Following your dreams on your own can be hard enough – putting in a 24/7 grind and putting everything into doing what you love.
But when you throw another person into this equation, things can get complicated very quickly.
One partner, for example, may work in media and need to be connected 24/7 (ahem, myself), while the other may be a teacher with a 9am to 3pm kind of schedule. I’m not saying one profession is harder than the other, but a demanding schedule is a demanding schedule and certain ambitions require a lot more time.
Currently, my career goals are like a newborn baby – they wake at any hour, demand attention and need to be nursed with all of my energy.
I don’t mind putting in a full and dedicated grind to achieve them but at a certain point, dedication can come off as insanity or obsession.
And so, this perseverance can sometimes cause anxiety. But the anxiety isn’t exactly rooted in striving for perfection but rather, the lack of attention I’m giving to the other facets of my life.
Sometimes, I receive comments from my friends (and my mom) about being a workaholic who’s obsessed with my career.
And sure, I can brush them off and discredit them by saying they just don’t understand, but truth is, those comments stick around. They may not be floating in my conscious brain but they’re back there somewhere; they’re the icing on the cake that was baked with my anxieties, guilts, worries and fears about my selfishness to succeed.
Now, I’ve never had a partner explicitly tell me they think I’m not balancing my life well or given me an ultimatum but I still wonder if my boyfriend is secretly resenting me for my choices. I think highly of my partner and in a way, it would be ignorant and offensive to think his mind operates in that manner and yet, the irrational part of my brain kicks in and floods it with insecurities.
While this guilt complex can sometimes fuel a state of fear in me, it is also kind of a good thing. It reminds me that yes, I am serious about my goals and it’s okay to be obsessed and to give a sh*t but that I should also remember there’s more to life. There are other people and things that are important as well.
My life may not be balanced but I’m striving towards it – and that’s what truly matters.