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How I Finally Learned to Be Content

(It felt like ripping my heart out)

10.25.16
contentment-lichtenstein-man-repeller-5

Before I fled my world and its comforts for New York and all its dreamy promise, I was living in San Francisco and writing furiously in my journal about why I should be happy. I liked my job. I liked my city. I liked my life. It could have been enough; it should have been. But for a romantic like me, not loving it all kind of felt like hating it.

Considering my then-position on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — let’s call it 80%, safely shy of self-actualization — I thought myself profoundly spoiled for wanting more. I hated myself for being what every Gen X pop-cultural pundit said I was: a millennial who believed herself entitled to the world. I’d wobble back and forth across a seesaw of emotion — on one end, the desire to stay, on the other, the lust to leave. When I leaned stay, I was desperate to find the perfect equation of thoughts that would equal happiness. (Meditation? Gratitude? Small joys?) When I leaned leave, I was ferocious, starving, begging for a different life. (Hoping! Wishing! Dreaming!) The first made me feel complacent, the second made me feel delusional, both left me less than content and full of shame.

Contentment. It was a notion I’d become so obsessed with that I stopped understanding what it meant. Like when you think too much about the word “table.” For a while I flirted with the idea that contentment equaled comfort. After all, trying was tiring and less appealing than dancing around my kitchen in my socks, reciting my laundry list of gratitudes. I found deep and temporary comfort in pulling my walls in and making my world small. “This is happiness!” I’d shriek in the echo chamber of my navel while I shelved my dreams and pulled out a batch of cookies.

Soon enough, though, the air in my tiny little room would run thin. The cookies would go stale and my dreams would tumble off their shelf and sit on my throat like dumbbells. Maybe comfort isn’t contentment, I’d think. And then I’d get to work. I’d wake up early to write, stay up late to design, teach myself new skills, ask for help and offer it, jot down ideas and let my imagination burst through those walls and float at the edge of my field of vision like a guiding star. But to want more is to be unhappy with the status quo and, after a while, I would feel a different version of suffocated: deflated.

So there I found myself, warm and well-fed, wandering the emotional desert of my own mind, crying at several non-threatening crossroads, the faintest score of tiny violins audible if I listened closely. I felt so utterly lost, but fine, but lost. Confused about what the hell I possibly wanted and unsure if I was allowed to want something nameless.

From the swirl of my ennui, I remember suggesting to a friend (she was in finance, wanted to be a yoga instructor, couldn’t decide if she should go for it) that a good litmus test for figuring out what you want is to imagine what leap a friend could take that would make you sick with envy and remorse that you hadn’t done it too. The real kind of envy, not the fleeting kind. It’s a seedy place to visit in your mind, but not a hard one to access if you’re a dreamer. I knew my answer, by the way. I just didn’t like it; it sounded really hard. So I ignored it.

And then, one day, my cute little hypothetical became real. It came in the form of a text message on January 31st, 2016, at 12:47 p.m.: “I’m quitting! I’m moving to New York! I’m doing it! AHHHH!!!”

I’ll never forget that moment. I was in a car with my then boyfriend, on our way to a cozy little brunch spot, feeling some flavor of content, when every inch of my body froze save for my stomach, which dropped right through the fucking floor. I sat, I stared, I oiled my joints and responded with 18 exclamation points and my sincere congratulations. And then I turned to my boyfriend and said I can’t do this anymore.

I didn’t mean our relationship — although eventually I did — I meant lying to myself about what I knew to be true. Which was that I actually did know what I wanted. That it wasn’t that confusing at all. It was just deeply and incredibly scary, which might feel like confusion if you close your eyes real tight and plug your ears real hard. The reality was that I did not want to work in HR, I did not want to live in San Francisco, and I was fresh out of energy to run from that truth.

Over the next few months my life turned upside down, as if a giant had taken me by the feet and violently shaken me until everything I knew was free, scattered or gone. My job. My car. My apartment. My relationship. My friends. My parents. My life. My world. The transition was as exceedingly difficult, terrible and crushing as I had imagined it would be.

But here I am, almost nine months after I received that text message that made my stomach drop, seven months after I dumped all that brought me comfort out onto the floor, and I can finally put my hands around that elusive feeling I sought for so long. Contentment was waiting for me on the other side of listening to the voice in my head that said what felt right would be hard — soul-shatteringly hard — and then doing the fuck out of it anyway.

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  • Adrianna
  • Jill

    Brilliant!! Brava, you! For doing it. For writing so beautifully – so marvelously, descriptively!! about it. For knowing yourself well enough to make the hard call(s) and change your life. And seriously. Some of the best, most fun reading on this blog – you’ve got serious descriptive talent. Can’t wait to see / hear/ read what you do next. 🙂

    • Haley Nahman

      TYSM Jill!!! The nicest comment.

  • Alexis Thomolaris

    I can so relate to the feeling of knowing exactly what you want, yet convincing yourself and others that you are utterly lost. As a senior in college the question of post-grad plans is ever present and I keep saying I honestly have no clue what life holds for me, when I in fact have reachable big girl goals and dreams that just scare the shit out of me. For me at least fear of failure is what holds me back, but I am both proud and envious of you for taking the leap!!! I hope to someday have the same courage 🙂

    • Haley Nahman

      Yes yes yes I totally get it. Fear of failing was a huge part of how hard the leap was. Good luck Alexis. Being so honest with yourself already will serve you well.

  • Lindsay D

    Thanks for sharing, very inspiring and relatable. I hope I can take the leap too.

    • Haley Nahman

      I know you can

  • Anne Dyer

    Haley, this is so beautifully written. You have a big, huge (redundancy is needed here) career ahead of you and it’s an awesome thing to watch it shape and take form.

    • Haley Nahman

      Thank you so so much Anne.

  • Jennifer Johnson

    Thanks thanks thanks thanks for this. That’s it.

  • Melissa

    Beautiful. That is a brilliant litmus test. I feel like I’m always chasing contentment, always chasing happiness. As a fellow recent NY resident who left basically everything on the West Coast, I’m still figuring out what my next steps are and how I want to spend every day in the city I’ve been dreaming about living in since age 12. Trying to find THAT THING that will make me feel complete. Comfort, complacency, contentment, all way more complicated than they should be. The true c-words.

    • Haley Nahman

      Omg. The true c-words. Lol. So true. ALSO: good luck!!

  • Molly D

    I can’t wait to read this three more times today. You are an inspiration!!

    • Haley Nahman

      <3 <3 <3

      ^that's a heart for every time, in case that wasn't clear

  • Harling Ross

    “The cookies would go stale and my dreams would tumble off their shelf and sit on my throat like dumbbells” Here is a picture of my heart after reading this sentence: ds;lkfgj;erw475y34jtlejg

    • Haley Nahman

      I love your heart and all its jibberish, Harls

  • Carley

    This post feels like my text message.

    • same

      • Mary

        Same!! Thank you, Haley.

    • Haley Nahman

      This comment…just made…me cry? Wtf is wrong with me. Thank you.

      • I’m crying like fuck now, are you f kidding me!

    • Mariana

      Same same same…

  • ella

    “I actually did know what I wanted. That it wasn’t that confusing at all. It was just deeply and incredibly scary, which might feel like confusion if you close your eyes real tight and plug your ears real hard.” THIS. Haley, this was brilliant! I never considered how easy it is to correlate comfort with content until I read your piece. As someone who moved on a whim as well, I definitely related to this! Thank you so much for sharing your perspective and insight 🙂

    • Haley Nahman

      Thank you for reading it!

  • fuuuuuuuck. i gotta do something about something.

    • Haley Nahman

      You’re totally gonna do something about something, I can feel it

    • Me too. I have much anxiety now about everything and nothing.

  • Imaiya Ravichandran

    Ugh, I totally feel where you’re coming from. Sometimes I realize I’m not as happy as I should be, but I find it difficult to validate these feelings because nothing is glaringly wrong in my life. I have a job (albeit a boring one), friends, and a place to live…so what reason do I have to eschew it all? Especially when I have no concrete goals to replace them with. I’m still but a post-grad yearling with no idea what I want to do with my life. I try to push these gnawing thoughts aside and focus on the good, but of course, this doesn’t last. The feeling of being almost-happy is one that is dangerously persistent and no amount of delusional affirmations of contentment can mask the profound dissatisfaction that festers deep within.

    Of late, I’ve been exposed to other people’s similar experiences (for example, your amazing article above) and have become inspired by their gumption when they throw it all away to pursue self-fulfillment. It’s a sort of recklessness that I have never embodied, but have always admired. But lately, I can feel myself getting close; the dam is about to burst and I’m about to do something crazy, something that will put me closer to my dreams (what those dreams may be is anyone’s guess). I’m scared I’ll fail, and maybe that’s the likely outcome, but I am sure I won’t regret it.

    • Haley Nahman

      Trying and failing is a really cool thing to do!!!

      • bestcult

        It’s kind of a gift honestly. Because no matter what, it’s never as bad as you build it up to be. And then you realize you never have to be that scared again.

    • Jen

      “The feeling of being almost-happy is one that is dangerously persistent and no amount of delusional affirmations of contentment can mask the profound dissatisfaction that festers deep within.” This!

  • “I felt so utterly lost, but fine, but lost. Confused about what the hell I possibly wanted and unsure if I was allowed to want something nameless.”

    THIS. This this this. This is what I feel and thank you for putting it into words so eloquently.

    • Sarah

      My thoughts exactly–that sentence stood out to me SO much.

  • grace b

    I have job hopped, lived in a few different cities, and am now entering my late twenties temping and spending a lot of time crying and moaning. I’m actually much happier than I was a year ago — finding the apartment of your dreams really helps — but I’m realizing that all of my tries at different careers left me a jack of all trades, master of none. Which is not the way to get a job in this economy (to my knowledge). Thanks for sharing your story Haley, and offer space to others like me to share our thoughts. Congrats on that NYC life! 🙂

    p.s. Your suggestion to think of something your friend might get that you would envy — I acutely felt that last week as my good friend shared what she does for work (non profit work atm) with some new acquaintances. I just sat there thinking, “What’s MY thing? How can I have a new cool thing to do? What do I feel excited about?” This blandness that comes with doing random jobs every few weeks is not worse than pining for that career I’ll actually never have — but it’s close.

    • Haley Nahman

      Thanks Grace. You’re asking yourself the right questions!!!

    • Filipa Geraldes

      “What’s MY thing? How can I have a new cool thing to do? What do I feel excited about?” you just described me! 🙂

  • Love this!

  • Jessie

    Haley! I love your posts so so much, and I think this is beautifully written and poignant, as always.
    The only point I wanted to add is: sometimes the answer to that inner discontent is that your life is okay just as it is. I think as young women we are under so much pressure — we have to do more, better, faster. We can be happier — if we just try. We compare ourselves constantly and we’re left feeling discontent. My therapist told me that many women in this age bracket seek external validation, and we need to seek our own reassurance. We need to believe that our lives and our choices are enough. That we are happy and we don’t need to constantly change and shift to prove it. I think your piece speaks to this — that we should all seek answers from our own instincts. I just wanted to add that sometimes it’s okay to trust that your life is enough, just as it is, where you are … for now ;).

    • Haley Nahman

      Co-sign!!!

  • Olivia

    I needed this so much (today especially) I wrote out almost the whole thing in my notebook and then made a to-do list beside it.
    Thank you Haley, I’m glad you made that leap- if you didn’t, you would’ve never written this and inspired many of us to do the same with your comforting words.

    • Haley Nahman

      Thanks so much Olivia. I appreciate you and your notebook.

  • Eleni Eleftheriou

    This is sooo relevant to my life right now. I literally had a breakdown last night about my lack of contentment. THANK YOU for this!

    • Haley Nahman

      Everything will be okay!!!

  • Thank you for writing this…mostly because I’m doing that plug the ears thing too and I know I’m doing it and really needed a kick in the ass. This was that.

    • Haley Nahman

      Good luck InnyVinny, cheering 4 u

  • Vida Rose

    “This is happiness!” I’d shriek in the echo chamber of my navel while I shelved my dreams and pulled out a batch of cookies.”
    Me every time I’m in a rut.

  • PCE

    Omg, I’m doing this right now, literally as I read this. Granted it’s not “move across the country” hard, but it’s pretty major for me. I’m giving up practicing law, officially. I have had it. I can’t do it anymore – and I’m not even content, I am flat-out miserable! I’m meeting with a career counselor to plan my escape. I’m finally letting go of the guilt I feel for hating this career so wholeheartedly, despite all the time and work and MONEY I’ve put into it, despite my parents’ disappointment in my lack of happiness, and the expectations of everyone around me. I AM FINALLY taking the steps to be free – and it’s hard and it’s terrifying but it’s so nice to know that it’s WORTH IT. thank you manrepeller for always being just what I need!

    • Filipa Geraldes

      career counselor.. thats a great idea! I should try that. I really need a change but have no idea what I want to do instead. and money and time and work and other opinions are also holding me back. thats exactly it!

      • PCE

        A career counselor can be really helpful, but they can be kind of expensive!! I’d recommend doing some research first — try pymetrics.com — you play these games that analyze your skills and personality, and at the end they give you suggestions of jobs that your skills fit. This way you can give yourself some ideas beforehand and really get the most out of your career counseling sessions. Good luck!!

        • grace b

          I thought I had taken every free career quiz under the sun! Thanks for suggesting pymetrics! I did a free consultation with a career counselor and really benefitted! So that’s also an option but yes they are $$$.

        • Filipa Geraldes

          thank you for the tip, I didnt know this site. career couselling can be expensive, yes. Ive done it before finishing high scholl and the results couldnt be more distant from what I had in mind lol I was not happy! so Im a little apprehensive to spend a fortune and get results that dont motivate me.. I have some ideas of what I want, but no money to invest in it and a lot of fear of failling, for sure.

    • Mariana

      Good luck, PCE! Lets us know how it went for you, do you have another career in mind?

      • PCE

        Hi Mariana — thanks! My undergrad degree was in English Literature, so I’m working with the counselor to use that coupled with my law degree to find careers that fit with my skill set. I’d love to be an editor or work for a publisher…but we’ll see!

        • Mariana

          Looks good! I am no counselor, but since you would love to work as editor you could start a blog to create a portfolio 🙂 and to practice.

        • Filipa Geraldes

          Portugal too? 🙂 small world! Im from Porto

      • Filipa Geraldes

        Portugal too? 🙂 small world! Im from Porto.

        • Mariana

          Yes! Olá!

    • Senka

      Congratulations! As a fellow lawyer who hates the career profoundly I am still figuring out how to take that step my self. I do live in society where leaving this line of work is very, very risky because imployment in other areas in almost not possible, but I hope I’ll find strength to create something for my self. I have spent years in this, both in work and education, but now I can safely say I hate it.

    • June2

      ooo, good for you! my friend is experiencing exactly what you are describing as she escapes neuroscience for … ? She has no idea, yet, but she’s out! Hurray for conscious bravery! I am making my own major move and that’s how we met: mid-flight!

  • Hava Skovron

    I love this article! This is me right now, today, vacillating between feeling complacent and delusional. Believe me, these decisions get even more complicated after you have kids! I’ve had enough life experience to know that change for change sake isn’t a good idea, I wish I knew what my truth looks like. Thanks for this beautiful, honest, thought provoking article, well done girl!

    • Haley Nahman

      I can’t imagine!! Thank you back!

  • missmg

    Amazing Hayley – this post speaks to me on so many levels – I love the suggestion about imagining what leap a friend could take that would make you sick with envy – I LOVE THIS – and for me its always the same thing, dropping everything and moving to the other side of the country – and you’re right its not just fleeting envy its the sick in your stomach want to throw up kind.. ufffff
    Congrats on the courage – get it girl!!! If this post gives even ONE person the courage to make a change imagine how cool that would be??! X

    • Haley Nahman

      That would be SO COOL I would maybe die. Do it do it

  • Hayls

    this is so extremely relevant to me right now RE: I AM CURRENTLY LIVING IN SF AND WANTING TO MOVE TO NEW YORK. maybe? I don’t know, it’s a scary, and big decision. but I am happy to hear it was the right move for you! It’s like you are my future, thank you so much for writing this.

    …Also, my name is also Hayley!!

    • Haley Nahman

      COME HERE

  • Hannah Cole

    this brain needed that

  • And now you feel like going back home??

    http://www.mgluxurymarket.com

    • Haley Nahman

      Nope!!! Not a bit.

  • Erica Karppinen

    Thank you for putting my thoughts into words, love this!

  • Natasha

    I came across this beautiful little video yesterday and it reminded me that sometimes we get too caught up in where we’re headed and how fast we’ll get there. Life is a dance <3

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHnIJeE3LAI

  • Daisy Tinker

    Thank you for writing this! You have exactly put into words how I’ve been feeling for the past year. Go you!!

  • Mariana

    This text makes want to celebrate change, cry, feel bad for not taking my own life in my hands, believe in the future, work hard, believe in myself…
    I am going to read this text several times because 1) it is a piece of art – super well written and 2) because I want this to be my “leap a friend take that make me sick with envy and remorse that I hadn’t done it too”.

    • Haley Nahman

      Don’t cry! Or: let’s cry together

  • Michelle Grace

    YES (!!!) this article put my feelings into words! I couldn’t get my thoughts/feelings align to string it tg into sentences and write it. I left all I knew back in New York about 6 months ago and found contentment teaching English to kindergarteners in Southeast Asia. It’s not where I’ll stay forever but I’m happy and with that still in the pursuit of something nameless…

    • Haley Nahman

      COOL!!!

  • Catie Marie

    Yes!!!! Haley!!! I think we should be friends! A little over a year ago, I moved to New York from Mississippi, broke up with my boyfriend, and started law school. It’s been a transition like no other. I only wish I could express it as eloquently as you have. Next time someone asks me how things are going in the city, I’m just going to forward them this article… Thank you thank you thank you.

    • Haley Nahman

      Waving hey from the same boat!

  • Vickee

    Ugh Haley, this was SO GOOD. <3

  • Molly D

    Just put the last part in my QUOTE BOOK.

    • Haley Nahman

      I’ll put you in my quote book

  • Justine McNamara

    I love this. I just moved here too, and it was so fucking scary… but I knew I couldn’t be content until I at least tried it out! Left behind a great job, apartment, friends, family… but here I am loving it. Go us for not settling for the easy.

    • Haley Nahman

      GO YOU

  • Hunter

    Wow. Haley, you have put into words so many of the feelings that torment me on a daily basis. Currently sitting in a coffee shop crying, because I’m a senior in college and 17-year-old me picked the wrong thing to study (Biomedical Engineering, lol) and some part of me feels that I don’t deserve to actually try the things that I dream about (digital media, the arts, etc.). Complacency feels like death to me, so I’ve been actively trying to become comfortable with the discomfort of “going for it,” yet however proactive I try to be about the future has only led to dead ends. But this article gave me hope that eventually the struggle will be worth it and I can & will end up doing something that I wholeheartedly love. Thank you, thank you.

    • Haley Nahman

      Please believe you will! I studied business and regretted it for YEARS. But trying (not just worrying) is the best you can do!

  • Mercedes Ayala

    “But for a romantic like me, not loving it all kind of felt like hating it.”
    Girl, this is where our souls collide and merge. What is so wrong with wanting intensity? What is so wrong with wanting to be so in love that you skip everywhere you go? What is so wrong with wanting your job to light a fire in you, regardless of the fact the fire is making you burn to the ground? What is so wrong with intensity? And that’s where the line is drawn between those like us and those unlike us – contentment isn’t enough. Contentment is boring. If my life isn’t alight in flames, I don’t want it.

  • Rachel Zuckerman

    This is conveniently every thought in my head right now.

    As always, thanks for so accurately and eloquently saying all the things.

    Brb while I buy that one way ticket to somewhere.

    • Haley Nahman

      One way tickets are the best

  • Taylor

    Really beautifully put, Haley.

    “So there I found myself, warm and well-fed, wandering the emotional desert of my own mind, crying at several non-threatening crossroads, the faintest score of tiny violins audible if I listened closely.” is exactly where I’m at right now.

    Always so lovely to see so many people in these comments with the same tough, confusing, feelings as me. Makes loneliness and emptiness feel a lot less… lonely and empty!

    • Haley Nahman

      WE ARE ALL THE SAME

  • Sitta Karina

    Being content is actually starting from the inside. Thanks for the article!

  • Thank you for putting this feeling into words. I moved cities 5 months ago – a small town prairie girl to Sydney, Australia – and I have never been so content. But you are so right – that feeling was on the other side of some very tough decisions. BUT SO WORTH IT. Good on ya girl!

  • Thank you for writing this, Haley! It hurts a little when I read it, but in the best way possible – I’m not the only one feeling like a crazy entitled millennial, who doesn’t feel content even though I have the picture perfect life that so many probably dream about. I constantly oscillate between feeling shame that I’m not content with what I have and the paralyzing fear of failure when I think about going for what I really deeply know is right.

    • Haley Nahman

      Girl I feel you. Hurting a little in the best way possible is the best.

  • Senka

    I really, really enjoyed reading this Haley. It inspires me to think and do something about my own, unbearably “almost happy” life.

  • Great writing Haley, of course 🙂 Happy for you!

    (been wondering why there’s almost no way I can personally relate to any of the feelings you express so eloquently and now I know: it’s because most of my big changes in life were simply flights, though mostly escapes into a better life. I did end up grateful many times and there have been many happy days to look back to, but mostly due to the fact I could avoid/master bad things or because nothing worse happened straight away. I probably cannot even imagine (as in “think and feel”) the state of having a dream and a possibility to live it because most of my time is spent being grateful for good escapes, a relatively good life and preparing for bad things … Sounds somehow terrible, but it’s not – things you cannot imagine you cannot miss!)

    • Haley Nahman

      It doesn’t sound terrible at all 🙂

  • Twocogsinawheel

    Literally thought you meant “content” as in “social media content” for too long! Then half way through reading we were like but what has this got to do with taking good Instagram photos? oopsie lol

    Xoxo
    @twocogsinawheel
    http://Www.twocogsinawheel.weebly.com

    • Haley Nahman

      Thank you for the lol this a.m.

  • Beatrice

    Incredible. I recently moved (BYE, Bay Area) and I’m struggling with what “contentment” will mean for me – what are the things I can’t live without, and what are the things I should compromise on, what do I really WANT my life to look like? How do I get there? I think when I hit upon the right work, friends, life balance, I will stop asking all these questions and just live. Thank you for writing this post, Haley.

    • Haley Nahman

      Sending good thoughts your way. I think you’ll figure it out.

  • Isabel S

    This post just made the same soul-shattering transition a little easier for me, thank you thank you thank you!

  • Sydney Joseph

    Haley, thank you so much for this piece. I am a junior in college, and am thinking about what to do post grad. It has been my plan to go into HR consulting for a number of reasons, among them financial security and general stability. However, I don’t think I will be able to be satisfied or feel that my work matters. I too want to feel like my work has meaning and I am so inspired by your journey, and the courageous leaps that you took.

    • Haley Nahman

      HR can be meaningful! It was for me, at times. But I had other ideas. Listen to yourself! Excited for you!

  • Reading this at work and crying is a good sign, right? I’m taking it as one because it means it is a step in the right (content) direction.

    • Haley Nahman

      I think so I really do

  • I just had a little cry, no joke. The several non-threatening crossroads. The feeling of vague unhappiness while also feeling very privileged. Lost, but fine, but lost. Thanks for writing it down, Haley!

  • Shawnee

    Cool, I’m a crying mess too! Brb copying this post and emailing it to myself. I’m such a fan, Haley. You communicate your feelings so well into relatable posts that always seem to find me at the perfect time.
    Almost three months ago, I wrote:
    “when I’m asked lately about my life or what I’m doing or my plans, I tend to respond ‘I don’t know what I’m doing ha ha’ and I immediately hate that I said it. Yet, it’s almost automatic. Why? Where did I come up with this? Because here’s the thing. I know myself and I do know what I want. It’s just that I don’t have a clear plan.”
    I’m doing things that I want or enjoy but maybe didn’t have to work that hard for. Dreams nonetheless but not THE dream. Here I am again…not content. Always wobbling between stay and leave, so incredibly much.
    But, I know that what I want – what I’ve always wanted – will take hard work, dedication, and being honest with myself. As I get older it actually becomes annoying – feelings of restlessness, like I can only gloss over the truth for so long. It’s always been New York!!! xo

    • Haley Nahman

      Go go go go go!!!! Cheering you on from here!

  • June2

    I am in the middle of doing this. I just left my comfort zone of 15 years for a new and utterly unfamiliar life 4,000 miles away because –

    Because. I gotta be true to myself and this place is calling me, god help me.

    • Haley Nahman

      GOOD LUCK!!

  • Can I just say. THIS IS AMAZING.

  • L Winfree

    Thank you for this beautifully written article! It perfectly articulates the exact same thing I have felt, but been unable to explain. I want to send it to everyone I know!

    “I found deep and temporary comfort in pulling my walls in and making my world small.”

    This is how I felt before I moved to NYC, and how I felt about my last relationship. On paper, everything was great, and it was frustrating to wonder why it wasn’t enough! Giving up that temporary comfort is really hard–I still struggle with this.

    “I felt so utterly lost, but fine, but lost. Confused about what the hell I possibly wanted and unsure if I was allowed to want something nameless.”

    This is how I still feel sometimes. Just trying to follow my gut at this point.

  • Natalie Redman

    So brave! Good for you for doing what you wanted <3

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Danielapf

    AAAH this just describes everything i am feeling right now. I keep having this thought of leaving my country and pursuing the career I want, clearly not my current HR corporate job. But it’s so confusing. I know the day will come, but the time is not now. That “AHA!” moment, hasn’t striked me yet😓

  • lsalisbury

    Thank you Haley and Manrepeller! Another amazing article that makes me feel slightly less insane and alone in my weird internal battlefield.

  • Mary

    Yes..! >> “After all, trying was tiring and less appealing than dancing around my kitchen in my socks, reciting my laundry list of gratitudes.”

    Loved the single-colour dressing piece (and your denim turtleneck quandary via Insta Stories) and now I’m deep in the archives of all your MR contributions. Funny and considered, with a refreshing amount of introspection. Keep up the great work HN, you are awesome. Love from London.