I’ve been bad. Which anyone reading this already knows because it has been more than a month since my last post. That won’t happen again, I promise. I’ve also been really, really good 🙂 More on that to follow in a separate post…
For anyone who missed it, I already outlined my plan in my first post. As it turns out, the whole “Unsettling” my life business has been a little more difficult to roll out than it initially seemed.
The hang up lies with the first step of the plan: to identify areas in my life where I am settling and figure out how to “Unsettle” them. While this sounded simple, it quickly became apparent that I had a classic case of “What Came First-The Chicken or The Egg?” on my hands. In order to identify where in my life I am settling, I would first need to identify what I really want out of life. I could then compare my real life with the “Unsettled” life I seek.
So what do I want? After much deliberation, I have identified some key items in no particular order:
- Travel: I have always wanted to travel extensively and, for someone who spends a ton of time thinking about it, reading about it, watching shows about it, and (anyone who knows me can vouch for this one) TALKING about it, I have done a pitiful amount of traveling in my lifetime.
- Ownership in My Own Life: Coasting in life; taking jobs and promotions just because they are handed to you, or accepting living circumstances that are less than ideal because, hey, that’s just how it happened is what causes settling. Unsettling means taking ownership of one’s true desires, doggedly pursuing them and taking ownership of the shortcomings in one’s life. In looking at my “Settled” life, so much of what I am settling on is just the safe alternative to what I really wanted but was too afraid to reach for. It’s my life. Time to own it.
- Freedom from Responsibility: This one may throw some people, but it’s not what you may be thinking. Since I was a little kid, I’ve always been “the responsible” one. Looking out for younger brothers, stepping up to the plate during both of my parent’s life-threatening health crises, quickly advancing at every job I’ve ever had because I just love me a heaping portion o’ responsibility…I had to give things up at certain points along the road. I did it for the greater good, but somewhere along the line, I seem to have equated “responsible” behavior with automatically turning down the more desirable of two options. That’s not responsible, that’s martyrdom. I am finally at a point in my life where I do not have life-threatening illnesses looming and I see my martyrdom for what it was-an excuse. Time to start living!
- Help People: I know I just said that I’ve taken on a lot of responsibility caring for others and I want to enjoy some freedom from that for awhile BUT there is something refreshing about stepping into someone else’s life, even if just for a moment, an hour, an afternoon, and making a difference. It’s not a matter of taking responsibility for that other person or their circumstances, but rather, acknowledging their importance. Helping someone in need is a pleasure, not an obligation, to me.
- Let Go of Perfect: While I settle in almost every aspect of my life, I hold myself to some pretty rigid and hard-to-live-up-to standards. I have had this deep seeded need to perfect myself before pursuing what I really want out of life. Since perfect doesn’t exist, the pursuit has never begun either. I have only become more critical on myself and less fulfilled in my never ending pursuit of perfection. This may be the one area of my life on which I need to settle for the greater “Unsettling” good.
So there it is in a nutshell-what I want. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, it has given me a reasonable reference point from which to identify my areas of settling. More on that, and my huge step in unsettling, to follow soon….