I’m not usually one to be doling out relationship advice. But recently I found myself sitting across from a friend at coffee and I thought others feeling the way she is right now could benefit from our conversation. [I should add that this advice is solely for people looking for a partnership in life as my friend expressed that she is.]
This particular friend is an artist, a traveler, an adventure-seeker, some who don't know her that well may even call her a wanderer. She has an entrepreneurial-spirit. She’s the type of person who doesn’t just own her day - she grabs it by the balls (for lack of a better term) and her instagram-game can make even the most well-traveled person completely jealous. She does all this while holding a job and paying her rent on time.
For purposes of this post, we’ll call this person “the Venturer.” The Venturer had just ended a long-term relationship because she said her boyfriend thought her lifestyle was well, “crazy.” I couldn’t help but sympathize with said boyfriend for a few seconds - I mean it has to be tough to face that kind of zest for life every. damn. day. It could even make you a little resentful. But then I thought about how wrong this guy was for her.
My Venturer was looking for companionship from the wrong kind of person. This made me want to grab her cheeks a la Billy Madison and scream:
“Find the guy (or girl) that pushes you right off the cliff!”
Here’s what I mean: the majority of us tend to follow a certain path - a path that, whether we want to admit it or not, was likely laid out for us by someone else - a parent, teacher, boss, or even society in general. Any time you start to wander off said path you are going to be met with resistance by dedicated followers of the path. Because when you deviate, it makes them question their choice to stay on the path. The Venturer does not follow the path, she runs through the woods, swims in the river, finds the cliffs...you get it. The boyfriend will step off the path for a bit, but wants to find his way back to that path eventually, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Except that they are together.
If you are an entrepreneur inherently, you are the Venturer in this story.
I too, am absolutely a Venturer. Ask my parents, they’ll agree. They couldn't have laid out a more perfect, secure and happy path for me and yet here I am in the middle of the woods in the thick of startup life. But I’m one of the lucky Venturers who found another Venturer.
My now husband left the path long before I did - he runs through the woods, swims in the river, finds the cliffs...and jumps right off. And now, he jumps with me and even pushes me when necessary. I realize this metaphor is getting a little morbid but stay with me. Straying from the path can be scary. It’s not safe. It’s hard to determine where you are. And then you know, there’s the cliffs, and they can be pretty high at times. Sometimes even the most adventurous Venturers need support.
The best partner will be the one who pushes you.
I found those exact words coming out of my mouth (without the drawn out explanation I’ve given you), “you need someone who pushes you off the cliff!” Somehow the Venturer immediately understood what I meant. This probably means she’ll be on her own for a bit.
But I promised her (and all the Venturers) the cliff-jumping is totally worth it.