We are all in a rush to have our lives all figured out. We keep waiting for everything to fall into place perfectly – a solid career, good relationships, an apartment, a routine. We are bound by these ideas of what it means to be an adult or enter the ‘real world’ after the comfort of the school or university. But it’s true – adults are lying. Growing up is a trap.
The fact is, no one has it all figured out and in fact, we shouldn’t.
I question anyone who thinks that they’ve found the perfect recipe and can relax in their new sense of comfort. Sure, you may feel a sense of control and comfort in your situation at a certain point in time. But it’s also the perfect blend of your surroundings, your location, your financial situation and the people around you that makes this possible.
It’s tied to this idea that if all the physical and material things around us are set, we can feel an internal feeling of ‘settled.’ But what if one thing happened to throw out the balance? Would we be able to handle it?
The thing is: the only guarantee is things will continue to change. Opportunities will arise, our environments will evolve. We cannot guarantee that the people around us and in our lives will also stay true to their path and hold the same spot in your life forever. In the same way, we need to embrace this change and become flexible and adaptable to whatever it may bring.
Letting go of the idea that we need to feel settled is when life begins.
I used to chase the comfort of having it all figured out. I used to think that if I just waited for this hard time to pass; for this change to happen or for some milestone, I’d miraculously reach the point of peace. But what this really meant was that I was being complacent in my own situation. I was hoping that things would get better; the responsibility was on myself to just get through it.
Realising that I had the power and moreover, the duty to be proactive and make the changes I needed to make was liberating. I was still able to get that sense of ownership and control over my life because I knew that those changes were ones that I was consciously making. But I also knew that those changes could be redone.
It’s not easy. I constantly feel like I’m doing something wrong. It’s not nice to feel unsettled and uncomfortable all the time. But if we break down the tenants of what we’re supposed to have figured out, – home, career, relationships – we also find that changing our perspectives about what they look like can help us deal with their uncertainty.
So where do you find comfort?
In short, yourself.
Everything else is intangible and cannot bring us lasting joy. Rather, take the time to work on yourself and be mindful of the things that make you happy no matter where you are, what you’re doing or what you own can help you achieve. Having the perfect blend of external factors will never be more important than having the perfect blend of self-confidence and self-awareness within you so that you not only make the best out of a situation; but make your best situations.
So some tips to get started:
Know your own mission.
Creating your own self-awareness about the values and purposes that are leading you to happiness helps to let go of all the other arbitrary things we were holding onto. For example, realising that I felt at home more so because I had reached the confidence and self-awareness to feel comfortable in my own skin rather than because I’d found myself in a new city meant I could carry that feeling of home wherever my next destination may be.
Be ok with not being ok.
It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to feel good all the time. But it also makes the good times more poignant and drives you to chase them with more fervour.
Realise that no change is final.
Things change and more importantly, we change. Just like our house and our jobs can evolve with time, so too can the values and mission that we hold on to help us find direction in our lives. Accept that things may never feel completely ‘figured out’ and you might finally find that feeling of peace you want to find.
Build a mindful routine.
When we hang out hats on internal factors rather than external ones, being able to ensure that we are mindful constantly is going to be most important. But this isn’t just about practising meditation – though that too is important. Build mindfulness into your eating, your shopping habits and even your skincare routine.
So have I figured out my life? No. And I refuse to. Life is a constant journey and finding comfort is that will be an ongoing process.
I’m Tiff and I’m passionate about empowering people to tell their stories in meaningful and creative ways. Ten months ago, I quit my corporate job in Sydney, Australia to travel and pursue my own projects. Now, slow-travelling through Europe, I can’t imagine going back. As a writer, I love being able to share my stories and struggles with the emerging remote working community. I haven’t got it all figured out and constantly feel like I’m flying blind, but I’m excited to be giving myself the space to do so. You can find out more here.
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