» The Importance of Timing
  • The Importance of Timing

    May 25th • Posted in love, personal

    Lately, I’ve become more and more convinced that timing is one of the most important contributing factors to pretty much everything that happens in our lives. After all– how would the story go if Cinderella hadn’t left the ball at the stroke of midnight, or had the hunter in Little Red Riding Hood not passed by the wolf’s house at precisely the right second? I want to believe that time doesn’t hold us captive– that sometimes, our own actions are powerful enough to stand on their own. Unfortunately, over the past couple of years, I’ve learned that time holds us slave to its whims.

    I’m acutely aware of the importance of timing due to the bullshit of dating. Over the past two years, the trajectory of my dating life based off timing alone has been a rollercoaster. I have a tendency to think about hypotheticals (not the best idea,) but I do it because it’s interesting to see where I would be if not for the impeccably awful timing, or the perfect timing? Many of the guys I dated brought me to where I am today. Would we have been more serious had it been a different time in our lives? Was there room in our lives for a serious relationship? If it had been a week/month/year later, would I have met this person? Would I have wanted to? Half of these examples are going to also be about how these people weren’t the right fit, but I think timing also has a lot to do with it. Sometimes you meet the right person at the wrong time in your life, and you can’t get together– the cruelest fate, stuck in a tortuous limbo.

    If you all couldn’t already tell, I’m a damn romantic. I can act as cynical as I want over relationships and romance, but when push comes to shove– I’m all about actions speaking louder than words. It’s like that age old adage about writing: Show, don’t tell. But DAMN, do I do both. (I mean, you guys… don’t mean to brag, but I’m pretty awesome at being someone’s girlfriend.) In any case, I suppose this romanticism and idealism I tend to uphold leads me into believing that if you love something/someone, you fight for it/them/whatever. I’m a firm believer in being an active participant in one’s own life, instead of being passive and “letting life happen to you.” When transferring this to romantic sentiments, it means that: yes, for the most part, I fight for people. I am passionate and loyal to the people I care about to a fault. That’s why it hurts so much when people eventually leave. But, over the past couple of years, sometimes I’ve realised that I can’t keep fighting for something that obviously won’t work out due to the timing. Bad timing happens to good people. I’ve seen my friends go through it, and I’ve gone through it myself a countless amount of times.

    I think a lot about a certain boy when I think about timing. Maybe he isn’t the right person, but he sure feels like it sometimes. (Though, let’s be honest– half of the issues I have with him have to deal with don’t really have to do with timing.) However, timing and circumstance have pretty much ruled him out. There’s something about him that makes me want to keep holding on. But, like Elsa in Frozen– I can’t go back because the past is the past and I have to LET IT GO. (See what I did there? Corny as fuck.) He just finished medical school and is now starting his residency in Chicago. Amongst a host of other problems, the timing is just not right. Part of me wishes we had met five or six years from now. Perhaps he would be more emotionally willing and ready to commit to a relationship, perhaps he wouldn’t have fucked around with my feelings so much, perhaps he would have had his heart broken, and learned the importance of falling in love. There is only so much good that hypotheticals can do. I’ve faced the facts: at this point in our lives, the doctor and I are just not at a point where we could be emotionally compatible. I’m at a stage in my life where I am willing and open to a long-term, serious relationship… but at a point where I couldn’t feasibly and actively seek due to the taxing toll of the pursuit of a medical education. He is at a stage in life where he needs to learn how to be willing and open to new people and new love, but his residency might hinder anything from really forming. No matter what, we are at a stalemate. Essentially, it just wasn’t going to work despite the raw, unbridled chemistry that we share(d.) In a sick twist of fate, or act of divine intervention– the timing was so off that our paths overlapped in Europe ever so slightly. He got there the day I left. And if that wasn’t enough: the hour that I took off from Chicago was the hour he landed in Chicago. Someone out there is telling me that this was obviously not meant to be.

    Of course, there have been other men that I certainly think about when the subject of timing comes up. Clearly, one of them is the French man I half-flew to Paris for. Had I come earlier, perhaps we would have reconnected. But I wrote an entire fucking blog about that and I don’t want to talk about it here, haha. Then there’s Alex, the man who broke my heart over labels and timing. For those of you who were not aware, Alex and I met at a point in my life where I had finally felt at peace with myself and dating. A month and a half before we met, I took this independent “Single Ladies” type pledge after another failed online dating experience (seems like I have a lot of those in Chicago, lol.) I felt truly comfortable in my own skin and being alone: being single was something that I actually wanted. Of course, the timing was fucking impeccable. I don’t know what it is about timing– but you tend to meet someone when you least expect, and when you’re not looking for it. And then Alex came along like and hit me like a bus. I had even insisted that I was only “looking for friendship,” and it still developed into more. Anyway, I (not-so) recently found out that he has been seriously dating someone for awhile now. The timeline is a little off, but with all things considered, it seems like they had met while we were still dating. It all makes sense now though: my insecurities, the distance, pulling away from each other. Now the timing doesn’t seem so strange. In fact, it saved me from a disastrous relationship where we both felt like we were at stalemate, and was warping into a strange extended friends with benefits situation (seriously though, we couldn’t stand each other unless we were doing something physical.)

    I mean, I guess the point of this blog is to just wax over how timing sucks… but how necessary it is to healthy, productive relationships. Or maybe this timing thing is bigger than just the time: maybe I’m really speaking to priorities and maybe the people that I’ve come across really do prioritise themselves over others (which, of course, makes total sense to most people but me, because at heart I am a people person who thrives off my relationships with others.) Maybe it’s not timing, maybe it’s prioritising. I’m not really sure. All I know is that the timing sort of sucks, as I’m in a place where I want this, but can’t have it as I’m prioritising myself and my career over love. I wish it was possible to have it all, but alas, something has to give. For those men, it was their career (medicine,) or the prospect of being free and meeting new people (Alex.)

    I suppose the most sobering part about my highly idealised romanticism was a conversation I had with the Doctor about the subject of ‘us’ as an item. (Note: Thinking about this conversation makes me want to cry because I didn’t think it was ever going to happen between us. I’m grateful he provided some semblance of closure for me through our talk, though I know I was blinded by his charisma and charm to realise it was the sign to cut ties between us.) I explained to him that I just wanted some consistency, some stability between us– obviously he and I shared something palpable. There is definitely a connection between the Doctor and I. I cannot otherwise explain the need to want to talk to each other for hours at a time, like we had on his drive up to Milwaukee. I explained that the lack of emotionality on his part was something that drove me crazy, and that I constantly didn’t know where I stood when we were talking. Was he just manipulating me? Did he actually like me? Did he want something purely physical? He ended up apologising for it, but forced me to face the facts: Was I really in a place in my life where I could give him what I wanted? Could I give him stability?

    He was right. Even if I tried to convince him that it was going to work between us– both of us aren’t in the right place for anything meaningful. He is starting residency, which will take up a lot of his time and energy… and I’m beginning the pathway to medical school. No matter how hard I tried to fight for it– what was going to realistically happen between us? My program is in Oakland, and he’s staying in Chicago. There’s no way that would have worked.

    Hence this blog, hence why timing sucks. And also why I need to let it the fuck go.

    I’m going to grab a mimosa at brunch and then enjoy the fuck out of my massage. PEACE.

    (Yes I’m aware that probably wasn’t the best way to end this blog. But there is really no ending as I’m still meditating on relationships, timing and the sort. Also, it’s been really hard for me to talk about. Obviously I have some feelings I’m still wrestling with. Thanks for your infinite patience with me.)