In July/August, approaching the beginning of medical school for Ayo, I had a very simple expectation of what would occur when it came to “us”. I did a lot of research and dialogue with people in similar situations. I tried to develop an understanding of what it would be like to be in a long distance relationship with a medical student. There are a lot of horror stories out there related to the topic and many of them are true. Like many couples, I often doubted and questioned how in the world we were going to maintain a relationship through 4, maybe more, guaranteed years apart. The next season may be different, but here is what I’ve learned so far.
The best way to avoid disappointment is to let go of your expectations. I knew what to expect out of the ldr since we have been in one for the past two years, but adding medical school on brought a whole new vibe. Going into this semester, I had already made up my mind that I couldn’t go into it with expectations. The only thing that I expected was nothing. That’s not to say that I lost hope, it just means that there was no added pressure.
A female med student that I do not know personally gave me some advice through social media. She simply said, “Once he starts med school, you will forever be second to his career. He won’t have a lot of time for you, so save yourself some heartache and only speak when spoken to”. At first, I thought her words were harsh, but now I understand that she was bluntly telling me not to expect. Surprisingly, it has been the rawest most helpful advice yet. Point is, he’s busy and I try to be understanding of that by not expecting a phone call or a visit from him. This had lead to less disappointment. Some would say that I am growing cold, but I would call it simple adjustment. Now when he calls or texts, it’s like getting little surprises because I never know when they’re coming! He does the best he can and that’s all I can ask for.
Oh, the anxiety that I felt during this Summer (2015). I’m not sure exactly how I got to where I am now, but I do not want to ever go back to that feeling again. To be honest, I was a complete mess from April to July. I will just say, I lived with anxiety and doubt daily during that time. If I had to blame anything or anyone, I would say it was my worst enemy, the “idle mind”. Worry, anxiety, and depression have tried to make themselves welcome in my mind several times. There were other components that added to the problem, but I would say that my mind was the biggest problem.
I studied cognitive behavioral therapy which helped me come to a better understanding of how to deal with the worries and “what ifs” that we all experience in life. School started for Ayo, Blaine, and myself. I have a busy daily schedule that mainly consists of Blaine, work, school, gym, and church. I always say, “I’d rather be busy than bored”. This really helps me keep assumptions and negative thoughts from entering in my thoughts. I don’t have as much time to worry because there are actual tasks that need to get done instead.
Happy With Me
He’s busy and doesn’t have a whole lot of time. I’ve come to the realization that he is focused and driven. He has wanted this for most of his life. When he was younger, he didn’t dream of me, he dreamed of being a doctor. He has a chance to pursue that dream now. Who am I to stand in the way of that or demand his attention? Contrary to what Disney has tried to make me believe, I am not a princess and love is not always a fairy tale. I really only have two options, be content with being on the back burner or get completely off of the stove. The mistake was my mindset that I was entitled to what I wanted, when I wanted it, and in which order of priority I would be. I wanted to be a specific “part” of his life and treated accordingly, and that’s simply not a decision that you make for people. The entitlement mentality can leave you in the dumps, much like expectations.
Rather than focusing on my place in someone else’s life, I started focusing on my own life. This is part of staying busy, but you have to balance life with hobbies and things you enjoy. I’ve always been interested in fitness, but never committed myself to it like I have this semester. I go to the gym at least 4 days a week. Fitness has helped me maintain balance, develop more confidence, and it gives me something to look forward to. After all, being in the best shape and health that I can gives Blaine the advantage of having his mom around for as long as possible!
For those of you in LDRs,
I encourage you to let go of expectations, stay busy so you don’t end up over thinking everything, and be happy with yourself. Find what makes YOU happy!