Saturday, October 15, 2011

Control- and the lack thereof

*One of my favorite pictures from Ireland. The definition of slowing down to me is an Irishman strolling down a country road in the middle of no where. 

Life has been a little nutty for me recently (let's face it... when is my life not nutty these days?) I have had my fair share of meltdowns these past few months but recently for some reason my life (or really my to-do list/schedule) feels totally out of control. I have always known that I am a complete and utter control freak. Certified, Type-A, cannot trust anyone with anything Control Freak. It isn't healthy and I know this but I have found ways to channel it that are 'normal' and somewhat healthy and in the environment I work in.... being a control freak is expected and actually highly valued. When you are dealing with someone's life it doesnt hurt to be able to control your environment (or at least most of it).

I think this need for control comes from a lot of different factors. I think it is a big part of American culture to be this way and particularly in the area I live... control over your finances, your home, your schedule, your career, control over people... all of those things are sought after. I also think for me in particular... most of my life has been lived in chaos. Most of my life I have been in survival mode... scraping by with a below poverty level income and working insane hours just to get by. When I settled into nursing it took a while to let go of that "OMG one wrong move and it all goes to hell" mentality. 

And while the addition of a relationship in my life has been one of the best things that has happened to me this year... I have to admit that it has proven to be difficult in ways I didn't imagine. Learning to balance time with family, friends and Chris has been tough. Really tough actually. When I was single I had fine tuned the world around me to fit together really well. I had found ways to control my environment... invested in everything enough so that I had just enough time alone, a lot of time with my closest friends and I began really investing into running and marathon training. I excelled at work enough to make me feel secure in my job and excited about the challenge that being in the ICU offered. Now I have to re-organize it all again. I have to find where it all fits and it hasn't been easy. 

What has surprised me more than anything about being in a relationship though is that I think in many ways it has magnified just how much I thrive on having that control. I have never been a fan of having to rely on people... for the most part (minus my friends) people have never been reliable. Now here I am in a serious relationship and the control freak in me is screaming "THIS IS NOT SAFE!" It's tough folks... I just don't quite know where the balance is. More often than not I tend to lean on the independent side of things more than the co-dependent side. Still, emotionally sometimes I feel like if I can't keep everything (people included) packaged up in the nice, neat little box I placed them... I'm afraid it will all fall apart... and so will I for that matter. Trusting that people will be there... trusting people in general is not a strength of mine to say the least. 

One of these days I will hopefully figure it out... but in the meantime I will lace up my shoes and go for a run. After all... there are few things in this world that a good run can't fix. 

1 comment :

  1. From one control freak to another, I can understand the tendency toward being independent and wanting life to be in organized compartments. It feels terrifying to throw caution to the wind and to not know what comes next, but some of the greatest opportunities and experiences can come with that risk. It's not always easy to let someone in, but allowing someone else to see your generosity and thoughtfulness can be an incredible gift you give someone. Hope the run helped to clear your head!