Contentness.

Assuming by the red squiggle under the word in my drafted Gmail message, where all of my unfinished posts sent back and forth to myself live, I completely made this word up.

It was my lack of the made up word that led to a long weekend in San Fransisco three days leading up to my 25th birthday. I thought I might want to live in San Fransisco someday and decided to spend time exploring and getting to know the city to ease that curiosity. As the date drew closer and my excitement for my first solo trip in a new city grew, I developed expectations. I felt anxious and very much expected to fall in love with the idea of living in San Fransisco. I was actually hopeful that I would really love it enough to relocate there, meaning I’d solidified a plan for myself following New York.

I boarded my flight with these expectations in tow and a photo in my mind of what the Bay Area would be. The moment I landed and purchased a ticket for the San Fransisco public transit I was missing New York and the ease of transportation I was so used to. Around every city block and up every. single. hill. my mind was on NYC and the fact that San Fransisco wasn’t actualizing to the picture I’d painted in my head.

Though my intuition for wanting to live in San Fransisco was 100% incorrect, I had an unbelievable time exploring and getting to know my way around the city. Eclectic neighborhoods, beautiful parks, and awesome people to share my time with, the trip was more than I expected in so many different ways. The trip I planned with the expectations of developing some AHA! moment of both wanting to live in California and turning 25, ended up being a no pressure weekend full of fun, new things.

What I came to realize was that the amount of pressure that I’d placed on myself in an attempt to have it all figured out, was causing major discontentment in my life. So much so that I felt drawn to San Fransisco just to figure it out. It was at that moment that I realized that though I love New York, I was cheating on it a little, always thinking about and trying to figure out what might come next.

I decided that I’d dedicate my summer to being whole heartedly content where I am. Almost immediately the pressure of what may or may not happen in 2,5, or 10 years was gone. I focused on building stronger communities, deeper relationships, and finding more meaning in my day to day life. I’m more committed to every aspect of life surrounding me, and that’s led to so much happiness this past month.

If there’s a curiosity you need put to rest, a question you need answered, or a risk that needs taking, there’s no better time than now to address it before allowing yourself to settle into some bright and shiny contentness. If you aren’t sure what that step might be, book a trip to San Fransisco– seemed to work for me.

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