The relationships you have throughout your life are so incredibly important. Whether it is with a friend, a significant other, a parent or even a sibling, your relationships greatly contribute to the quality of your life. If you have ever heard the quote “you are most like the five people you spend the most time with” and reflected on this, you know it to be true.
I have learned so much from being in a relationship with Sam. About myself, about others and about the world. Some of this learning just had to do with growing older. Most of it has to do with experiencing the majority of our twenties together, which is period of life where you learn and change a lot. We have done 3 cross country moves, switched careers and grown up together and boy has it been an interesting ride. Just like any other friendship or relationship there have been good times and not so good times, but we have (thankfully) managed to keep it together. Not only that, but my admiration for Sam grows constantly. This Valentine’s day, I wanted to share some of the qualities that I admire the most and how the lessons I have learned from him have inspired and changed me over time.
Putting in the Effort – This one sounds REALLY simple, but I find that most people underestimate the importance of giving something 100% (including myself). Sam doesn’t just look at a challenge and think “I can probably do that”, he thinks “I’m going to do it the best that it’s ever been done”. This might sound silly but I truly believe that this is one of the reasons that Sam is so accomplished.
Sam and I used to work out together and one day while we were headed to the gym I started complaining about having to work out. You know, the typical “I don’t want to go. The gym is the last place I want be. Blah blah blah”. Sam looked over at me and said “If you have that mindset you might as well wait in the car. There is no point of going to the gym for a workout if you’ve already given up on yourself in your mind”. HARSH, but true. I think of this moment often. So much of life is mental. Getting your mind into the right place so that you can succeed and push yourself to further limits. Sam is mentally one of the strongest people I know, and I really admire that.
Which leads me to the next one – Confidence. I have always found confidence very attractive and I think that I have always sought out partners who are very confident in themselves because I wish I was a little more like that. I always tell Sam that one of the things I admire the most about him is his blind confidence. He enters into every situation with a really positive mindset and feels confident that he can get through pretty much any thing that is thrown his way. I often let fear and doubt into my mind. I tend to get really caught up in thinking about how I am perceived by other people and look to others for validation, even if I am just trying to make a simple decision. I too often let other’s opinions and ideas sway me one way or another. Sam has a sense of self that is so developed for someone our age and it inspires me daily.
Being more selfish – I mean this one in the good way because I think that there can be a fine line with selfishness. I even thought twice about adding this to the list because sometimes Sam’s selfishness drives me crazy. However, Sam’s selfishness is also one of his best qualities. This might sound crazy at first but I have found that there are situations in life when you have to be selfish. Sometimes you have to put yourself first to achieve the things that you want to achieve.
One of my goals for 2017 was actually to be more selfish. To stop saying yes to things I didn’t want to do because I was afraid of how someone else would react to my response. To stop putting my needs behind everyone else’s. To spend some time really thinking about me and what I wanted. I am lucky enough to be at a point in my life when I can afford to make more selfish decisions. I have no children, I’m not married and I really don’t have the responsibility of caring for anyone else. I promised myself that this year I would focus on thinking about MY goals and dreams.
Lastly, I admire Sam’s resilience. Sam never looks back and dwells on the negative or mopes around when something doesn’t go his way. He pulls himself up and gets right back on the horse. I even tease him about how he constantly says “What’s the worst that can happen?”. He has the ability to see a setback as an opportunity where as so many people only see the negative. This is so incredibly motivating for the people around him.
I truly feel blessed every day to be surrounded by not only Sam, but all of the wonderful people in my life. I hope you got to spend some time today reflecting on the relationships in your life and what you are learning from the people around you.
I had to add this one last picture just because it makes me smile. Huge shout out to Sam, who is so good to me. Thank you for standing outside with a bunch of giant pink balloons on the coldest day of the year. YOU are the real MVP.