whoa! Two huge steps all at once, especially for a girl who has a hard time adjusting to major changes (read: major bout of depression freshman year of college) and who, with the exception of four years for college (when she went home almost every weekend), has lived with Mom and Dad her entire life. Major upheaval. Major behavior modification. Major adjustment.

Thankfully, there was no major bout of depression. I was really excited about the whole thing, until about two weeks in, it really hit me. I'm a *gasp* grown-up. No one is cleaning for me. No one is cooking for me. No one is taking care of me when I'm sick. No one does my laundry. I think I had an anxiety attack that lasted for months.

Truth be told, I never really wanted a house. Don't get me wrong: I like my house, and I love living with Jed. What I really wanted was my own place and to live with Jed. I'm not all for the house maintenance thing; I'd be just as happy in an apartment where I can call the landlord when something breaks.

However, I like painting the walls the way I want them. As stressful as it was, I loved buying furniture and decorating. I love being able to spruce the place up for Christmas.

I think the biggest adjustment, however, was not living with my parents anymore and living with my boyfriend.

The pros: cable TV (never ever ever had it in my life before), having whatever I want for dinner, sitting on the sofa however I want, running the show the way I want, seeing my boyfriend every day, re-organizing and de-cluttering, having a dog, not fighting with my parents.

The cons: having to figure out what's for dinner and motivating myself to cook, cleaning and laundry that never seems to end, having to compromise on how to run the household with my boyfriend, fighting with my boyfriend, not having that "space" from said boyfriend, leaving MY room, housebreaking the dog, missing my parents.

The upside always has its downside, I suppose. With that, I have learned a lot and grown a lot, though I certainly still have a long way to go.

I'm learning a lot about my relationship with Jed. We're fighting a lot more, but we're figuring out how to compromise more, listen more, communicate more and love more. We're trying really hard to work as a team, instead of against each other. I never realized how much of a spoiled brat I am in that I have MAJOR control and OCD issues. We're talking panic attacks because he left his dirty glass on the coffee table overnight.

I'm also learning to trust that I'm where I'm supposed to be. I've had a lot of good feelings and a lot of negative feelings, but deep down, I know that I had to grow up sometime. I had to move out of Mom and Dad's, even though Mom crying made me cry (and still does). I had to figure out how to do it on my own... and more importantly, with someone else who is not my family.

I've learned how to keep an entire house clean, how to paint, how to keep weeds from growing through mulch, how to build a fire and how to cook. I'm starting to feel safe again, at home again. I can walk into my old home without tearing up. And, when I really miss being a kid again, I can drive a short 40 minutes and have Mom and Dad cook me dinner.

Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.
~ King Whitney Jr.

No comments: