Trusting Their Intuition
The occurrences of the last few months weren’t only a testament to our individual strengths but to that of us as a couple as well.
I’ve come to a point in my life where I accept, acknowledge and embrace my truths and feel confident sharing them in their rawest forms in hopes that they will help someone else on their journey. And that is exactly why I (with the permission of my fiancee) sat down to write this piece and detail how our relationship experienced some turbulence that almost tore us apart and how we were able to get to the other side.
Last year was one of the most amazing and life altering years of my life. In good and bad ways. I celebrated a milestone by turning 30. I brought in the new decade of my life by being surprised with a trip to Mexico by my love. I booked an acting role alongside a living legend. I got engaged! Blessings all around.
I was also in a car accident that left me without the use of my right hand and arm that still aren’t back to normal as I type this. The affects of the accident didn’t surface until months later and by that time, I discovered not only a sprain, but a tear and a fracture. One of the most difficult and painful things I’ve experienced in my life is the injury that still keeps me from being able to bend my fingers and make a fist.
This injury left me unable to work and I was forced to the sidelines. If you know me, you know I’m a workaholic. One can say a lot of things about me but they can never use the word lazy to describe me because I go hard in terms of work ethic. I had savings and investments but our home became solely reliant on Sam’s income.
Sam had been facing some challenges of his own at his job. He is also an entrepreneur at heart (most likely getting this from his father who is also one) and has many big dreams, hopes and aspirations. In this lifetime or the next, I will always bet on his successes because of his drive, intelligence and work ethic. He decided to take a leap of faith and quit his job to pursue one of the business ventures full time.
Not gonna lie, with my injury and me being unable to work, I was afraid of what was to come. I didn’t know how this was going to affect us and our relationship. Fast forward, like any successful entrepreneur will tell you, his first venture was not as successful as he would’ve hoped also leaving a strain on the relationship.
As a woman, I felt “let down” because I had certain “expectations” of my fiancee especially because I know the cloth he’s cut from. He started to do deliveries via apps to make sure he still did his part but somedays, we just didn’t see eye to eye and it resulted in a lot of discord. I was often left wondering had the roles been reversed, would I have taken this leap of faith in a time where my partner was out for the count?
If there’s one things to know about Sam, it’s that he doesn’t intentionally like to let his loved ones down, but somewhere during this time frame, I wasn’t able to believe that. We sold one of our cars and made a lot of changes to support his business venture.
There came days where he was out driving for 12 hours at a time. Just the other day, I opened the trunk and saw a pillow in the back to which I was reminded of when he would just sleep in the car waiting for the apps to ring. It became tricky at times because he couldn’t always determine when and where he would get enough deliveries. I would often ride with him to try my best of showing him that I supported him and he wasn’t alone. But eventually, I forgot who my fiancee was at his core and I became blinded by my own selfish expectations.
One day in particular, the stress of trying to follow a dream started to weigh on both of us. Sam’s hobby and passions include animation and his xbox. I walked in and he was playing his game which made me completely lose it internally. We were dipping into savings and investments at this point and all I could think of in that moment was “why would he think it was a smart idea to take this leap of faith now?”. I ended up expressing my anger not realizing that this person in front of me was doing the best they could with what they knew. He’d been out the night before until 3 am working and he too needed a release. It was hard to see that in the moment because of my own rage. An argument ensued and he said to me, “I came to LA to pursue a dream. My dreams mean more to me than anything and I will prove that to myself.” He packed up his Xbox and sold it.
That day, I wasn’t sure how to go forward. Sam doesn’t do much outside of work, but his one form of release was video games. I didn’t see it that way in the moment. And that day, I felt a surge of emotions. Here he was willing to get rid of the one thing that meant so much to him and here I was thinking I was forcing him to give up something that brought him a form of happiness.
In this time, I learned a lot not only about Sam but myself. There’s a saying I heard years ago that always stuck with me “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”
We began our own side hustles as well as took on various forms of freelance work and it wasn’t long before we started to build back up.
Often times we think we know people but I’ve come to realize that true character is shown in the face of adversity. Sam’s decision to leave a job was not out of selfishness. The pillow that still sits in the car as a reminder of the night’s he drove to make an x amount of money is proof of that. He had a vision not only for himself but his family and hoped that sacrificing the short term would help set him up for the long term. Me being me, and having experienced my own struggles over the years in terms of individual sacrifices, I wasn’t able to grasp and hold onto the fact that a little bit of struggle wasn’t going to kill us but rather help us to prepare for the next chapter of our lives.
This first attempt at entrepreneurship isn’t a loss. Nope, not at all. It held lessons for both of us. Lessons that came so close to tearing us apart but in the end brought us closer together. I learned about a specific kind of sacrifice during this time. I learned how love isn’t always seeing what’s on the surface. I learned that so often men will go, go, go and we would never know what’s truly in their hearts because of the strength so many of them feel they have to carry 24/7. See, I would’ve never known what Sam was really feeling deep down because he never let on in fear of how it would affect me. I had to learn not to assume he was always ok.
What I learned about myself is that I wasn’t as understanding as I thought. I learned that I had a ways to go when it came to compassion in my own home. I also learned how to better handle pressure in future situations. And that when our back’s are up against the wall, we make one hell of a team when necessary. We got to know each other on deeper levels. We realized where our own strengths and weaknesses lied and how we could help each other to grow. This experience taught us about communication and being more open with the other.
I always say relationships take work. Whew, as I typed that, it seemed like such an understatement. I didn’t know at times how we were going to make it to the other side amongst all the disagreements but even when we both felt like throwing in the towel, we found ways back to each other. Love isn’t always going to be date nights and laughter. I’m just now understanding that real love means sacrifice, compromise, working through things, working together, and being there for each other in ways that you may not even know how to be, but showing up anyways. Trust. Now this? This word right here? Man, let me tell you. Trusting not only ourselves but each other. I learned SO much about trust and the various layers to it.
They say hindsight is 20/20 and there are a lot of things I wish I could’ve done differently to show my partner that I did believe him and he wasn’t alone. I know for a fact there’s things he wishes he could’ve done differently. The lessons I carry with me though have helped to strengthen me as a person, a woman and a wife. And his, to be a husband and father one day.
There will come a time where we have to reevaluate our expectations of our partners. That in itself can help save relationships. There will be times that we do not agree with our partner’s choices but they feel like they have to do what’s best for them in that moment. In those moments we have to ask ourselves if we are capable and willing to give the support that is necessary of us and communicate. And then there will be times that we have to learn to think of the other person on the team and ask how we can do more to help one another.
What we know for sure is that there is no quitting. Not on ourselves and not on each other. We’re in this thing for life and let me tell you, there is no else in the world I’d rather take this journey with.