"Just promise me you won't settle" I heard, rather felt, him say. The words registered in my head but it was his eyes filled with tears that marked my heart.
I turned the words over and over again in my head for days and I just couldn't see any truth in them at all. Why would moving forward ever be settling? Why would choosing to be every amazing thing I could be but in a different place with different people be less than in any way?
I think as a culture we are too easily swept up in this idea that there is some combination of things outside of our control that must align perfectly
on a Thursday at 10pm in the middle of a rain storm when our hair is just right to allow us to be fully ourselves, to unlock every great thing within us.
And that idea is why we run around creating our own chaos.
The secret of a happy life is not found in bouncing around from place to place, job to job, or person to person. The secret is found in committing to allow yourself to be every good and beautiful thing you are right where you are and being damn thankful for the people who allow you to do just that.
The truth is that happiness is often found when we do, in fact, choose to settle. When we look around at where we are, who is next to us, what we are doing and we say "this is my one beautiful life and I am going to live the hell out of it right here, right now."
How do I know this, you might ask? Because I am well versed in doing all the wrong things and blaming all the wrong people. Take my advice and skip over some of the unnecessary and profoundly devastating consequences.
Is the job you have right now perfect? No. I am sure it's not. Maybe you could pour yourself into it a little more or find a part of it that reignites your passion for your career? Focus in on where you see your job taking you and start taking steps to get there. If it's a promotion or even another job you truly want make a plan and take those steps. But part of getting to the next promotion at your job is rocking the place you are in right now. Part of being ready to interview and move on to a new company is leaving behind a job where you left an impression.
Are their other (better, higher paying, more flexible) jobs you could have? Absolutely. Buy right now you don't. You have this one. Rock it.
Are you thrilled with the space you are in right now? Maybe not. Maybe you'd like to move somewhere warmer (If we get one more winter ANYTHING I am moving anywhere warmer than here). Or perhaps you are just not completely relaxed in the place you call home.
Stop complaining and buy a beautiful scarf and a can of paint.
But seriously... make the best of where you are right now. Find one thing you could do that would bring you one step closer to loving this space you are in, and do that next little thing. Maybe it is a fresh coat of paint in the kitchen or buying some warm snugly scarves, gloves, and hats at Target to get you through the NEVER ENDING winter feeling good. Just take that next little step.
Would you rather be somewhere else sometimes? I'm sure. But you are here. Be fully present wherever "here" is for you.
Is that person sitting next to you the man or woman of your dreams? Doubtful. Why? Because we don't dream in real life! We dream in a world with no laundry or late nights at the office; a world where big fights, ugly words, and nasty morning breath do not exist. But in this real world with it's not-so-dream-worthy bits and pieces is where you find the real people. The people who know what you look like when you wake up in the morning without a stitch of makeup but still want to wake up next to you every damn day. The people who don't leave your side when it gets hard (Or when you're puking. Everywhere. Sorry.) and instead pull up a chair and settle in next to you. So why don't you wake up tomorrow (literally and figuratively) and really chose to love the hell out of the real people in your life at this moment. Choose to love them every day moving forward and I bet you'll find out you are, in fact, living the closest thing to a fairy tale you can get without needing a singing snowman sidekick. Love is a choice. Choose it.
Could you be surrounded by different people right now? Yep. But guess what? They. Aren't. Here. So let's focus on the family, friends, and significant others who are. Go all in and commit yourself to them. You won't regret it.
...Settle yourself on in.
Settle in to this beautiful mess of a life that you are blessed to be living. Because life changes. Circumstances change. You will be the one constant you take with you wherever you go and whomever you go with.
Sit back, take a look around.
This. Is. Your. Life.
Stop looking for something outside of yourself, stop thinking a change of scenery or company is going to change anything. Settle completely in to where you've chosen to be and who you've chosen to be there with. Embrace every bit of the moment you are in right now.
I still remember the exact moment I chose to stop reliving the past, questioning the present, and wishing for the future. I settled on in. And guess what? I found my happy. It was right here all along, just waiting for me to show up and embrace it.
And when I finally allowed myself to settle all the big and little things I had been breaking myself in to pieces to have effortlessly came right to me.