I’ve been thinking a lot about the art of settling. Admittedly, because I’ve been feeling so tempted to participate in the activity. Everyone has a different interpretation of this, just as we all have individual visions of our ideal selves.
The last few weeks have left me wanting to just lay down until further notice (metaphorically… and literally). Unfortunately (but in actuality, I’m very fortunate of this fact), my soul just won’t let me. Maybe you relate to this as well: for as long as I can remember, my stubborn, determined, and passionate streaks have defined me. This has caused its fair share of friction- (namely in dating and relationships), but when it comes down to it, I can’t help but feel that it’s my soul protecting me from what’s beneath me, and encouraging me to keep moving when I’d much rather quit and take a damn nap (metaphorically… and otherwise).
In my ‘past life’ (closer to college), I felt drawn to the shiny allure of settling. It meant I could accept limitations and create excuses for myself, instead of pushing to defy them, or working overtime to create my own opportunities (#exhausting!). But I became, ironically, more unsettled than ever. Something funny happens when you try to deny your soul; I view it as the ultimate conflict, and most likely, the source of many people’s anxiety.Why are we invalidating our best selves? Why are we so willing to give up at the first sign that our dream lives may take more than one attempt to achieve? I admit, it’s very tempting to give up; marry the first person you date, because having your heart broken is too painful to fathom. Stick with a job you loathe, simply because it keeps the bills paid. Not even dare to begin saving for that dream trip, because it’ll require will-power and saying ‘no’ in the present. I guess it’s up to us to decide, and to ultimately run with our answer; are we willing to invest a little more, exercise patience, and make temporary sacrifices, all in order to create daily habits that will shape us into our best selves?
During a very difficult season in my life, I had a conversation with my mom that resulted in me expressing a very similar internal conflict I was experiencing. I remember sharing all of these things I wished I was: someone who was conventional, could sit still, be easily satisfied with life, was content with working Monday- Friday 9-5, didn’t over-analyze anything and everything.
The thing was (and still is), is that none of these qualities are me. I wished so badly that they were, because if so, my life would just work itself out! Being in a relationship that didn’t challenge me in any way (aside from my patience lol), working a job I found so mundane, I brought virtually zero energy to it, and not investing any time in caring for myself- because what was the point?- all seemed so much easier than leveling up and abandoning the comfort zone I’d grown to accept.I learned (after plenty of pain and tears), I didn’t need to change these characteristics I’d been revolting against, I needed to change my environment. So little by little, I did. New relationships, hobbies, work, mindset. What we do daily shapes our reality, and it’s important to remember the hand we play in that.
I’m proud I didn’t settle back then, and now I’m using the memory of that season to propel me into the next one. With a little bit of faith, I was able to make the aspects of myself I once refuted some of my biggest strengths, that have shaped a reality I’m delighted to call mine.
Do you relate to feeling this way about settling?! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Pictures by Bryant Vu