A couple weeks ago my friend and I were chilling at the Wine Bar in the South. So we’re there chilling and then he started up a conversation we’ve had ten times already. The one about the type of women he likes. Generally, I roll my eyes at him each time he comes up with this topic because I’ve heard it all before. You see, no matter how much he professes to like one type, he generally goes for the opposite. He has a thing for those who love drama and loads of craziness. So, I sip my wine, put on my poker face, try not to play with my iPhone. I don’t want to hear this tale again and would rather be on Instagram as its my favorite distraction. So I play with my phone and let him do the talking. I think after the third time of having this conversation he knows I’m not engaged. But hey, he’s my pal so I still indulge him, even if only listening halfheartedly 🙂
I’m always perplexed about certain human behavior. How it is we say we like or want one thing but pursue the contrary or do nothing to get the thing we want or like? Or how we self-sabotage when we are close the getting the things we want. Like, why is that?
Since separation and divorce I made conscious efforts to live intentionally, authentically, wholeheartedly. When you’re freed from an unhealthy relationship it’s almost like getting your life back. You feel you’ve received a platinum debit card. One that gives you access to all the good stuff in the world because you survived some crazy shi*. Yet even in the midst of trying to live my best life I did find myself attracted to some other forms of craziness, too. So I’m not judging. Just observing. Just pondering and sharing those with you.
After pondering this question I came up with what I think is a plausible explanation. I think we chase or keep at the things that we don’t want or need because they are familiar. As much as we may desire something different we gravitate to what we know. And we do so because it is familiar and comfortable. It’s easy to settle for the familiar when we don’t know how to pivot from it to the unknown.
Now if I’m right to some degree I came up with a few ideas on how to pivot from the familiar and step into the place we desire to be –
1- Recognize that the familiar is comfortable. It’s what we know, what we’re used to, it’s like a gravitational pull back to home base. Once we recognize this, we won’t beat ourselves up so much for failing to push past the familiar. Why? We understand that sometimes any know place is better than something foreign or unfamiliar.
2- Believe that you are deserving and act on the belief. We’ve got to go from recognizing to desiring something different and making moves. Don’t be like the alcoholic who knows he has a problem but won’t go to AA. Move to believing that you are deserving of better and use that belief to propel you into action. Make small steps if you need to. It could be as I recommended to my friend, distancing himself from the women who bring drama into his life. Perhaps if he got a taste of not dealing with the barrage of bull he got from women in his life it might motivate him to step out of his familiar place. He could figure out what he wanted in a life partner or girlfriend. And from there prepare himself to being open to meet people who had those qualities.
3 – Keeping at it because the end result is so worth it. It’s so easy to run back to what we know when the thing we want and need seem harder to get. But we’ve got to get to the place of not turning back. So we keep at it because we understand that meaningful change does not happen overnight. My uncle Andy loves to say to me – ‘you’re gonna kiss a few toads before you find a prince’. I cringe at the analogy. But he’s right. We women get this. Oftentimes we meet and date a lot of jokers before we find the ideal guy. And once we do, we often appreciate him so much more.
If you have ideas on how to push past the familiar for the things you really yearn for, post them in the comment sections below. Don’t be shy, we can learn from each other and I wanna hear from you 🙂
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.