As someone who’s usually pretty carefree and go with the flow, I’ve been struggling with being okay with where we are in life since our last move. I constantly catch myself dreaming or talking about how life would be different we owned our own apartment, lived in a different city close to family, or didn’t live on the third floor of a walk-up building with no elevator. Silly things really—right?! And, I know it! But, nonetheless, these things keep bubbling up in my mind.
And, I think I know why.
We’ve had a lot of change in the past year. We had a baby, moved (again), my best friend moved away, we’ve had tons of other friends move away too. My day-to-day schedule is very different, and if I’m being honest, I’m still adjusting to this whole working mom life. With Owen’s arrival, I suddenly have felt this overwhelming desire to be a little more settled. Since moving to Chicago, we’ve lived in 5 rental apartments in 7 years! We have no idea how long we’ll stay in this apartment and whether or not we’ll stay in Chicago for the foreseeable future. I used to thrive off of this uncertainty, it felt like adventure, but with Owen here, it just bums me out.
Especially as I find myself yearning for more of the things I grew up with. A house that we own and that I get to put my mark on. A home where I don’t feel guilty investing in it because I know we won’t move out in another 6 months! A backyard where Owen and Oliver can play, and where I can grow a big vegetable garden. And, family nearby! I’m very close with my parents and sisters and the older I get, the more upset it makes me that we live so far from each other. Thank goodness for phones, FaceTime, Skype and cheap flights!
“Okay, enough complaining Blair!”
Ok, ok—I hear ya! And the point of this post is not to complain because on the flip side, I am very grateful for all of the things we do have—a warm and safe home, a beautiful and healthy baby, multiple amazing parks within a few blocks of our home, family that takes the time and money to visit us from all over the country and plenty of wonderful friends that still do live in Chicago.
So, the real purpose of this story is to show you that we all go through periods of our life where we’re just not super happy about exactly where we are. Whether that be feeling unsettled in a rental like me, or wishing you were in a relationship when you’re single, or fantasizing about your dream job when you hate your current situation—I think we can all agree that at some point in our lives we’ve been in a place we don’t love. But, it’s important to remember that these periods are just that—short (sometimes longer than we want) periods of time that are just a part of our story.
After a week of feeling particularly grumpy about still living in a rental in my 30s, I had a wake-up call and decided to shift my perspective. Instead of spending my time thinking about when we have certain things in the future, I’m focusing on being present in the life we’re living right now.
Here are a few things that have helped me shift my perspective and are helping to teach me to be okay with exactly where we are at this point of our lives!
I daydream a lot. My daydreams often involve me winning the lotto (anyone else?!), and always are about our dream home. What it would look like, what it will feel like, how life will be easier once we’re at that place. I’m trying to catch myself when I do this. Sure, it’s fun to dream about what my house might look like, but when I start going down the rabbit hole of how much better our lives will be when we’re at that place, I have to stop. Because life doesn’t just change when you have a house and a yard! Frankly, it probably gets harder, ha!
Whenever you’re feeling bad about the place you’re in, take a moment to stop and think of the things we’re grateful for. It’s easy to just say, oh I’m thankful for the roof over my head and a job that feeds me, but those things don’t necessarily make us feel grateful. So, instead of just acknowledging the things that we’re lucky enough to have, dive deeper here. Think about people, moments, experiences that really make your heart feel full. Think about how your feel when you’re doing those things or with those people. When you can feel gratitude, instead of just saying it, it’s far more impactful and meaningful.
Make the Most of It
Life is made up of so many moments and seasons, and we’re not meant to live in any of those forever. So, next time you find yourself in a place that you don’t love, make the most of it and remind yourself that this isn’t forever. For us, that means making our rental apartment really feel like home, instead of just a temporary house that we’ve dumped our stuff into. We just ordered new furniture because I was tired of waiting to buy it for the “dream home” and I planted a mini garden on our back patio because spending time out there makes me so happy and brings me so much peace.
If you’re not exactly in the place you thought you’d be right now, stop moping and take action. Believe it or not, you have a whole lot of control over your destiny. You might just need a wee bit of an attitude adjustment. If you’re looking for a new relationship, but not meeting anyone when you go out to the bar, try a new method. Maybe a dating app or having a friend set you up.
If your career just isn’t what you thought, look into online courses that you can take on the side. And, if you’re like me and wanting to feel a bit more settled, start setting aside a chunk each month for your dream home or that kitchen remodel. When we take small, yet intentional actions like this towards the things we want, we’re putting the power back into our own hands and growing our own confidence and self-esteem in the process.
Realize that This is Temporary
Lastly, this is temporary! Just about every state we’re in is only temporary, so don’t get too hung up on it. Instead of focusing on what we don’t like, look for the silver linings and remember that this will eventually pass. You’ll probably look back lovingly at these stages of your life and remember them as really fun and special times in your life, or as a huge learning experience. Again, a little attitude adjustment can go a long way!
Is there anything in your life that you’re not happy with and wish would change? How do any unsettled feelings affect your day to day mood and outlook? What can you do to turn it around?