I talk a lot about the chaos that are our 20s. How everything is constantly changing and nothing remains the same. How we're all trying to figure stuff out learn who we are. How each day can feel completely different from the one before it.
But what happens when things begin to level out? What happens when we feel emotionally stable? Financially [more] independent? Happy in our jobs? Planning to make no changes for a little while? Not moving to a new city? Not moving to a new house? When the wedding is over and we're married with nothing to plan?
When our only job is to just be?
I notice when this happens for me, I have a tendency to create more chaos.
Maybe I should switch jobs?
Join a new organization?
Emotionally invest in something that will make life crazier?
As someone who was once in a very tumultuous relationship, with lots of highs and lows, I know that you can get addicted to those highs and lows. After breaking up with a guy I dated many years with lots of break ups and begin agains and this isn't workings to I love yous, I quickly found that emotionally stable relationships left me feeling bored. I looked for trouble; I wanted to create chaos.
And I think this same theory applies to our lives. When things are too easy - or rather, too normal - we get a little bored. I think we even tend to make life changes, sometimes, simply because we're bored. Do you really want to go back to school? Or is your job just a little too easy right now? Are you really upset about what he said? Or are things just too smooth sailing in your relationship? Do you really want to lead that committee? Or do you just have a handle on everything else you're doing right now?
We do it because everyone else is moving at different paces. Just when your life begins to level out, one of your friends get a new job. And suddenly, you're restless in yours. And then there are weddings and babies and new homes being purchased. And suddenly your stable life doesn't feel so exciting anymore.
But that doesn't mean we should create chaos in our lives. In fact, I think it can be the sweetest time of all. It's the chance to invest energy not into figuring things out, but instead into going deeper. Deeper into friendships. Or deeper into things outside of work, because we finally have a handle on work. Deeper into things that mean something to us and help us develop who we want to be and where we want to go. We finally have the chance to take a deep breath and create accord from the chaos.
A wise friend once told me: I have a lot of things to worry about in my life. I don't want my marriage to be one of them. I want my marriage to be stable - I want it to be the rock I lean on when everything else gets chaotic.
And it turns out that she's right. I don't want my relationships to stress me out when they don't need to. And I don't want my life to be chaotic when it doesn't need to be. There will be time for highs and there will be time for lows. But maybe right now is just about being still.