All Articles Tagged "pursuing goals"
If you would have told me three years ago that I was going to meet my husband in Ohio, I would have laughed in your face. I lived in Ohio, but I strongly believed that the love of my life was currently living in Atlanta, DC, New York City or pretty much any city other than the one I was living in. “When I move to Atlanta,” I resolved, “I will meet the guy I’m going to marry.”
At that time, I was feeling every bit as trapped in Columbus, Ohio as I was because I was the executor of my dad’s estate and thus had to live there until his estate closed. The lawyer told me it would take at least two years to square everything away and that seemed like a lifetime considering I couldn’t wait to pack my bags and move somewhere else, anywhere else to start living the fabulous life I had planned. My mom lived in Atlanta – along with tons of eligible Black bachelors – so I figured that was the best city to start. In the meantime, I got an apartment, a job and moped around Columbus feeling immensely sorry for myself.
The following year, still impatiently waiting on my dad’s estate to be closed, I signed a fifteen-month apartment lease. I knew the estate would be closed shortly before my lease was up, so I comforted myself with the knowledge that I was moving away soon enough.
A few months after I signed that lease, my husband asked me on a date. Several weeks later, when I could tell things had the potential to get serious between us, I sat him down at my kitchen table and told him point-blank, “I don’t want a boyfriend because I’m moving in July.” I explained that I was only living in Columbus until I closed my dad’s estate and that it should be closed by the following June. He didn’t really say anything. He just nodded and said he understood. (I found out later that, though he didn’t say anything to me, he thought to himself that he had plenty of time to make me change my mind.)
And change my mind he did. Turns out, the love of my life was right here in Columbus the entire time. Our relationship was going so well that, nine months after that first date, he proposed to me. Months later, my dad’s estate was finally closed and my lease was up on that apartment. However, without a second thought, I signed a lease on another apartment and then moved to my husband’s house after we got married. I never thought I would be married in Columbus.
Thinking about that, I realize that it’s very easy to get into the habit of believing that the life we want is anywhere but here. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to relocate or make some other substantial life change, but if we do find ourselves unable to make that change (for whatever reason), there’s a possibility that we can still have exactly what we want exactly where we are.
The problem with always thinking life begins over there, is that it can make us miserable right here. If I think I’m only five pounds away from being happy then I’ve excused myself from choosing to be happy while still working off those last five pounds. If I believe that I’ll only be fulfilled when I get married, then I’m committing to wasting away my single days in sadness.
Though I still have the desire to move to another city, I’m no longer insisting that I won’t be happy until I get there. Just as I ended up meeting my husband here, who’s to say other things in my life won’t pan out for the better while I’m still living here? I realize that it’s not where we are that’s important anyway, it’s who we are. When my mom moved to Atlanta ten years ago, her whole life changed for the better. Sometimes, though I wonder if the reason she has a better life after moving away is because, when she moved, she decided she would have a better life. Had she possessed that same resolve yet stayed where she was, she probably still would have experienced similar positive results.
Besides, it’s not always the city. Sometimes, it’s the person. There are people who have made a successful life for themselves in small no name towns and there are people who are starving in big cities that are known for success like Atlanta and NYC.
Of course, this isn’t to discourage relocating because I think everyone who can should make a big move or two in their life. There’s a whole world out there and other places have better weather, tax rates, dating opportunities, job possibilities, schools, race relations, environments, etc. I just mean to encourage the belief that contentment and satisfaction can be had whether we stay or go. Deciding to leave is great, but deciding to be miserable until you leave is terrible.
I truly hope that those who have convinced themselves happiness is somewhere over the rainbow, end up discovering that their pot of gold is right in their backyard. Or like me realize that the love of their life doesn’t live in a different city, but actually lives only nine minutes away.
Have you ever found yourself thinking that your happiness can only be had over there?
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