a couple words in the english language make me shudder with fright: average, normal, boring, milky and moist, among many others. none, however, scare me more than a seemingly innocent verb: to settle.
I've been thinking about this word a lot lately, perhaps because I feel as though I'm in a bit of transition period in life. while certain things are very solid, others are in a bit of flux. naturally, my always racing thoughts send me down memory lane.
in reality, there's no reason to fear "settling." I never have. my freshman year of college—despite kicking ass on my cc team—I chose to transfer because the school wasn't right academically. I didn't settle.
after returning to ohio to complete a second undergrad degree, I built myself a bit of resume by working at a couple good companies, but I had to get back to NYC to get my MA at a school I always wanted to attend: NYU. so I found myself a job, got myself into grad school and moved back. I didn't settle.
one of the hardest decisions in my life came when I was faced with a question that should often brings extreme joy rather than extreme confusion: will you marry me? I took a year to answer and ultimately gave back the MOST beautiful diamond ring to a man I knew I just wasn't in love with anymore. I didn't settle.
I didn't settle when I hated (yes, hated) the job I took during my first year back in NYC; I got a new one. I didn't settle after needing to walk nine miles of the 2007 Chicago "heat wave" marathon because of a stomach infection and mono (didn't know I had the latter until post-race); I came back three weeks later to finish another hour faster in the NYC marathon.
And I'm not settling now as make another change in my career; whatever comes next is sure to be a great next step.
thus, I think I can stop fearing "to settle" and see it as a friend. I wouldn't be where I am today without it.