To settle or not to settle, it has always been the question.

Settle for something.
Settle down.
Settle for less.
(Get) settled.

For a word that pretty much sounds harmless and almost pleasant there are an awful lot of bad connotations in my mind assoiated with ‘settle’. It’s too bad really, because I think the idea of being/getting settled is pretty nice. But the reality seems very bourgesoise and provincial and uninspired. That is, it seems like the thing everyone was doing at home that I ran away from .

Why is that?

Since I have come back from my recent foray away from the Kong I have been thinking a lot about settling. I am committed to staying here until February 1, 2011 (at least contractually) and I am not going to be doing any traveling to speak of for a bit, so by default that means that right now, as I sit here in 85% humidity, I am “at home.”

So, of course I went to Ikea and bought a bunch of inexpensive shit to put in my home.

And now as I look around, I am thinking, “Well, yeah, I guess I can see myself in this place…” and that is a new thought. Does that mean I have settled down?

Very recently I had a dream that I got married. It was not a nightmare, and that in itself was a bit strange. I happen to be the owner of an absolutely amazing wedding dress because once upon a time I was supposed to get married. And so I got a dress. And then I did something pretty stupid and so I didn’t want the dress. And so the wonderful person who sold me the dress got me another one that was way better and now I have that. No one has seen it or me in it, save the women in my family. I was wearing the dress in my dream. And Pete Townsend was belting out “Let my love open the door” as I made my way down an aisle long enough to accomodate such an protracted song. I was very surprised to see the person who was waiting at the end of my long march, in fact I was straight blown away. And I felt settled. But that was a dream.

I look at many things in my life and wonder if I am settling for them, or if perhaps they are settling for me? If settling is compromising, then it shouldn’t have such a negative connotation, but if it is passive acceptance of something for lack of a better reason I think it might not be so great.

My sofa is white. Well, it was white, and I look at it and wish it was white still. Am I settling for a dirty sofa because I know that no one but me will make the effort to keep it clean, or is it because it doesn’t matter if it is clean? I am a very judgemental person and so I am probably judging my sofa in the way I judge people… like, “Come on, you can do better than that!” A friend once told me that in every relationship one person is settling. I wonder. I don’t think I want to settle in that way and I am going to get my sofa cleaned.

I feel settled in right now and I cannot decide how I feel about that. I am still fighting against complacency, but also intrinsic dissatisfaction. That is a very fine line to walk.


About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
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4 Responses to To settle or not to settle, it has always been the question.

  1. “Settle” is such a ungly word. Don’t do it.

  2. mochafueled says:

    Let’s see, who in there right mind gets a white couch… mine were a lovely brown (when I had furniture)… since you bought it you should clean it or put a lovely tacky plastic cover on it. 🙂

    Enjoy the feeling of contentment… so much of our life is spent searching and wondering… if you feel oontent enjoy the feeling… I say this as a person who is unsettled and looking for my next “home”, the place I feel I am supposed to be. We are not that old, there are still many horizons to pass over and new places to see.

  3. Amanda says:

    Hmmm… I wrote about ‘home’ a lot for a while… it is an interesting concept.

    Unsettled is my familiar and I wonder if it becomes something that we are so used to that it’s absence makes us feel like something intrinsic and important is missing? I don’t really know, I have misconstrued a lot… crazy and interesting; destructive and challenging; content and comatose. Maybe I am doing the same with contentment and settling.

    It is a good thing we aren’t old, because this whole “Life” thing is keeping me busy.

  4. mochafueled says:

    Strange but I agree with unsettled being my familiar place right now.. though many times I yearn for a place to be safe in and call my own without moving or being moved. I think is why I am only planning to be home for about 3 weeks before taking a job that takes me to Africa… the unsettle and always looking for the new experience is comfortable. Knowing that I have a myriad of “systems” to learn yet again.. in away that is where I find comfort… home, well I guess for now is where my bag is (tired but true words). I enjoy your crazy thought… thanks for sharing. 🙂

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