Solo Girl vs. Taken Girl: Bridging the Gap

You guys know me. You know I’m aaallllll about that independent woman ish. I advocate it, I constantly write about it – I preach it, fo sho.

BUT, now that I’m in a relationship, I kinda sorta forget that I should probably write about how to consolidate the two.

Because, let’s be honest, I am totally guilty of being THAT girl who’s got the perfect life […according to Instagram].

* Here’s my boyfriend and I – smiling and happy.*
* Here I am with my family – we have this amazing house in Tahoe and we hike and play games together.*
* Dobie/Mama selfie!*

GAG. Life is SO not like that on the backside. Like.. Sooooo not.

Let’s face it. Life is HARD. And relationships aren’t perfect. And if I’m really real with myself, I have struggled a bit with getting back to who I was B.R. [before relationship]. And NOT, to be clear, NOT the party girl with the wild heart. Not her. Definitely do not miss her. But the me who enjoyed doing things by myself, who had girls nights, bonded with my dog and crafted things and had a life of my own.

Now, don’t get that confused with wanting to be by myself. That’s not what I’m saying. I love my guy. LOVE the man. And spending time with him is one of my newest favorite pastimes.

But, finding a balance between my new life and my old life has presented quite a challenge for me.

Exhibit A: family time. I love my parents. They are amazing people. They have this love and this bond that I’ve just always admired and always wanted for myself. And prior to my boyfriend, I spent a LOT of time with them. And now that I’ve got this relationship, we’ve all had a rough time with the fact that my time is more occupied nowadays. Sometimes I just feel like I’m spread so thin, like the last thing I have time for right now is a last minute family dinner. But I feel this horrible guilt for saying no. At what point does the guilt stop? At what point will they accept that I just don’t have time this week? Maybe it’s something that never goes away. I don’t know, and it’s a learning curve for sure.

Exhibit B: Miss Bella. My heart and soul. The furry girl that has gotten me through some of my lowest and hardest times. My rock. I can tell that even she is feeling the growing pains of this new relationship; of this new schedule and this new life. Now that we’ve moved in with my guy, we are dead center of suburbia. There aren’t really any places where she can run off leash and chase wild animals, which is her THING. We’ve done so much of our bonding on nature hikes and walks – being surrounded by concrete has really pushed us off of our normal routine, and she has definitely balked at me trying to get that back at it in our new location. Again, a learning curve – finding what works and what doesn’t [and the diminishing daylight and my full-time schedule doesn’t help this matter].

Exhibit C: ME.

When I first moved in with my boyfriend, I wanted to DID devote everything I had to making his house “ours.” I threw myself into decorating the bedrooms, painting the walls, organizing cabinets and marrying all of our stuff, etc. etc. And then all of a sudden I was done decorating – and it was like, so sudden that I was almost depressed afterwards. What now? I hadn’t brought any of my old routine into my new one. I literally felt lost. Who am I now? I’m not single Sarah – I’m not the wild girl who went out every weekend until 3 or 4 in the morning and got right up in the morning and did it all over again. I’m not single Sarah who could do anything she wanted, hang out with anyone she wanted, whenever she wanted. So who had I become?

And that therein lay the problem. I didn’t know. And when I don’t know, I become self destructive.

“I cleaned the house today, I deserve a glass of wine.” *Drinks three [four] glasses of wine.*
“I’m bored and my boyfriend still isn’t home.. Guess I’ll see what’s happening on Facebook.” *Stalks every ex-boyfriend and their current girlfriends and dredges up memories.*
“I’m done decorating and I have no hobbies anymore. Shopping it is!” *Spends $1000 at the mall.*

It was after several weeks of this type of behavior, AND feeling disconnected from my boyfriend on top of it [because clearly I wasn’t happy with myself], I realized that I was starting to head down an all to familiar [and not at all positive] path. A path that was the reason that I never found a decent man, and was about to the reason I lost the only good one I’ve ever had – unless I drastically changed something.

I knew what my problem was. Whether I wanted to believe it or not, my lifestyle had changed [for the better, yes, but it had changed all the same]. My old friends from my single life were bound to me by one thing: drinking. Okay two things: drinking and being single. And losing my single status meant losing people who, if I’m being honest, weren’t really “friends” in the dictionary definition type of way. They were more fair-weather, if you know what I mean. And there was no reason to be out partying and “man hunting” when I already had a man.

So, the point of this whole thing – how am I bridging the gap? How am I meshing my two worlds?

In the best ways possible.

I finally got back in to working out and running again, and this time I’m in it harder than ever. After packing on some happy relationship weight, I am ready to shed off the fat and pack on the curves in the RIGHT places [I am a woman after all, and curves are our THING]. I’m also looking in to taking some photography classes – I’ve always loved it, I’ve just never had the proper skill set and training to actually be good at it. I’m hoping that once I’ve got a bit of training under my belt, I can capture some photos to display in my new home with my guy. And maybe some crafting that will speak to the masculine vibe we have going in our house.

I’m not sure what my future holds, but I do know that I’m finally on the right path. I’m finally on a healthy and happy path. And while I’m still figuring out that proper balance in my life, I am enjoying every minute of the journey.

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