January 2017 — I broke up with a girl, moved to a new town, and started a new job. All in the span of 12 hours.
It was the kind of wild, all-at-once change that most of life brought up to that point. A few months prior I packed my car and left Florida without any idea where I’d settle, and now I was moving again into a town I barely knew. My job sounded cool, but I didn’t have a clue what I actually wanted from a long-term career.
For the first month in town, I’d grab a Crunchwrap Supreme every day after work and sleep on the couch of anybody who was kind enough to spare one until I found a place to live.
“That’s crazy!” People would say.
But for me, that was the exact environment I thrived in. I’m great at change. Change is noncommittal and energizing and fun. It’s all about first impressions and new experiences and stories.
And all the change was great… until it stopped.
A few months— yes, just months —into living there, I grew restless.
I learned I was great at change, and terrible at normalcy. The constant environment and familiar routine quickly grew uncomfortable and awkward.
I felt Anxious. Frustrated. Angry.
And—most of all—stuck.
This wasn’t the plan.
What if I’m here forever?
How the heck are all my friends living their dream lives already?!!1!/1!?!
Dramatic, for sure.
So I directed all my energy towards leaving. I applied for jobs like it was my job. I researched cities I liked and took trips to visit them. I talked to everybody about how my time was short in Athens and shared my giant dreams for the future.
I made sure everybody knew I wasn’t stuck there in a weak attempt to convince myself of the same thing. Dreaming about the future narcotized me to the dissatisfaction I felt with the present.
Looking back, I don’t think there’s anything I would have been 100% satisfied with. I could have been making a million dollars and would have asked for a raise. Have the perfect job and want a promotion. Be in the right city and want a new house.
Nothing was quite good enough.
I didn’t know how to be satisfied in the wait.
Eventually, a great organization in Atlanta offered me a job. The role wasn’t particularly exciting, but it was an escape from my season of waiting. A chance to change everything, again.
And I almost took it until a hard conversation with a friend while contemplating the offer.
“I think the moment you accept this job you’ll start looking for your next one” He said.
Hey Alexa, play Truth Hurts by Lizzo.
My friend was totally right.
I hadn’t accepted the job yet and was already thinking about where to apply next.
Turns out the problem with the wait wasn’t the wait.
It was me.
A few hours later, I called the company that offered the job and turned it down.
And instead, tried out a new thing called ~commitment~.
I shut down the hunt for what’s next and would learn to be satisfied in what’s now.
I committed to:
- Stop looking for a new job.
- Stop telling people I was leaving soon.
- Start acting like my current circumstances were long-term, because they could be and that was okay.
AND. IT. WAS. AWESOME.
My routine was the same, but everything felt new again.
Friendships meant more because I saw them as long-term. I loved my job and had more opportunities to grow than ever. I invested in my church just because I cared about the city and the organization.
Commitment led to satisfaction. Being satisfied in the midst of the season—even though I still felt like it wasn’t a forever season—changed everything.
18 months after this commitment, it all blew up.
I had done zero job searching. I signed a lease in town with full intentions to live there for awhile. I gave everything I had to help build a new project at work. I was rooted in my current season and not looking for anything else.
Then God threw a new opportunity in my path. One that I knew in my gut was the right next step.
August 2019 — I resigned from my job, accepted a new one, and moved to Atlanta. All in the span of a week.
How did I know life had changed since January 2017?
It was hard to leave.
Painful to walk away from a team I loved in the midst of a challenging season. Hard to distance myself from friends who mean the world to me. Difficult to walk away from work I thoroughly enjoyed.
For the first time ever, I had to mourn what I was losing while stepping into another season of exciting change. And I’m really thankful for that.
Turns out the difficulty of leaving a season will tell you the quality of that season.
Learning to be joyful in imperfect seasons was worth the wait, because every season is imperfect. Deep, meaningful friendships were worth the wait. The work God did in my soul over the past few years was worth the wait. The things we accomplished together at work were worth the wait.
And learning to wait well was worth the wait.
Stop looking past your circumstance.
Invest everything you’ve got into the present.
Be satisfied in the wait.