Relationships and self-exploration go hand-in-hand


When I was little, my mom told me that my future boss might not be someone I like. She told me that he or she might be a jerk. She told me that if my job was important to me, I would learn to adjust. So throughout the years, I became a person who listened to authority. I was scared to defy the strange power of my superiors in fear of unknown consequences.

What people may see is a disciplined kid who loves other people’s opinions. In reality, I am somewhat arrogant, feeling that my opinion is constantly superior to others. I have always kept my thoughts private, however, because there weren’t many opportunities to give my opinion until this year.

That life lesson my mom taught me long ago doesn’t relate just to the professional world, but to the personal world as well. When she told me that I wouldn’t be able to get what I want when I want it, I expected it to be several years down the road. So when I decided to get involved in a relationship a few months ago, I didn’t think that my selfish ideals would have to change.

For the first month, everything was fine. We both gave each other a false illusion that our personalities perfectly overlapped. Then reality set in. I found out my jokes weren’t quite as funny, our dates not as exciting, and my bluntness not as effective as I perceived it to be. We argued about almost anything and everything.

My unhappiness stemmed from my unwillingness to accept that I was wrong. Instead of solving things in a matter of minutes, I had to actually sit down and talk things out, which I thought only guys in cheesy chick flick movies did (I may be a pansy, who knows). I had to change my mindset, and I had to change it fast. And surprisingly, letting go of my self-reliance and stubborn attitude has yielded fantastic results.

Never before have I had to lean on another person the way I do now. My individualism, so often glossed over by my people-pleasing attitude, made me reluctant to rely on others for anything other than a piece of gum. I often kept personal problems private and let them linger inside. Now, it’s exhilarating to have someone to tell everything to, yet terrifying to give that person my undivided trust.

What’s also interesting is how much I reveal to my significant other. She probably could care less about 90 percent of the crap I tell her, but it’s that 10 percent of important material that makes the other stuff worth it. Having no one to talk to for the first two years of high school took its toll on me, as I secluded myself from everyone and woke up each day with nothing to look forward to. Now, I abuse my power of having a captive audience.

My relationship isn’t perfect, and I still have a lot of figuring out to do. But what I do know is that lowering my pride for another person will pay huge dividends in the long run.