“You’re nearly 24, don’t you think it’s time you settled down now?” Settle?! When someone said this to me I was in a long-term relationship where marriage and all the babies we were going to have were talked about on a daily basis. It. Terrified. Me. I was so early on in my career, I had barely seen any of the world and I felt like I was still fresh out of uni. My closest friends were getting married and it felt like that’s what I should be doing too. I had a house, a car, I could do the adult thing. But it turns out, I couldn’t. In short, it was a little messy and mistakes were made that so many of us in our youth make.
I spent the next five years getting to know myself better, travelling the world, going to festivals, dancing until the morning, surfing, skiing, learning about reeeaalllyy great wine, drinking too much of that wine, falling in love with gin, finding a job I love, running, boxing, lifting weights and doing Pilates. Having fun. There were ridiculously hard times obviously, unbearably hard at times. But ultimately, I did all of the growing I needed to to get exactly where I am today. As a result, I’m happy, (almost) peaceful and settled. That word which terrified me so much sums me up to a T right now. I’ve found someone that is my match and just like that (plus five years), being settled sounds pretty damn perfect. It’s not suffocating and I haven’t compromised any part of who I am to be there. It’s just an understanding and a mutual respect that allows that person to just…be without judgement.
We spend so much time thinking “what if there’s something better?” but really we should be thinking “what if there is nothing better and this is exactly what it should be?” Being settled doesn’t mean boring or signing over your life like I once thought. It’s comfort, safe, reassuring. It’s actually preferring to stay home to watch Game of Thrones with a pizza and a bottle of Pinot Noir (there’s that wine knowledge!) than going out. To settle down is really looking forward to going home, getting in your PJ’s with a cup of tea when you’re out and getting in the nook of his arm when you’ve had a hard day at work. I know, “bleugh” it’s a little sickly but whether you’re attached or single, the same still applies. It’s about feeling so content with your life and where you’re at that your priorities shift a little. It’s not the end, your life isn’t over. You can still dream and plan for the future and be totally Ok if it doesn’t pan out. There’s so much we still want to do before and after marriage and children because life doesn’t stop when you settle down. It thrives.