Surviving vs Thriving

“You have been conditioned to survive.  You are very good at it.  If there is an apocalypse I want to be with you, because I know you will survive…you and the cockroaches.  What you do not know how to do is to thrive.”

That is what my therapist told me yesterday.  He couldn’t be more right.  I am a survivor.  Look at me still keeping the house going, paying my bills, getting food on the table, car’s still in one piece and running, I haven’t failed at my basic responsibilities.  I’m also anxious, unhappy and unsatisfied.  Yeah me I win at basic survival skills….but fail at a life worth living.

The job is dead end.  I know this. There is no where for me to go, no steps to climb, no room to grow or even fulfill my own potential. Where I am right now is where I will always be.  It will not take me anywhere…ever.  If I ever want to have more than just my basic needs met I’ve got to get out of there.  Homework assignment: Get back online and apply all over the place…stay away from small companies and look for larger corporations that will allow me to grow.

The man is a dead end.  As much as it breaks my heart I know that is true.  Much like the heartbreak of ending my marriage…no matter how much I wanted things to be better, I knew they never would be what I needed, with him.  The truth is that the hunky stallion gave me a peek into something I had never experienced with a relationship. It was beautiful and exactly what I always imagined I relationship should be.  However, it was just a peek.  Then it stopped.  “If you were acting like a mature confident strong woman would you have stayed this long?”  The answer is no.  I would have been done when he said he didn’t have time to give me anything.  What THAT woman would have said is, I like that feeling you gave me, I want more of that and will seek out someone who can give it to me. Instead, I begged for him to give me what he does not have.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Under the Tuscan Sun.  The movie starts with a woman who is confident her life is good.  She soon finds out her husband has been having an affair and want a divorce.  Her life was NOT what she thought it was and she received a very painful awakening.  She goes on a journey of self, following her gut and making what most people (even herself) would think were absolutely crazy choices.  In one scene she has a meltdown.  Screaming how she bought a house for a life she doesn’t have.  When asked what she wanted…she replied.  People to cook for, a family, a wedding in this house.  At that point she was thinking of one particular vision.

At the end of this movie the man who had originally asked her what she wanted came to her and pointed out that she had gotten everything she had asked for.  For the first time she was able to see that indeed she had.  She was cooking for the men working on her house, her friend and baby were living with her…and there had indeed been a wedding.  Everything she wanted…but not exactly how she had envisioned it.

What I love most about this movie is it takes you where most of have been at some point.  Painful realization that the life we are living is nothing like we imagine it to be.  We do the pity party, the break down, the cursing the Universe and everything in it because we have been given a shitty deal.  It isn’t until we pick ourselves up and break out of our little comfort zone that we see how much more life has to offer.  Instead of “I can’t”…give a little “what the hell”.

I could go on doing as I have been…on autopilot, making due with what I have.  Would anyone really fault me for that?  Probably not…although I think eventually people will get tired of hearing the same old sob story over and over again.  I don’t want to hear it myself.  So there is a choice to make, one that anyone of us can make at any point in our lives.  We can stay stuck, surviving…or we can shake things up a little and start thriving.  Let go of those things that are not working for you…the job, the friends, the house…the man (or woman), whatever is keeping you stuck.

Get busy living…or get busy dieing.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that.


7 thoughts on “Surviving vs Thriving

  1. I can relate so well to your post. I have been in a dead end job for many, many years, but it pays well, is fairly flexible, and offers great benefits. I picture what will be posted on my gravestone – she never lived up to her potential – and that makes me sad. While I haven’t quit my job yet, I am starting to invest in real estate as rental properties and I’m very excited to take this risky yet rewarding step in my life. It’s a bold move for me and makes me feel better about myself. It’s like I can maybe, just maybe, redeem myself.

    My friend who I’ll be investing with said to me last night, “I wish I had done this thirty years ago,” and I replied, “Well, you didn’t. You can’t look back with regret, you only have today and you’ve decided to do this now.”

    So glad too that you are at a place to let go of the HS – I’ve been there and it’s very hard to end it, but the hurt and pain goes away and you can then get what you truly deserve, which is a man who can love you wholeheartedly and without reservation.

    You go, girl!

    1. Cheryl thank you thank you. Sometimes I get it stuck in my head that I’m not good enough for any better…hence 17 years married to the wrong man. I’m happy to hear you stepping out…we need to remind ourselves that until we’re dead its not to late to start. Xo

  2. You know, I love the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. I love all of Diane Lane’s movies only because she is so strong and confident and of course, gorgeous! But that movie in particular makes me think of the other one she did Nights in Rodanthe, It was kind of the same situation where the current husband in her life was a complete douche and she branched out and found something better.

    You are at a cornerstone. I have worked for small companies too, and there is absolutely NO GROWTH. My next move will be for a larger organization. But that is when I am ready. Self discovery is my path now, and as I am surviving, I am thriving within myself. Great post!

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