What are YOU waiting for?

We’ve all been through this – bad relationships, horrible jobs, toxic friends – and yet sometimes we hang on for all the wrong reasons.

What does it take to leave something that clearly makes you miserable?

Why do we wait to make the changes we desire? Well, a good first step is to ask yourself that question even though the answers are not simple.

Take a job, for instance. You can’t just walk away if you need the income to sustain and support yourself and/or your family. It takes time to find new employment, and many considerations to make the change happen: income, benefits, location etc.

What about relationships? You may not be able to walk away from an unsatisfying relationship for reasons that are intricately complex and unique to each and every one of us. If there are children involved, it gets even more complicated (but not impossible).

And toxic friendships? I don’t know what to tell you there other than perhaps that’s the one that you can practice first. There must be other people out there whom you can form a healthy friendship with…(I’ve dropped some, and gained some new ones. It’s not really that difficult.)

I came across an article on medium that breaks this topic down into 7 signs. I thought I’d delve a little further and investigate some of them:

The first sign why you might stay when you should go is, to me at least, the most important one to grasp. It says that you spend too much time living in the past. You hang on to the person you used to be, rather than be the person you are today, in the present.

This might resonate with many of us. We evolve as we grow and (hopefully) mature, and our desires change. But change can be scary. There is something comforting about the comfort zone. And herein lays the challenge.

The main thing for me that has changed is the idea of living further out in the country. This was something I wouldn’t have minded when the kids were younger, but now, I have almost no desire to make a move into a small town or acquire a lot of property. My partner however desires this and so we find ourselves at an impasse.

Note – it’s too complicated to uproot the kids from their highschool environment right now. Plus, they put a lot of time and effort into French education over the years; it would be impractical and unfortunate to pull the rug from under them at such a crucial time. Never mind the pandemic – things are difficult enough as it is without covid dictating our every move. To incur a major lifestyle change now is definitely not something I’m willing to consider.

The fourth point in the article focuses on forward propulsion. If you’ve been reading here a while you know I mention this at times, usually in reference to writing. But forward propulsion applies to other aspects in life, including career and relationships.

For those who are dating, finding a partner who does not hold you back, who will grow with you, it’s an ongoing dilemma for many. For those who are stuck in stale marriages or long-term relationships, there are important questions you should be asking both of yourself and your partner. If you feel like you’re being held back, it’s time to contemplate how to navigate that forward propulsion you’re seeking. I’m not suggesting this will be simple, especially not if a whole family plays a part, but try not to let yourself get pushed into the background (yes, I’m talking to myself here too…) šŸ˜‰

The fifth point talks about being burnt out or drained. Ask yourself this:

Are you the one who is constantly initiating conversations? Are you the one making all the effort in the hopes there will be a response, any response, but hopefully the desired response? Does any of this make you emotionally exhausted, and inevitably disappointed when the response remains elusive, or doesn’t reach your expectations?

These are questions that you need to answer honestly before you make a decision about cutting someone, or something, loose from your life.

The article also mentions the settling concept. How many of us have settled in jobs, in careers, in family situations, in relationships? Doing this is inevitable and part of growing up, but eventually you must (force yourself to) realize that continuing to settle will end up making you doubt your worth. Instead, we must find a way to setting standards for ourselves and aiming at achieving them.

Finally, there’s the whole thing about losing interest. Leaving things as is (there it is again, the pesky comfort zone) because you can’t be bothered or aren’t interested in it anymore doesn’t exactly evoke encouraging behaviour or conceive positivity in terms of caring for yourself or your environment and relationships. People feign interest all the time; is this a healthy way to approach things?

Do you really have to wait for something bad to happen before you take action?

The short answer is no. The long answer is more complicated (but includes no as part of the action plan).

The article touches on other topics I haven’t addressed here, so if you’re interested, head on over there and have a read (link above). I will conclude this post with a question:

What are we waiting for?*

See you in the comments.

*This last question is rhetorical.

28 thoughts on “What are YOU waiting for?

  1. Excellent post. When it comes to work, I always advised people to have an “I Quit” fund. If you don’t do this or if you borrow from your “I Quit” fund; there is a good chance you will one day regret that decision. As for relationships/friendship, sometimes it isn’t so much the person you used to be as it is they person they used to be and that person clearly no longer exists. Anyway, a very valuable post–thank you.

    Like

  2. This sounds like my first and only marriage. My ex told me he had no life goals, no dreams, no future plans, and he needed me to be wrong, so he could feel superior. FYI: I was usually right.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It took me many years to leave an emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship and it was only when it turned physically abusive and authorities intervened that I acted in my own self interest and left the marriage. I have wondered now why I was so resistant to change and forward movement. Did I not value my own life? Maybe not.
    Now again I am hanging onto someone who has proven again and again that they do not care.
    Thank you for your post as I needed to hear it. ā¤ļøā¤ļø

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will have to reread both the article and my post to remind myself of some of these points I made.

      Thank you for commenting, I’m glad it was able to help you.

      Your history sounds quite complicated. Thank you for sharing some of that here. ā£ļø

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Getting away from my ex took the right set of circumstances. Even abusive relationships can be so complicated to end.
    I won’t go into the whole story in your comments, but sometimes waiting for the planets to align or whatever, actually makes things easier.
    Could be seen as denial, fear of change, etc. With teen kiddos as part of the equation, it seriously gets complicated.

    I agree, practice with friendships first.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are many things going on I can’t/won’t discuss here but I appreciate you saying that waiting for planets to align is sometimes necessary.

      I’ll ponder your words some more. Maybe we should email each other. šŸ™‚

      Like

  5. I have done this. It was the most painful, gutting experiences of my life. We’ve all read stories about animals who will chew off their own limbs to escape a trap. This is no different. Looking back, I wonder if I couldn’t have found a less drastic solution. Certainly, there are people who live their lives for their own pursuits, regardless of a lackluster relationship. But I felt that he was sucking all the oxygen out of the room. In hindsight, I can see early mistakes that led, relentlessly, to the inevitable. I have regrets, but I cannot indulge them. Without what was, there could not have been what is. And what is, is definitely worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I tore down steel walls to re-establish a relationship with my Dad…And was happy having 6’months of him before he got sick and eventually died. I’ve closed off toxic friendships as well as friendships with either no growth or radical change. I’ve tried looking for work multiple times, but honestly I enjoy doing art for the sake of it on my own terms, I am contented making money in archiving and creating on the side. I hope your baby steps lead you to fulfillment.

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  7. You wrote this about me didn’t you? I spent way too long doing all of these things before finally divorcing. There was always a reason not to just be done and move on, most of those reasons now seem so very illogical, but you know…emotion and all. It’s still very easy to backslide into all the what-if’s when I have a major decision to make. That forward propulsion is excellent: see what you want and move toward it without all the extraneous baggage keeping you locked in place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hurdles got bigger recently but I’m still focused. There are certain things I can move forward with, others have to stay put for now. But I’m keeping perspective.

      Appreciate the comment, Deb. I knew it would resonate with a few people on here…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve never been afraid of change, so I may be the exception in that regard. But I have definitely been guilty of hanging onto certain relationships too long…and that has usually been the result of a classic living in the past. Interesting post that could apply to a lot of people in many different situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I didn’t mean to write about this today but the article resonated and then jump-started this word flow. I look back at the last two years and feel confident I can stay on track with my small but definite move forward…

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Mark, as always. šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I usually am waiting for me to decide it’s worth my time to make the change. I’m mellow at heart and probably could make more changes than I do, but I find starting anything new to be stressful. So I stick with what I know. šŸ¤·ā€ā™€ļø

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find change stressful too but lately, while in lockdown for so long, I have desired change more than ever before. Maybe not with the whole family in tow, just baby steps toward something new and different for me. It’s hard to explain…

      Liked by 1 person

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