In a Middle Place

I’m halfway to “settled.”

I’ve signed a sublease for eight months. But my summer contract ran out without a full-time offer so I’m back to the job search – attending networking events and increasing my skills more than I have before.

I have a great group of friends here in the city and really cool new roommates. But I also have so many other friends outside of this state that I want to grab coffees and have sleepovers with.

I bought a bed frame, mattress, and decorations for my new room (with a few amazing gifts from my family). But my decisions still base around “can I abandon or sell this in a few months if I have to leave.”

I understand that none of these scenarios are to be expected, it’s just the circumstances that I’ve found myself in. But they’re becoming a part of me. A “me” that is confused and frustrated and wants to be in four places at once. A “me” that still has a growing list of places to travel to and foods to eat. A “me” that wants to live a life focused on loving other people and investing in things that will last. A “me” that doesn’t entirely know how to do that in practice.

This is the time in my life where I start making decisions that close doors to a lot of other possibilities. Or at least shuts them for a while. Things like kids, houses, gardens, puppies, plane tickets, and owning a bookshelf become weighed and added to various pro/con lists. Every job I consider, I have to think, “Where would this lead me to be 2/5/10 years in the future? And am I okay with that?”

I’ve been seeing a quote pop up often over the last few weeks from DL Moody – “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn’t really matter.”

What a gut punch. I mean, that doesn’t bring me any closer to clarity on my next steps, but at least it keeps things in perspective. I am convinced that “being settled” here in NYC in an average way is not for me. I don’t see myself having an impressive-title job with a trendy-name company. Throwing and attending parties and weddings and showers. Spending all of my money on an apartment and filling it with things.

Is it too much to ask for simplicity? For a job that allows me to contribute to something interesting, preferably with a bit of focus on making the world a better place. For a place to sleep at night and food that makes my stomach happy and healthy. For friends who love me and let me throw game nights and bake for them. For a life partner who inspires me and who I can inspire in return, each pushing each other to be a little better every new day. For time and ability to travel to places on my list – 13 more states, a few Asian countries, northern Europe, Canada, and parts of Africa. Maybe someday kids, a house, a garden, a few puppies, lots of plane tickets, and a couple bookshelves, depending on how it all progresses.

It’s probably too much. But I’ll keep trying anyway, ignoring the “settled” definition and working toward my own version of contentment.

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