There’s something to be said about a person’s ability to stay. I’ve always been someone who runs away when things get tough, when they don’t work out as expected, or when it all fails. But over the last 12 months my greatest achievement has been staying in Australia and working through all of the feelings and hardships that I’ve faced alone and in my partnership.
I’ve fought the urge to move back to the States a few times over my last two years of being overseas. Those urges were usually triggered by some uncomfortable feeling or a situation that didn’t work out but I was able to stop myself mid-way through the feelings process and stay .
Sometimes staying is the hardest part.
The Australian and I celebrated our one year anniversary the other day and it had me thinking a lot about where I was then and where I am now. I thought about how I wasn’t quite emotionally ready for a relationship back then but I decided to pursue one anyway because I finally felt something for someone that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I thought about how quickly our partnership has blossomed in such a short amount of time – taking an overseas holiday together, moving in together, and going on two interstate trips together – and he’s still the best part of every day. I thought a lot about commitment, love and sacrifice and the importance of communication in every relationship – romantic or platonic – because even the best relationships will fail if the partners don’t communicate effectively to each other.
I used to think that walking away makes you stronger. I suppose a part of me still believes in walking away because there was a time last year when I forced myself to do the same. However, I’m starting to believe more in my ability to stay and fight through the hard things because when you fight through those hard things, it makes the good things taste so much sweeter.
Somehow, over the last 12 months, I found a way to stay. I worked through all of the feelings and discomfort and stayed. It wasn’t easy, and there were certainly moments when I wanted to throw in the towel and move back to the U.S., but I know now that sometimes staying is better than walking away.