At a recent extended family party, one of my relatives asked me when I was going to "settle down."
"Hopefully never," I replied.
He was referring, of course, to how often our family moves. We have lived in six houses in twelve years. Most of my friends email me Christmas cards because they are unsure of where exactly I reside.
I notice it makes some people very uncomfortable that we move so often. It feels to them as if something is "wrong" if we can't just settle down in one house and stay there.
The rebel that I am thinks this is funny. I like to watch others squirm about my life. My amazing, abundant, beautiful life. It makes them nervous because it isn't like theirs. It isn't traditional in the pick-a-damn-house-and-live-in-it-for-more-than-three-years, way they are used to.
But now I am off point.
The thing that made me think was the way he used the words "settle down."
It reminds me of what I was told repeatedly as a child.
"Brooke, settle down."
I cringe as I say it out loud in my own head.
I didn't want to settle down in the way my teachers and parents wanted me to.
I wanted to be big and loud and energetic and MOVING.
Wow. Not much has changed.
Except for, of course, my address.
I didn't/don't want to settle.
I want my life to be outrageous-not normal.
I know many of you have taken the advice of well-meaning people and settled when you really didn't want to. For some of you, it is your significant other you settled for. For others, it is your job. And maybe even some of you are living in a house or city or school district that you have settled for. (The horror!)
I just want you to know that you don't have to.
I am giving you permission right now to never settle for anything you don't want.
You have permission to change your mind (or your house, your job or man) as many times as you want to find the best life you can live.
It may not look like your parents who were together in the same house for 50 years before they retired from their lifetime jobs.
Or it might.
But it is up to you whether you settle down or not.
It's up to you.