why i'm glad i didn't get the life i wanted

Have you ever fallen HARD for someone you don't really know? Convincing yourself that there's an underlying magic and soul to your barely-there relationship? I have... a few times. But one specific guy comes to mind. I was a few years into college, an emotional mess disguised as a party girl. He was from out of town. He could speak another language. He was assertive. The electricity between us made me want to believe this was it, someone would understand the real me, someone would save me from my self-destructive ways. 

It's ok if you laugh. I am shaking my head (at myself) as I write this. It sounds so naive. And yet I spent ~ getting real honest here y'all ~ YEARS obsessing over this "what could have been" relationship. As a matter of fact, any time I broke up with someone else, I would let my mind be swept away with thoughts of this one guy, not even letting myself grieve the relationship I had just left. I had convinced myself that we would miraculously run into each other again, and he would confess his undying love for me, how he’d messed up and would do anything to win me back, I would be timid and have walls but he would break through them, I would finally feel whole, and we would live happily ever after. (Are you cracking up yet?)

And it’s funny- I don’t actually remember getting over that dream. I just realized, recently actually, that I totally was. He’s married now with a child, and I’m in (actual) love with a (handsome, challenging, and God-loving) man. And I am SO glad that I didn’t get the life I thought I wanted. I never would have met (or repaired relationships) with my best friends. I probably wouldn’t be working with an animal rescue. I doubt I would have ever started this business, because I never created when we were “together.” I may not even have picked up paint again. All my creative energy was wrapped up into how to make this person “realize” his deep love for me.

Two reasons for this embarrassing post:

1) Because everyone needs to laugh. And I’m totally okay with you laughing with me at how incredibly basic this all sounds.

2) Maybe you’re in a similar place, where you’re longing for a life you don’t currently have. If it’s wrapped around another person, I encourage you to remember your own dreams. If it’s another career path, what’s one small step you can take today? It could be as simple as updating your LinkedIn. If you’re longing for more, but you don’t even know what for, give yourself some grace. As someone who has been in the waiting for years, wondering when God was going to reveal things, I can tell you: It’s worth the wait. There’s still beauty in the waiting- don’t miss it because you’re too busy looking forward. Look around you. Your coworker’s comforting laughter, finding a new coffee spot, falling in and out of love, the book you’re reading: none of it is a mistake, even the sucky parts.

Taira Adair Campbell1 Comment