27 March 2012

To settle? Or not to settle? That is the question.

When I was 20, I went through a bit of a...redefinition of who I was, is probably the best way to say it. I was in a relationship with my first serious boyfriend, and it was time. You know, that time that every relationship comes to - the time where you ask yourself, is this it? Is this the one? Is this forever? 

Me as a 20 year old on my first big adventure abroad!
As I asked myself these question, as I even talked with him about these questions, I realised I was undecided. (A great question to ask your significant other... "Will you wait for me?" NOT!). I loved my relationship with him; I loved that we got along so well; I loved that he was so secure. I, however, was not. I was in the middle of realising who I was, who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do. And in that, I became very uncertain in what our relationship would provide to my life! I talked with it about him, I talked about it with others, I thought about it always. And I loved who I was becoming, what I was discovering! But it was completely outside of who I was in that relationship.

In the end, he broke up with me. He was protecting himself from getting hurt by me, or so he says. But it was for the best. I continued on my path to who I am today - a path that has included traveling to many different places, living in many different places, meeting so many people, and just enjoying my single-dom (even in the relationships I have had since then). 

After that relationship though, I realised something - and this is how I told myself this realisation...

If I would have stayed with him, I would have had a good life. I would have been happy. I would have been settled. But I would not have done everything that I have been able to do since then. I would likely have started holding a grudge against him for making me choose the simple life. I would have felt like I...settled

And I made a pact to myself - I would never settle again. I would never allow myself to choose a man over the next adventure, the next thing. And I don't think I have! I have been constantly striving towards greatness. (Not reaching it yet, obviously). 

But I recently came across something, while working on a document here at work. I thesaurused (is that a word? haha!) the word 'to settle.' And this is what I came up with:
- resolve, reconcile, clear up, straighten out, mend, patch up
- stay, inhabit, put down roots, set up house, establish yourself, colonise, stay on, remain
- land, perch, alight, roost, come to rest
- become peaceful, become calm, settle down, calm down, relax
- sink, drop, descend, fall, go to the bottom, lie
 And I realised. All this time, these many years, I have been looking at the word 'to settle' in a very close-minded way. I thought when people settled, they sank, they fell to the bottom, they stayed. I thought that if I settled, I would just drop. My roots would sink down and I would never move again. 

But look at what else 'to settle' means - to resolve, to become peaceful, to come to rest. I realised that in that moment as a 20-year old when I came into my own as a woman, I was doing just that - I was resolving who I was with who I would be. I came to rest in my full being. I was finally at peace with who I am - a curious, world travelling, woman who does everything in her own individual way, with a passionate heart, a strong tongue and a stubborn mind.

I was working so hard to not settle, that somewhere along the way, I settled.

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