I watched them, you see–watched them give away little pieces of themselves–women I knew well and women I didn’t know well at all. I watched them, my eyes wide and looking up because I was a little girl and still I saw–the settling. I don’t think I would have noticed it, and I only noticed it more as I grew, as I was out in the world, teachers and families I babysat, and all these women, settling. But I don’t think I would have noticed it if there wasn’t a cost. If I didn’t watch these women paying it.
So I made myself a promise. I would never trade away pieces of myself. I would not settle. I would not be that type of girl. I would not live looking backwards or with regrets. I was so young when I made myself that promise.
I want to say this: settling looks different for everyone and it’s also a state of mind. I’m not singling out anyone because settling looks different for everyone. Believing that God created us for a purpose is the first step in not settling. Believing He has a plan for us is the second. Living bravely, I think, is the third step. But figuring out these steps came later.
I just remember being around seven and knowing that I just couldn’t, wouldn’t pay the price of settling. When I read the interview on The Everygirl with Joy Wilson, before the quote was even a print, I saved it. I scratched it in my journal. Because that was what a quiet voice whispered to me when I was a little girl. You are not that kind of girl.
When it was became a print, about a year ago (?), I knew I needed it. This was the a secret promise between God and I given a voice, suddenly succinctly put.
Not everyone gets to choose, you know. I’m well aware that I am of a generation in a country where I don’t have to make certain choices or give away certain pieces of myself. The way I see it, those things are privileges I don’t plan on wasting. I’ve also already admitted that there have been moments where I have given parts of myself away, where I have settled, but God has been faithful to me as I’ve tried to walk clumsily alongside Him.
So number one: believe God created you for a purpose. Step two: believe He has a plan for you. Step three: live bravely. And step four is perhaps the hardest of all the steps and that is why I love this quote and love this print. You have to keep doing those steps. Rinse and repeat. Keep not settling.
You can’t ever stop choosing not to settle because the world makes it easy to settle. It may even seem cozy for a time. But I saw the price of settling, years later, on different women’s faces and the way they carried their shoulders and I just can’t…Not settling can be so hard sometimes. So hard that I in my weaker moments, I consider taking the easier way. But…Someday I want to be a mom and a wife and the choices I make now, the choice to keep not settling, to live without regrets because God is always good, is already determining what kind of wife and mom I’ll be someday. Does that make sense? And when those kids are old and grown and I have to live just with myself, I don’t want anything pulling at me. I don’t want to ask what if. Not settling is an investment in my future. It’s another way of saying that I try to live faithfully, that I fail, but I try.
So for a year I have wanted this print. And now it’s on my wall. And I have to smile, knowing all that’s happened, only imagining all that will happen. And I have to trust too. That may be the most important part of all.
You’re not that kind of girl either,
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