I never wanted to make life plans based on a boyfriend. Even when I was little, I thought it was weird that my aunt changed careers in order to have a job near my uncle. She called herself “the mobile one.” That wasn’t for me.
But when I started dating John seriously in college, I didn’t know what the end result would be. It’s different when it’s not a high school relationship. It felt different. I could end up marrying this guy.
How could I just throw everything away because I wanted to move to Chicago? Just because it’s been my dream since I was a kid, am I that selfish? My parents have always told me that life is about compromise.
In all honesty, I shouldn’t have been freaking out so prematurely. We didn’t even have applications out yet and obviously, no one had made us any offers. But the fear stayed in my brain, rooting around like a worm.
Talking to John just made me feel worse about myself; he kept reassuring me everything would work out. If he had to, he would turn down a job to be closer to me. I wouldn’t do the same for him and I was sure that made me a terrible person.
So I stopped talking about it and started praying I wouldn’t break his heart too badly. Because I had just received the news that I got my dream job in Chicago, as a research assistant for a solar company. Talk about a dream come true, right?
The future finally looked bright and I couldn’t risk losing this opportunity. So I prayed that John’s career would work out as well as mine was. And didn’t say anything about my job.
I waited. We waited. Then it happened: he finally called all the places he applied to in Chicago. Following up. The ones who did return his call told him “with regret, they have chosen other candidates for the position.” The funny thing was, he wasn’t even as disappointed as I was. He didn’t know those phone calls spelled out the end of our relationship.
I couldn’t face him, I couldn’t look him in the eye and tell him I chose myself over him. I started distancing myself from him. As much as I could, as we lived together. If he noticed, he didn’t say anything.
Which made it worse because John never accepts endings, he fights against them tooth and nail. It’s what I love about him. So did he just not realize my withdrawal or did he accept it as much as I did?
But…as I was getting ready to tell him of my imminent move, he got a call while we were eating dinner. To make a long story short, one of the firms who hadn’t answered him three months ago called the wrong John Sawyer and offered him the job.
That John flew out to Chicago before they realized their mistake. Long story short, there will be two John Sawyers working on a research committee in Chicago.
So our futures were linked once again, my John and I. He never asked about the distance I put between us, only celebrated when I told him a week later of my job in Chicago. I’m so lucky I don’t deserve his unending love.