Lessons on the road
So many little things are aggravating me on the road right now.
Jeff and I sort everything out through communication and always remain on good terms. I tell him when I need a "no-talking break" in tense moments so that I can collect myself and get back to a good place, before saying the wrong thing.
Jeff likes to take his time. He is really patient, understanding, and a go-with-the-flow kind of guy. There is never a sense of urgency, which is one of the many reasons I like to spend time with him. He explains to me that in life he likes to make plans and be prepared, to slow down and avoid complicated circumstances.
For me personally, I don't like to plan too much in advance ever because I usually have been able to efficiently work through any hiccups along the way. I don't feel that I need to check out everything before diving in and for the most part it seems that moving slowly just to avoid complication is a waste of time.
If you can imagine you've got two people, two really great friends together, spending the majority of their time in a jeep, a tent or climbing mountains and exploring magnificent places together. It sounds amazing and it is, for the most part. There is a lot involved in finding people who are compatible to travel together. I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl and Jeff is more of a "play it safe" kind of guy.
Putting the tent together was a great lesson for me to see that my way of doing things isn't the only way. I am controlling at times, bossy, stubborn and hyperactive. I rushed and pushed with determination to put that tent together on my own. All it would have taken was to read the instructions, setting aside just a couple minutes to discuss the best plan of action-TOGETHER -and then we could have drilled out this tent in 5 minutes as promised. Instead it took me 1.5 hours on my own, swearing, breathing heavy and even at times laughing at myself in madness unable to figure out what I was doing wrong.
Eventually I calmed down, settling my crazed self. I read the instructions and all was well 10 minutes later.
Lesson One: It is completely okay to be energetic assertive, spontaneous, open, free and unprepared. It is also completely okay to be calm, collected, well planned, organized, and leaving little to go wrong.
Your way of doing things is not the only way of doing things.
What to do when you feel you are not on the same page as your new
#1 Acknowledge your differences and communicate. What is causing you aggravation and why?
I was tired, hungry and feeling like Jeff wasn't moving fast enough or trying at all to get this tent together. I felt he was in my way and only going to slow me down if I asked for help.
#2 Take a breath and slow down!
Okay with me now, innnn and outttt. And again a few more times. If I had just taken a step back from the situation, I would have been less tense and likely more open to tackling this task in pairs.
3# Talk to your friend and explain what they could do to help or ask
them what they have in mind to make the best of the situation.
I should have be more open to the way Jeff does things, for sure he
would have suggested to read the instructions and to work together more efficiently.
#4 Remind yourself that traveling with someone is not easy. You are
different. How can anyone expect you to change your ways in all of one day.
Lack of sleep, hunger, confined spaces, these were all factors which contributed to my irrational mindset. Tune in to the triggers that have possibly left you feeling frustrated.
#5 Appreciate and accept there will be times when you and your
friends think and behave differently. Once you accept it, do the
best you can with the situation. It's about being open to people, places and opportunities. It's a learning game.
Overall, I still believe in the way I approach things in my life. I have
found success in being spontaneous, not having everything so planned
out. Of course I have put myself through unnecessary hardships but I have always learned from the situation and come away a stronger and
wiser person from it. Jeff believes in his way of living but he also believes in trying things in a way that works for others. What a great perspective to have. Now after this experience, believe there can be multiple strategies for various circumstances and it would be wise to discuss the options with your friend, travel partner, or whomever it is you are with in this very situation and try to compromise. Vocalizing your internal struggle will likely be the most successful of steps as you will feel a greater sense of connectedness as well as relief from speaking your truth.