november newsletter: when you don’t get what you want [2018]

November 12, 2018

This time of year, we are to reflect on what we have to be thankful for, spend extra time with family and friends, and eat tons of food. Simultaneously, this time of year seems to bring forth loneliness, disillusionment, and regret. This year didn’t go the way you thought it would. You feel behind in life, when everyone else seems to be moving forward. A lot of us in our late 20’s feel this with a particular consistency. You should have been married by now. The job you worked so hard to get didn’t pan out. You were supposed to be traveling the world by now. Complacency creeps in when disappointments build up and become overwhelming.

I remember what it feels like to have it all, or so it seemed. Valentine’s Day, almost four years ago, I was sitting on the beach in Edmonds, Washington, with the person I loved most. We talked and laughed and ate dinner in the sand as the sun set, and reflected on all God had done in and through us that season. Little did I know that shortly, everything would be turned upside down, and I would drive my little VW- packed with everything I owned at the time (not much) – back to Nashville to start a business in the toughest industry in the hottest market. Leaving Washington state broke my heart into a thousand pieces, and it took a long time to pick them up and put them back in place.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned in Seattle was that goals and dreams change, and that is okay. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I would imagine that throughout the building process, the look and feel of it changed as they went along. Just as a builder creates plans and typically adapts them to the size and grade of the lot, our goals and dreams adapt to our circumstances and desires as we get older, learn lessons, and seek opportunities.

The unknown is scary, and not seeing what you want fall into place is discouraging. This is where perspective serves a particular importance. If your life doesn’t look how you thought it would at this point, take heart. Focus inward, then focus outward. You are not alone; you have much to give, and it is enough.

Happy Thanksgiving. If you are on this list, I am grateful for however we know each other. It truly is the people who color this world, not things, though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like nice things.


Syd Phil