My other half is not perfect. He freelances and freelancing, any freelancer will tell you, is not always easy. When we first met, he was in a golden time. He made more than me. He was busier than me. I was struggling with the beginning of my anxiety and a new bout of depression. It’s different now.
Our other halves, significant others, they are often our bedrocks. They hold us up and listen to us complain about some weird team dynamic they might not understand for hours. This is why we love them.
Someone told me once that when you have two creative, dynamic people that one career has to drive. You can take turns in who is driving, but someone has to drive. It’s helped us to have a frank conversation or two on priorities and goals. But sometimes I find myself forgetting he is now in the passenger seat. I feel terrible about this.
I’m typing this at 6 p.m. at a coffee shop and he just asked me when I’m coming home, because I promised we’d have dinner together. I will probably be late. He is gracious enough to forgive me, all the time, for this.
I try really hard not to manage him, as if he worked for me or with me. It’s different and to has to be different. My self at home can’t be my self at work. I can’t prod him the same way I prod my coworkers. I love him. Love is built from a core of forgiveness mixed with care and topped by respect. Working relationships have respect at the core, topped with teamwork and then care. They’re similar mixes, but not the same.
I am the kind of person who expects the best out of people I work with. It makes me supportive and helpful. I recently realized I cannot love the same way. You love people for who they are, not who they can be. You work with someone expecting that they might someday outgrow you. You love someone hoping they’ll grow *with* you.
Small differences. But ones I am trying to take more time to note and think about. The best I can be is honest about my hopes and frustrations. The best I can be is supportive and kind. I’m driving for now, he’s right next to me, as always. We might switch places after we stop to get gas, and that’ll be OK, too. But we’ll talk about it and decide together.
Great things I’ve read lately
Why do women bully each other at work? (The Atlantic). On taking time off from work, from Katie Hawkins Gaar, who I am totally in awe of (Poynter, but part of a great newsletter!). On parenting and work, particularly in newsrooms (Nieman Lab).
Jobs jobs jobs
- Managing editor of a new environment site for Gizmodo.
- News Partnership Manager for Twitter.
- A really great job if you know a lot about digital verification at UC Berkeley. I’ve been helping out with this project for the better part of a year, email me if you want background.
- Senior Editor, The Trace.