Monday, January 28, 2013

what do i want?

via Pinterest
Saturday night, I was cozied up in front of the TV, and that movie The Women with Meg Ryan was playing. If you haven't seen it, basically she leaves her cheating husband and tries to figure out life for herself.

I started watching when she pins the question "What Do I Want?" on an inspiration board. I don't think I'll get as cheesy as making an actual board (though who am I kidding, I considered it), but I do need to spend some time wrangling this massive -- important -- question.

What the hell do I want?

My problem is I think I know. And then when there is sacrifice involved...I chicken out. Maybe I don't actually want that... Maybe I don't need that. Or that either. I start to settle.

But I've always thought that was okay.

I've had an issue with this word for awhile now. When people tell me "don't settle" -- I get pissed off. Isn't this constant striving for bigger and better just going to leave us unsatisfied? Shouldn't we should just be happy with what we have?

I've decided that there is no set answer to this debate I've created for myself. Maybe you just have to look at the thing you think you want and ask yourself, "Can I actually live without this without being miserable? Or making others around me miserable?" and more importantly, "Can I live without this if nothing else changes?"

Take having kids, for instance. Granted I'm not having them any time soon. But, do I want them -- at some point? Can I live without a child? And can I be happy with that choice? And if nothing else in my life changes -- if my career stays as is, if my financial situation stays the same and I won't be off traveling the world instead -- could I be okay with the fact I never had children?

And then there's the fact that I can't control my future completely. I could decide I want a child of my own and it never happen for me. And I accept that, too. But right now I have to ask myself -- if this is what I want -- am I willing to give up just yet?

Maybe that's the part of settling I haven't wrapped my head around. When you settle, you're giving up the option. And at some point -- you may have to accept that what you want isn't what is meant for you. But maybe you just have to trust you'll know when it's time to change your plans.

I also have to grow that backbone my girl Liz Gilbert so eloquently talks about. She says, "Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be." Maybe it is okay to want what I want. To have needs. To have non-negotiables. Seems like a silly realization -- but for me, it's a scary one. I have a tendency with men -- to have zero boundaries. To adjust who I am and what I want in exchange for their love. (Which, is quite easy at this point -- since I haven't figured out either.) The thing is -- as noble as it may feel at the time -- it's not honest. And it winds up not only hurting me, but that man I love so dearly.

So -- I'm asking myself -- finally -- who am I and what the hell do I want? And do I have what it takes to stick to it?

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