It’s officially been a week and two days since we rang in 2019. Congratulations! You made it back to work and remembered how to do your job.
I’m guessing that about a week ago you made a resolution or two. A New Year’s resolution. I sure did! Five of them to be exact:
- I resolved to continue my weightloss journey and lose 25lbs
- I resolved to run 365 miles in 365 days
- I resolve to learn to wake up at 6:00am daily (minus weekends)
- I resolved to have $7,000 in savings
- I resolved to be better a communicating my feelings, wants, and needs
Of course the first one is a weight loss goal. Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. Well, I have to! Because I want to, and I’m determined to reach my goal of getting under 200. Over the last 50lbs, my body has done things that I never thought I’d be able to do. Like run five 5K races (my 2018 resolution – that I accomplished btw).
I’m currently at 218, and while it’s hard to believe that I’ve gained 10lbs since the end of June… I know I’ve let myself slip on what I’ve been eat, how often I’ve been exercising, and how well I’ve been sleeping. And trust me, I can feel it.
So resolutions two and three are dedicated to activity and sleep. And both are completely doable! I’m promising myself right now that I will not enter December with more than 50 miles to go… feel free to hold me to it.
Resolution four is so one day when I want to (or need to) move, I can actually afford it. Plus, if you know me, you know I have horrible spending habits.
Resolution five is the most important one, I think.
Over the last year-ish, I’ve really started to understand the importance of clear and open communication – especially when it comes to my relationship with Coach. Yeah, it’s been almost a year since we met and started dating. Weird, I know.
We’ve been through a lot. We’ve learned a lot about each other, and about ourselves.
Last week – on January 1st, we got into a “disagreement” after brunch with some of my friends while in DC. And honestly, it took me until this Sunday to really process and successfully communicate how I felt about it, AND feel like he really heard me.
That’s where resolution five came from.
Communication is our biggest problem. I’m guessing it is for most couples. And we’ve known this… for a while. He’s not a big talker… he barely texts. And when he does talk, if I interrupt with a question or a comment, he loses his train of thought. Me, on the other hand… well sometimes I can’t stop talking. I have so much to say, and so many thoughts. I’m what you call a classic over thinker.
So Sunday, five days after getting into it on the way to the airport… and in the airport in DC… and in the airport in Boston, I wasn’t feeling like I even wanted to talk to him. He wasn’t getting it. What else could I say? He had turned something I barely remembered that I’d said into a huge deal. And that because of it, I was insensitive and rude. Somehow the four words I’d said at brunch turned into an issue about assumptions people could make about the color of my skin and my privilege (I’m not even going to get into it). He was reaching… but it felt like a slap to the face.
Despite the fact that I love him, I was questioning how he saw me, what he thought of me, and if I could even be with someone who clearly thinks so poorly of me.
Short answer: I couldn’t. Or if I could, I didn’t want to be, and would not.
I needed to for him to understand how I felt about the situation. It wasn’t about brunch anymore. It was about us. The “disagreement” had created a disconnect. I’m not sure if he was aware of it really. Maybe he thought we’d hashed everything out during the two hours I’d sat talking and crying next to the baggage claim in Boston on New Year’s Day (yes we were those people – I’m sure people thought we were breaking up). But we hadn’t. Not in my mind. And I wasn’t going to start my new year feeling bad about myself, questioning our relationship.
So Sunday morning, before we even got out of bed, I started talking… and crying (because apparently that’s my MO). I explained to him that this had turned into something bigger than he’d probably intended. That I was hurt. That I felt judged. That his argument was based solely on assumptions he had made about what other people might have thought about me and what I had said… which, of course, would have been based on assumptions as well. I explained that I don’t care what other people think. That it felt like he was projecting his feelings about me on these other people. That he actually thinks that I’m insensitive and rude and privileged because of the color of my skin.
Sidebar for anyone who doesn’t know, I’m mixed but have very light skin. Someone might call me “passing”. My mom is White and my dad is Black and Native American. The number of times people speak to me in Spanish is seriously alarming… and I feel bad about not being able to speak back even thought I took five years of it in high school. Old ladies that speak Spanish just look at me all disappointed when I tell them that I don’t speak Spanish (in Spanish). Oh and just for reference, Coach is Black.
That last part kind of hurt most of all. I’ve never really considered how race and culture play into relationships… because I’ve never really been in a relationship before.
After probably an hour of talking and crying and talking… and more crying. I felt heard. He said he was wrong and apologized. He couldn’t argue with how I felt, because my feelings were my truth. He told me he doesn’t think I’m insensitive or rude, and he admitted to making a bigger deal of the whole thing than was necessary. He didn’t mean to turn it into a race issue.
I felt better. I felt connected again.
So it’s nine days into 2019 and I can say that I have successfully accomplished resolution #5… for now. I know it’ll be an ongoing challenge and require a lot of effort. With Coach… and with anyone else in my life. But for now, problem resolved.