When I was 17, I studied abroad in Mexico. On a walk one day with my host family, the dad said to me, “You’re different than most people, Rachel.” (Actually, he called me Raquel, because, well, that’s Rachel in Spanish, but let’s just keep it simple, ok?)
I already knew that. But I wasn’t very happy about it. In my eyes, it meant a lot of not fitting in, wanting something bigger from life than most of the people around me, asking questions that no one else was asking (let alone answering).
It kept rearing it’s head in the coming years. Why can’t I just be happy in a job I don’t love? Why can’t I just just be happy staying home with my kid? Why can’t I just commit to a man that’s nice to me and wants to take good care of me? Why can’t I be fulfilled by going to work and coming home and watching tv, and maybe throwing a family barbecue on the weekends?
Why do I always need more? Different?
You know what those questions got me?
In case you haven’t figured this out already, it is fucking exhausting to try and do life the way other people do it.
Tired of second-guessing myself and what I wanted.
Tired of doing whatever it takes at the expense of my health, sanity and happiness.
Tired of feeling like I was in it all alone. It was all me, or it’s not done.
Tired of seeing how I got in my own way, and not knowing how to get out of it.
Tired of having the things I really wanted in life feel like they’re so hard to have.
Tired of beating myself up for not being superhuman, even if it’s just every once in a while.
And so many women I work with are just worn down by how hard they have tried to find and keep a guy they liked, building a relationship that looked like someone else’s.
You gotta come to terms with it: you are who you are and you want what you want.
You aren’t like anyone else, and whatever makes other people happy may not be the thing that makes you happy. So stop looking at their tests and trying to cheat on finding the answers!
The sooner you get “right” with what you want, the faster you’ll be able to have it. And the more clear it will be when you’re on the path to having it.
Once you’re right with it, you gotta make the way there feel better.
If any of that list of things above applies to you in life, chances are good they show up in your relationships as well. (Maybe doubly so.)
The solution isn’t to put your head down and suck it up. In order to have the outcome be satisfying, you have to learn to enjoy the process more. Have fun, relax, go with the flow, play!
If you can get the process to feel good enough, two things happen:
- You don’t feel tired, because you’re not fighting for something all the time! You’re not sacrificing yourself to have the thing you want.
- It’s so fun that you don’t really end up caring if you get all the way to the outcome or not.
Your turn. Try it.
What’s something in your life that makes you feel tired, and how can you make it more enjoyable? What’s something in dating and relationships that feels draining that you want to bring more fun to? Tell me in the comments!