Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The thing about balance...

Dear Brooke,

I have been engaged for over a year and I am about to get married in August. I am very excited to have the wedding (planning) to be over with, and to start our married life together. My fiancé is doing very well in his career and has made significant advances at a very young age and I am so proud of him! I received my masters degree and have a job that I feel 50/50 about....I am not super attached to it, and don't plan on doing what I am doing forever.

My family lives out of the state and his family lives a short road trip away. I really want to join my family. Not only to be close to family, but to also be able to buy a house together! Currently we live in a city where it is impossible for us to ever be able to afford to buy a property. I refuse to pay rent the rent the rest of my life. I want a house where I can paint and knock down a wall if I want and a yard for our kids to play in one day...etc.

My fiancé, who once seemed on board for moving, now all of the sudden seems to be increasingly more apprehensive. I am a planning person and want to know where we will be in two, three...five years....I don't want to be selfish...especially because my fiancé is very attached to his work. I decided I was not going to bring this up with him until after the wedding…but I’m feeling stressed.

What should we/I do? I am feeling stuck, sad, and confused, and could use some guidance.


Dear Unsettled,

What a perfect metaphor. You are engaged and not sold on your career and are looking for something to ground you and settle you...like a house. Neither renting the rest of your life nor owning are right or wrong, but both hold a certain stereotype and significance, let’s be honest. Renting… where to next? Owning…stay a while.

In my view, each human being has a certain capacity for the unknown, for that unsettled what’s coming next feeling. It sounds to me like you my darling dear, are at capacity. The amount of unknown and fear and oh my god and holy crap and pretending that everything is perfect that comes along with being engaged and planning a wedding in the first place is enough to put anyone over the edge!! But on top of it you don't love your career! Helloooo! It makes perfect sense that you would want a house, representing solidity and a foundation...being settled. Ahhh, to be settled, to land, to root down. Delish.

Funny though…the thing you say about a house is that you want to have a wall to knock down....everyone needs a project, a work in progress when everything else is settled…something to balance you out. The thing about balance is that when it comes down to it, it’s what we’re really searching for. Like, all the time. You, my love, are off balance… but there’s hope. Seriously.

Take Mr. Fiancé for example…Maybe renting a place with the possibility of living differently than he had planned (buying a home) is balancing the success and satisfaction he is experiencing in his career. He is settled and happy with what he is doing and all of the sudden…he no longer feels the need to move. He has enough solidity that a little unknown is just what the doctor ordered.

There is nowhere in your life right now that the solidity is shining for you, you are all unknown-ed out. So your feelings make more sense than you know. My suggestion to you is this: take a breath and wait. Wait until your marriage is solidified and the wedding is over. Be settled and secure in your relationship and notice how it feels. That’s it? Ya, that’s it.

I can only guarantee you one thing. If you are unsettled within yourself, in your career, and in your relationship all at the same time then no house and no wall to paint is going to solve anything for you. It’s just going to add to the to-do list that is making up your life right now. Allow yourself to feel the sweetness of being settled, hang out there for a while and then maybe, just maybe you’ll be ready to think about knocking down walls.

Balanced and Solid…sometimes,



  1. I agree. Its interesting how people, as a society, we tend to rush, rush rush, to get the best..get the number one product and in this case get the number one marriage and paint for our non-existant wall in our ficticious house. I agree brooke, too many things going on (Anxiety, anxiety) our ability to function overall falls dooooooooooown. I think we all can take some advice to take things a bit slower and enjoy the here and now.

  2. Brooke is dead on...so much so that I want to squeeze her right now....the "one big thing at a time" system really works and lets a lot of pressure off of a person....