Hands Full of the Old


Being an adult is hard. The number of times I find myself saying this per day is excessive. I hate having to buy things like toilet paper, dish soap, and gas for my car. I hate having to worry about my IRA, my stock portfolio, and paying my rent. But most of all, I hate having to make hard decisions. This week I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. My boyfriend of three years and I have decided to stop seeing one another.

What makes this decision so incredibly hard is that I am still madly in love with this man. He is the kindest, most sincere, most amazing man on the planet. He loves life and loves the people in his life. His laughter is infectious and constant. He can build anything, is an excellent cook, and took really good care of me. He was my joy for the past few years, and parting ways from him leaves me empty.

However, he and I did not see eye to eye on everything. We have completely opposite interests, lifestyles, and priorities, which ultimately led to our split. I was ready to marry him; he was not ready to marry me. Our story is not unusual; there is nothing special about the woman wanting a commitment that the man wasn’t ready to give her. But I was completely delusional and believed we were headed in the same direction. There is nothing worse than being told that everything you had imagined for your future is now impossible. And immediately the questions flood your mind: was I not good enough? Did I not love him enough? Was I too demanding? Should I not have pushed him? What could I have done differently?

As we talked though, I realized one simple thing: I’m not his girl. Which is what I told him, and we decided that continuing to date would be unwise even though we both love each other very much. I never knew what a mutual break-up was. Now I get it, both leave brokenhearted, but both have the opportunity to find what they need to be fulfilled.

I think that allowing myself to walk away from this incredible man is the most mature decision I have ever made. My mom always says, “If your hands are too full with the old, you can’t pick up any new.” I never quite understood why she would say that, but my recent life tragedy has enlightened me. By holding onto my boyfriend, perhaps I was missing out on something that will be better for me in the long run.

The same can be true in many areas of life. Sometimes walking away from a business deal or partner may be difficult, but it will open the door for a bigger idea or a more copacetic partner. Adulting is hard. Relationships are hard. Business is hard. When it comes to running a business, the people with whom you work don’t need to share all the same opinions or goals as you (in fact it’s often better if you disagree), however it is crucial that you have the same big picture in mind, because it will make it easier to deal with the everyday. That is what I have learned this week. Keep the big picture in mind, and associate yourself with people who share your vision. If you do need to walk away, know that it could be temporarily debilitating and heartbreaking, but there is also a very strong chance that it will be worth it.

Now I’m off to convince my heart of what my head already knows.

Until next time,