March 16, 2018 | Posted in Editorial Features by
Complacency sneaks up on you. Sometimes it charades as safety. Sometimes it feels stable, in only a way that home does. Sometimes, complacency is so comforting, and when words like "comforting" and "stable" feel foreign, it can swallow you up like a warm cocoon. Sometimes it's only when you haven't seen the sun in months - or worse, years - that you look in the mirror and finally see how pallid you are.
There are always things you tell yourself you can live without, things that seem worth the trade that a loving relationship will bring you - when the relationship is just a little not right, that is. You trade belonging for novelty. Support for vitality. Security for the inevitable highs and lows that unpredictability will breed. More than anything, you trade complacency for growth. When you see it, you can't unsee it. It doesn't make the decision to live in that amorphous, ill-defined, turbulent, beautiful, chaotic, ecstatic, alive place any easier, though.
To leave safety means to live with constant tension and feelings of loneliness. It means that you're the one waiting for you when you get home after a long day. It means that you have to feel rejection, disappointment, heartbreak, thwarted hopes, and your own wounded ego. Sometimes it means you have to buy yourself flowers or take yourself to dinner. In general, it means you have no idea what - and who - each day will bring or what that will mean in your life. It means you're going to have to sort through your own shit, because that mirror will reflect it all back when there's no one to distract you from it. It means you have to feel, and feeling isn't easy, even when the feelings are good. You choose the roller coaster or you choose the monorail.
Leaving that cocoon doesn't always mean you're gonna fly. That transformation is ultimately up to you, and even if you do find the courage to break the damn thing open, you might not have the bravery to approach your life differently than you did before. You might not want to integrate the lessons you learned before and during your relationship. You might not realize that you never let yourself be who you really were before, and that you have a new opportunity to do just that now. Maybe you don't want to take a good, hard look at how you ended up so complacent in the first place.
But if you do - you'll begin a reawakening so shockingly bright that it will blind you. Let it. Embrace it. Feel the good. Feel the complete shit. Mess up, then retrace your steps and mess up again. Take yourself on dates. Do stuff you only fantasized about before. Make a list of it all. Take one step forward and two steps back. Embrace that amorphous, ill-defined, turbulent, beautiful, chaotic, ecstatic, alive place for all its messiness and frustration without moving to change it, and there you will find what you've been looking for the whole time anyway: You.