Comfortable misery…

There’s something to be said about being comfortable in your life. We all want to have a sense of comfort and security- we want to know what to expect. While thinking about this though, I had to start asking some bigger questions. For starters, what does “comfortable” even mean? I’m thinking some of us need to redefine it at this point.

This whole thing came about because the subject of moving has been coming up a lot for me lately. Honestly, there was a little resistance inside me for a minute where I actually had to ask myself if I really do want to move away from here. Anyone that knows me will tell you that question is completely absurd, and really, anyone that has kept up with this blog would say the same. It’s no secret that I am not a fan of the town I live in. Not even a little bit. I have very few nice things to say about it, which is why most of the time I just say nothing at all [little tidbit of advice I got when I was a kid 😉 ]. So why the resistance? The presence of hesitation surprised the crap out of me so it required some attention. I know the idea of leaving my mom is always in the back of my mind as something I don’t want to do as she is the entire reason I moved back here, but that wasn’t it. The trepidation was a result of the comfort that I have in this town. When I realized that was the reason I fell into an uncontrollable fit of laughter because the irony in that statement is that it isn’t a pleasant comfort; it’s a comfortable misery.

When it comes to this town, I am comfortable for the simple fact that I know it. I know what to expect; I know what I’m getting into; I know the issues I will come up against; I know its secrets, its bullshit, its flaws; I know this place all too well. And there is a comfort in that knowledge that fulfills the saying “the devil you know.” However, I recognize there isn’t anything pleasant about the things I know here. What I know about this place is that I’m miserable in it. No matter what steps I take to make the best of it, and no matter how much I work on myself and my attitude, it boils down to the hard truth that this is not the place for me. And that is a very uncomfortable feeling.

So it got me thinking- how often do we do this- put ourselves in, or remain in, situations that we know, without a doubt, are not right for us because of the level of comfort that they provide?

Let me answer for you- WAY TOO OFTEN!!!

We are so afraid of the “unknown” that we would rather stay miserable than take a risk or leap of faith because that misery is “comfortable”. We know it, whatever “it” may be: the wrong jobs, wrong homes, wrong towns, and down to the wrong relationships. We understand it. We’ve come to terms with it and have succumbed to the idea that it’s the best option there is. There is comfort, even in misery, because it doesn’t require any effort. It doesn’t matter that it’s exhausting us. We’re stressed out, overwhelmed, burdened with a constant feeling of misalignment between our actual lives and the lives we desire to have, and yet somehow we’ve decided that it’s preferable over doing the work to find the right fit.

Bullshit. That’s what it is. Total and complete bullshit.

Let me make something clear-

If it doesn’t feel right- it isn’t, and there is no other way to look at it.

It may be a great job as far as the money or opportunity goes, but if it does not fit the person you are, then it’s the wrong job and that’s all there is to it. Even more, it’s ok. There is nothing wrong with you for being unhappy with it. You can be grateful for what you have and still understand that it isn’t the right fit long-term. Start looking for something that aligns better with the person you are and when you find it- go for it.

It may be a nice enough home or town, and some people you know may love it, but all of us have particular things we want in our environments. If the home and/or town that you are in can’t provide those things, seek out a place that can and then go there. Life is too short to put it on hold. (And for those who are wondering, my escape is in the works as we speak- May at the latest. Woot!) I’ll tell you this from experience (I’ve moved…a lot!) that there really isn’t much risk in moving. If you don’t like it, leave. Give it a chance- a real chance- like 6 months at least, see what you think, and if you just don’t like the choice you’ve made at that point, save up some money and make another one.

You are NEVER stuck somewhere forever if you don’t want to be.  

With all that settled…I saved this one for last because it seems to be the most common place for people to remain comfortably miserable, and is going to have people on the defense from the start, but it has to be addressed… the wrong relationships. I’ll admit, I’ve stayed in some of my past relationships far past the expiration date because at the time, I believed staying in it unhappily was better than starting over. Um…seriously? Choosing unhappiness? Where on earth would I get that idea? Clearly not from a place where my brain fires on all cylinders because that is utter nonsense. Something that would become immediately obvious once I did finally bite the bullet and jump ship because let’s get real- a girl has her limits. It was like a giant weight was lifted off of me that carried with it all the stress and anger and pain. I was free. Free to find myself again, love myself again.

And more than that, I was free to find someone who I could love the way they deserve, and would love me the way I deserve.

Because let’s be honest- when you’re in the wrong relationship, you’re keeping both of you from being loved the way you should be. You’re just holding each other hostage, keeping them off the market because you’d rather be unhappy than see them with someone else. Heaven forbid either one of you actually get into a solid, loving, happy relationship. I swear all humane, rational thought plummets out ten-story windows when people get into these situations. I don’t know about you, but I want the best for my partner, always. There’s a reason we got together in the first place. There was something wonderful and special between us at some point; there always is in the beginning, but it doesn’t mean we need to stay together if that moment has passed. Nostalgia isn’t enough. If the best for them isn’t me, then I want them to have the opportunity to find it elsewhere. And on the selfish side- I want it for myself too.  We are all deserving of a tremendous love, but we can’t expect to get it if we continue being too scared to go for it.

I’d rather be alone forever than in the wrong relationship wasting each other’s time and preventing us both from finding the real thing. Shame on me if I’m the force behind that mistake.

So the moral of the story is that misery should never be our level of comfort, and while we know it well- we don’t have to settle into it. There is a Turkish proverb that says,

“No matter how far down the wrong road you’ve gone, turn back.”

It’s one of my favorites that I recite to myself often as a reminder that I can always make a different choice. If the things in my life don’t fit the person I am, I have the power to change those things as many times as it takes until they do. I can’t fail if I’m trying. I’m continually learning about what is and what is not right for me and in that there is only success. So then if I know the only outcome there can be is success, there is nothing to fear and it becomes a lot less risky.

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