Month: July 2011

On Long Distances

It's funny how things shake out.

A few months ago I was coping with a somewhat long-due end of a long-distance relationship with half of my energy, and packing up my belongings to move across the country for a job with the other half. Among other reasons, neither of us saw ourselves moving to the same city so that we could have a proper functioning life together, and yet here I was leaving I city I loved for 6 years so that I could take a chance on a brand new company, that I was head over heels in love with. And the use of that romantic terminology is key.

Because that's where the taboo lies right? I think a lot of the time we hear about friends moving places for relationships, and we cynically say to ourselves, "Man, what if that doesn't work out? Wouldn't that suck? She/he probably didn't think that one through, in my opinion" and all these cautionary tales about relationships and all the reasons they fail.

When I got my new job - sure there were some "Wow, are you sure you're ready to leave New York?" sentiments, but overwhelmingly, I was congratulated, applauded for starting the next chapter of my life, taking a chance, and people reassured me that this was the right thing to do.

I remember talking with my friend Zoe just a while ago, and wondering why we felt so much more confident (and supported) moving for jobs versus relationships. Why do we tend to be more cautionary and in my case, put the brakes on a really -- well, this is all subjective, naturally -- good relationship that despite a lot of wrong, also had a lot of right going for it? Why, when it comes to jobs, are we so exponentially more willing to take that leap?

Because as it turned out -- this job didn't work out. And while I think I'll be okay in the short to mid-run, it is every bit as terrifying and "now what am I going to do?" as I might begin to imagine moving for a relationship would be.

I mean - right now I'm in the raw thick of it. It's fraught with "how could things go so wrong?" and "I wish this went differently." It's figuring out practically what I need to do next now that I'm settled in a new city, but also emotionally how I'm going to move on and find that next thing that's going to make me feel wanted, make me feel worth it. It's knowing that all of a sudden I have serious trust issues even after both of us making huge commitments.

How do I fall in love again? How do I find the motivation to get out there and apply for new jobs and interview and start at a new company without fearing at every step that it's going to go wrong again?

How do I take a lesson away from this that isn't just cynical? That isn't just how the world is unfair and you have to play the game and not give up 100% of yourself?

And what, if anything, do I take away about long distance leaps of faith going forward?