"You're a settler."
Oh, shit, we are having a come to Jesus moment, y’all.
“Are you fucking with me?”
“Not at all and it scares me for you.”
My therapist is not for the faint hearted. I am pretty certain I literally hated her for the first 4 months of our relationship. I called her the first time after having a nervous breakdown in the kitchen of another photographer that I greatly admire. My son had peed his pants and was running around in a pair of her daughters leggings, my friends husband had gone to bed but I was rooted to my chair; literally willing myself to leave and to stop talking. Nervous breakdowns happen like that; Humiliation, fear, desperation with just the tiniest modicum of hope.
I made that first call from the bathtub. Where I might have been hoping to drown but without the coke and sedatives it would require for a grown woman to drown in a bathtub. See, a modicum of hope.
2 years later and this woman still will say shit that stings. She tempers the sting with plenty of laughter at my one-woman stand up routine. She totally has my number.
What in the hell does she mean I am a settler? I left the marriage that was literally killing me. I am by no means settling.
“He is a sociopath.”
“He has intimacy issues.”
“He is too young. The UK journals still consider him an adolescent. (but he was legal. Ok!)”
“Don’t agree to go out with someone who asks you out on the street”
“We will see about this one…”
“You settle for less than you deserve because it’s never been so good for you that you don’t know HOW good it can feel. “
Does that feel familiar or does that scare the hell out of you?
None of us want to settle but in reality most of us aren’t aware that the settling is occurring because what we are experiencing is simply different than what we previously had.
I never saw my life extending past the age of 32. When I was little, that was as far as I could imagine. Here I am at 35 in a handful of weeks. And because I tend to have morbid tendencies, I thought about how my mother died at 62. I could die tomorrow or maybe I have lived half of my life, just for the sake of argument. Either way, I need to get busy.
I have decided that for me, not settling has nothing to do with my potential partners. They are additives to my life not my whole life. Yes, I love a funny man who opens doors. Runs his finger across my jaw line to pull me in for a kiss. This kind of man will have me on the hook. My favorite things in the world are down pillows, coffee, a kissing and chocolate chip cookies; So if you’re a man who has all of the above, call me maybe, oh and I love a good steak too.
So this is 35. This is the year where settling in any regard isn’t an option. By the time I am rounding into the home stretch of 36 and am contemplating getting hella personal with you again, internet; I hope to tell you about all the insanely awesome sex I am having (We are all grown ups here. Put this on your list too. Married or single. Get it, girls) I want to be giving you the grand tour of a new bigger badder studio space. Tell you that teenagers aren’t the worst humans. Share vacation photos. … ummm....ummmmm (dream bigger, steff!)
Even writing this list is hard,
because sometimes being simple is settling in disguise.
I’ve always wanted to be the simple girl keeping it easy. Simple for who? Clinging to being simple has meant that I've had substantially less fun than we are all meant to have. Yes, I've avoided drama like a boss and I'll tell an asshole he is an asshole but I am a master avoider, I've mastered avoidance in the name of being simple.
What are some of the ways you have settled in your life? And what the fuck are we going to do about that?!?!?!?!
(oh and if you're judging the fact that I have a therapist. and have no shame admitting it. ew. go away. you're an asshole.)
photo credit. to the incomparable dessa.