“Just be content.” Ahhhh, those tricky little words strewn together. Just be content. This is a tough one for me to write about because I honestly wonder, “Being content is such a beautiful thing. Only you, Kim, could take the phrase ‘just be content’ and misconstrue it and turn it into something stressful.” Most everyone else might have a healthy version of being content, but in case there is that one person who can get this one wrong, relax, I got your back. I know I can’t be alone in being content.
I’m talking about the deeper meaning of content. Not the discontentment that Instagram can bring. There’s a different kind that I am referring to.
Do you want more out of life? Sometimes? Always? Me too! I. Want. More. The old me would have been disgusted with myself for writing that. It just sounds wrong to want more. Especially if someone on the outside looking in seems like you have it made. A home, a husband that works, children. Or wherever your contentment lies. How dare you want more, just be content. You have what some women dream of so why are you discontent? I struggled with this for years. I would ask friends if they knew what I meant… If they wanted more out of life. If they had ambitions of what more could look like. This was normally met with what I would read as a blank stare, a quizzical, “like what?” look, or something to the extent of “I just want to be able to be home with my kids and build my relationship with God.” Not once do I remember anyone sharing an understanding and mutual enthusiasm of ambitions outside of the normal, being a stay at home mom or getting a normal type 9-5 job.
And I don’t blame them. We all have different wants and desires. Theirs are theirs and mine are mine. I did badly wish to meet someone I could bond with over these feelings though. I would feel isolated or guilty when I was discontent with my life. Like I needed to apologize to God and get back to somehow being OK with where I was at. Which usually meant pushing down feelings of dreaming big, tapping into who I was, and any chance of going after something that excited me.
Trying to live out the best status quo life i could was my goal. And it turned me into a shell of a person. Honestly, I forgot how to live for awhile in my life. I did not know how to live my contented little life. Through all this, I learned that I just might be living by the wrong definition of contentedness. I heard somewhere that contentedness is the killer of creativity. I suppose if Edison was content with just a candle for light we might never have the light bulb! Maybe being discontent with something or our life can be a good thing! It can show us where we are needing change and growth. To tap into something bigger than what our current surroundings offer.
It can be confusing when you are having to go against the norm to chase after that ‘more’ in your life. Go against what others are content with and the overall feeling that you are supposed to be content with it as well. It takes bravery and the possibility of failure and making others uncomfortable in your choosing a different way. But that is OK. That does not make it wrong or make you discontent. It makes you brave and bold for going after something that makes you feel alive. Social norms does not mean that is God saying you have to live a certain way. You have permission to live your own life! Me choosing to live this way has ironically brought the most contentedness to me! I no longer feel like I have to conform to the worlds standards to be content. I can be content living out my life in my unique way. I dont struggle with the guilt or comparison of others like I would before. When you release yourself from living life trapped in ‘how are supposed to’, being content is a symptom of life.
I have probably thought of what seems like a million different reasons I should not be writing this first post. I am not a writer. Does what I say really matter? Do I matter? Will this even go anywhere? Will anyone read this, besides the friends and family I force to? I am 41. This…