In certain situations, it can be difficult to discern between the truth and the lies we tell ourselves to feel better.
“It didn’t work out because the timing wasn’t right.”
I’m sure you’ve heard that sentence before. Do you believe it?
When my ex and I broke up, it was because of distance and timing. At least, that’s what we told ourselves. Had we fallen in love 5 years later when we had (insert whatever here – money, homes, etc.) we would have worked out. That is a complete and total lie. We fell out of touch because we didn’t understand each other. We sucked at communicating, and the more we tried to force the relationship, the less I liked talking to and spending time with him. Had we fallen in love in 5 years, we may have real jobs, live on our own, and savings/retirement plans, but we would still suck at communicating because our communication styles don’t mix.
When I was in college, I studied abroad for a semester. I didn’t have the greatest time due to a bunch of drama involving the people I was abroad with, but I learned that the people around me are so much important than where I am geographically. I didn’t care that I stood underneath the Eiffel Tower because I didn’t have a best friend to stand under it with me. I started telling myself that maybe I should have picked a different semester and things would have been different, and I went abroad at the wrong time, but the truth is that I didn’t have friends to go abroad with so I went alone, and going alone made the trip feel like a waste of time and money to me.
I think that timing is the best excuse because it is completely out of our control. If my semester abroad didn’t go the way I wanted because I failed to make friends, that means something is wrong with me. If I couldn’t figure out how to understand my ex in a normal conversation after 9 months of dating, that meant something was wrong with us that we took 9 months to notice. But if it’s timing… well there’s nothing to be done about that. And there in-lies the problem: when we claim “timing” as the culprit, we take the blame off of ourselves. We cast away all ownership because it makes us feel better to believe that there is nothing we could have done to change the situation.
It’s like flipping a coin: they say when you don’t know what to do, flip a coin, because once that coin is in the air, you’re hoping for it to land on heads or tails, and then you know what you truly want. When you’re at a crossroads, flip a coin. Figure out what it is that you truly want, and then exhaust every single one of your resources trying to make it happen. If you do that, and it still doesn’t happen, you’re going to be okay. Because you tried. You’ll feel that. You’ll feel a little sad that it didn’t happen, but you will also feel satisfied and fulfilled knowing what you put into it, and you won’t have to tell yourself that the timing was off to try and force yourself to feel better.
Don’t put yourself in that box. If you want to go back to school, do it now. Don’t tell yourself it’s not the right time. If you want to drive across the country and profess your love in one final attempt to get the guy, do it. Maybe you won’t get the guy, but you’ll get a road trip and a cool story. And maybe you WILL get the guy.
It’s never going to be the “right” time. You just have to go after what you want, and either it works out or it doesn’t. Focus on the journey, not the destination.