I’ll be the first to reluctantly say…I’ve made more questionable decisions than I’ll ever readily admit, based on “Familiarity” rather than “Comfort”.
Often times we make major decisions based on how they feel at the moment while not entertaining the long-term implications as it relates to comfort. Going where you SHOULD go is often harder than going with what you ALREADY know, and the end result ain’t always pretty. We’ve all heard the old adage “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got“. Welp, I can assure you…truth rings loudly in that little sentence and results can be extremely uncomfortable…especially as you get older. Finding a way to differentiate between comfortable and familiar can be tricky and requires you to be open to feedback and transparent with yourself, if no one else. It also requires a level of maturity and self-reflection that you’ll have to prepare yourself for because it can get a little bumpy.
If you’ve known me for a while (or maybe even a little…lol)…you’d know I’m impatient…I can be a bit of a rebel…I hate rules…and I’ve probably earned a lifetime achievement award for doing the opposite of what I’m told to do (I’ve gotten better…don’t judge me). While this is an absolute testament to my love for and penchant for independence; it’s also a testimony to how many times I’ve tackled things head on (all emotion and limited vision), gotten overwhelmed, and ultimately settled with what was familiar versus what would ULTIMATELY make me comfortable…even if not right away. This usually resulted in me resenting myself and the people connected to the situation I was in, left me feeling smothered and unproductive, and flat-out frustrated. Not good for me…or the people around me…Trust me. Though I pride myself on thinking 5 steps ahead, 3 backward (just in case I need to reset), 2 to the left, and 2 to the right…There are times that I’ve apparently done that with one eye open, half-focused, and 1 ear clogged…LOL.
I’ll use how me and the Mr. came about, as an example. In the beginning, our relationship was “less than ideal” to say the least. While the physical attraction was instant and borderline overbearing; the spiritual compatibility was striking, and the similarities in our childhoods and overall life goals were freakishly similar…there were some ummmm…obstacles that I either unwisely ignored or stubbornly charged toward without regard for the extraneous variables. However, due to the shenanigans of my previous relationship, I was “familiar” with discomfort, “familiar” with uncertainty, “familiar” with frustration”, “familiar” with compromise, and as a result…the glaring lack of comfort wasn’t the deterrent it should have been. I rushed head in, knowing there were dangers, and dug in even deeper when the immovable force of my persistence met uncertainty and resistance. Overall, it cost me a lot in terms of the progress I fought to make in a previous stressful relationship and almost my sanity…Lawdamercy.
I prayed endlessly and always got the same instructions of “Be Patient, Be Still, Be Quiet” (the three things I never do) and our situation didn’t evolve into what we are now, until I did just that. While I would do it all again knowing it would lead me back to the magic I have with the Mr. now…It could have and ultimately should have, been done differently in order to save us both some tears, frustration, stress, and uncertainty, and definitely would have been a lot less uncomfortable.
I’ve found that when I weigh it all out and lay it all out; process my moves AFTER my emotions; and think about the long term-implications vs. the short-term gain…I’ve fared waaaaay better…and as a result have found myself waaaaaay happier. When I committed to learning to better differentiate between comfort and familiarity, I’ve found that by doing a quick but detailed checklist process, I am better able to see all sides of the Rubix Cube that my issue presents itself in at that time, and move accordingly. I now make mini and/or monumental moves by dissecting the following topics and associated questions:
- Have I been in a similar situation before?
- Do I already know the outcome?
- Is/are these feeling/s familiar to me?
- Am I displaying familiar habits?
- Is this situation causing me to “flashback”?
- Am I getting responses from others that are similar to ones I’ve gotten before?
- Can I remain in this situation long-term?
- Will my decision benefit me and/or others involved?
- Am I confident in my decision or questioning myself?
- Am I hesitant to tell others about it?
- How many areas of my life does this improve?
- Am I compromising myself/my faith/my beliefs?
- AM I COMFORTABLE?
Now that I’m married, I have to remain conscious of the realities that all of my decisions large and small don’t impact just ME; whatever I commit “me” to…I’m potentially committing “Us” to; and my emotional, financial, and physical disposition is not just MY concern anymore…he’s invested as well.
While I don’t have all the answers, I try to keep a mental pegboard of the things I learn, to pass on to others and hoping this lesson serves as a road map somewhere for someone.
That quick check-list above helps me stabilize the emotions connected to my actions and view the situation externally in order to see the “bigger picture” and potential “best outcome”. It’s not an exact science but I’ll be honest and note that when I move strategically and not spontaneously…I win. Whatever major moves you’re making right now be it relationship(s), career changes, house hunting, financial moves, or new hair (lol…no seriously); Pause, recalibrate, checklist your motive and move accordingly.
~My Life As The Wife~