The other day as I was driving home, I had to take a detour around some traffic. As I cut through a neighborhood near my house I drove down a street that I'd never been on. As I rounded the corner onto this street, I saw a gorgeous house. It was a beautiful shade of brick red with white shutters and a lovely white picket fence. The second story windows were complete with flower boxes bursting with mums. The lawn was well-manicured and it looked like the owner truly loved their house. As I drove down the street, I thought, "I would love to have that house."
As those thoughts floated across my mind, they were nearly instantaneously erased by a voice that told me that I would never own a house that lovely. Instead, the voice turned my attention to a house that was down the street. It was a shade of brown that could only have been called "Cow manure". It looked dank and dreary and simply depressing. Judging by the exterior of the house, the floor plan was awkward and too large to be a ranch style home. That insidious internal voice told me that that ugly brown house was something I should settle for instead. How depressing.
This mere 10-second conversation in my head has had me thinking for several days. It seems to me that for nearly my whole life I've been settling for less than what I truly want.
When I wanted the hottest new toy as a child, but I couldn't wait long enough to save up the money, I would instead buy the knock-off that was poorly made and didn't last as long.
When I went to buy my first car, I wanted a cool red car that was sporty and fun. After all, I young and what better time is there to be sport and fun? I ended up with a beige sedan.
When I wanted love and marriage and a family, I stayed with a man for seven years even though he told me in the beginning of the relationship that he wasn't ready for those things. I was sure that he would come around. I was wrong.
Instead of holding out for those things that I truly want, I invariably settle. The question that has been going around and around in my mind these last few days is "Why?" Why do I settle for second best instead of holding out for that brass ring or red convertible or the love of a truly amazing man? And the answer I keep coming back to is "because I don't deserve the best."
The fact that this thought goes through my head on an apparently regular basis and that I've been living my life a certain way because of it infuriates me. The world does a pretty good job of trying to keep us and our dreams in check. Why am I helping it out? Why am I downgrading my dreams?
Despite the fact that I'm in my 30s and still single, I hold out hope that when I am ready for him, a truly amazing man will come into my life. Not an ok guy. An amazing guy.
They say that knowing is half the battle, so now that I know how I've been short-changing myself and downgrading my dreams, I'm gonna do my best to stop it. Right now.
How about you? Are you guilty of settling for less than you truly deserve? What are you going to do today to change that? How will your life look different after this realization?