Main Entry: con·tent·ed
: feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation <a contented smile>
— con·tent·ed·ly adverb
— con·tent·ed·ness noun
Since I turned the ripe old age of 27, I’ve been at a place of discontentment. There were so many things that I wanted to do, needed to do, hadn’t accomplished, and in essence, I felt as if I was 5 years behind where I should be at 27 years old. While I had a nice apartment, a car, a smart and beautiful daughter, friends, and family that adore me, and a pretty decent social life, I still was unsatisfied with where I was. With 1.5 college degrees (I’ll be done with the Master’s in December) and extensive vocabulary (at least I think so), I still battled with myself about where I was and how I would get to the place where I was satisfied with my life.
Since August 11th, 2009 I’ve been on a daily quest to figure out who Alisha is, what Alisha wants, and what maneuvering could be done to get those things. I call it a “quarter life crisis”, but, in all my mental anguish, I’ve found one thing that has kept me “sane”: the word contentment.
The search for contentment isn’t about being unappreciative of what you have. It’s not even about wanting something that other people have (envy, if you can be honest and call it that). It’s about being at a place that where you are right now brings the most satisfaction simply because you know that your heart’s desires are attainable, reachable, and most of all, drive you to be better.
However, I think that the main reason we become discontented with ourselves is because we are afraid that the dreams and desires that keep us awake at night are unattainable. Despite what we say or what façade we create for others, when we are alone and just faced with ourselves and our thoughts, we don’t truly believe that we can be the people we see in our minds. Because of that, we become unsatisfied, disenchanted, and embark on a “search” for that next thing that will bring us fulfillment. Some seek it in shopping, others in extraneous relationships. But at the end of the day, none of it will bring contentment. Trust me, I’ve tried it all.
I remember about 5 years ago when I was living in Smyrna, a small suburb north of Atlanta, and I heard a preacher talk about contentment. He referenced Philippians 4:10-12, a scripture in which Paul was talking to parishioners about being happy with what they had and who they were. At that time, I didn’t know that God had even discussed this idea in the bible; between the Red Sea and Armageddon, I had finally heard something that clicked and stayed with me for the rest of my life:
11…I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.
12 I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. (Amplified Version)
So now, at the old, old age of 27 (wink!) I realize that in all of my foolish banter, phone calls to friends about how confused I was, how much more I wanted out of life, how I was missing out on so much, and the countless random Facebook status updates about my “crisis” has now lead me to this same place 5 years ago when I heard the aforementioned scripture. Here’s a word for me and you:
You. Are. Fine.
Not like “sexy” fine, (ha!) but, like going to be fine, okay, kept together.
You are exactly where you are supposed to be in this determined time. There’s nothing you could have done differently to create a different outcome; had you done so, you would not inhabit all of those wonderful, dynamic characteristics that make you YOU.
Trust me. I know.
Be content. Be satisfied. Be filled with what cha’ got. Right now gets no better than right now, so you might as well enjoy it!
On the Chase,
12 thoughts on “CoNtEnTmeNt”
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LS, you have a way with words…can’t wait to buy your book! The Contentment piece is right on time for me because I think it something we all struggle with often!
Absolutely! Moreso now than ever! Thanks, sis!
In this one post, you have embodied all of my thoughts for the past few days! You hit the proverbial nail on the head Soror. You are definitely a wordsmith. Thanks for this nugget. I needed it! I’m fine and so are you.
girl that was DEEP i likes i likes man do i know people who r very content and can’t see the light that god is show them to change there situations. love you for this one girl. I this person i’m talking about had a facebook
It’s good to know I’m not alone in this struggle of finding myself and finding this place I should be at age 27. So if you go to school, get an education, live well, treat people right, and work hard the perfect life doesn’t fall in your lap???? Where’s the blueprint on the 27 year old female???? There’s the work-aholic with the great paying job, great social life – but lacks a spiritual relationship or any real true relationships with real people. The one who married too young for all the wrong reasons and regrets it now, the one who thinks a husband will be the answer to all of her problems. The list goes on and on. I’m grateful for every experience I’ve gone through (good and bad) I’ve learned something and grown from each. I’m focusing on living a well balanced life, I can’t change the past and stress about the “what-ifs”. I know God has a plan and purpose for my life. I’m excited about the future – fufilling my purpose.
Being at a place where we are simply okay with who we are, the decisions we’ve made, and what is to come is what contentment is all about. You’re so right; every “stereotypical person” has a blue print… but for the single, successful, Black, educated woman @ this particular age, there’s no place, no definite plan for who we are at this moment in our lives.
We lose sight of what and who we are because we chase after things that don’t matter. When we get back to the place where we are seeking God and His purpose for our life, we’ll never have to worry about feeling unfulfilled, desolate, or confused because any and everything we engage ourselves in will be a reflection of His divine plan for our lives.
Speak the truth, Ms. Evans!!
Wow!! Deep, can you say book!!
WooooooooooW! This is EXCELLENT! You know I have been wondering about my life and I was thinking the same thing- “What is my purpose? What should I be doing? I used to get frustrated at times b/c I couldn’t NEVER figure it out! But all the while I .WAS. FINE! I am exactly where I am meant to be. The life I have is FINE! Thanks for getting it ALL out there! Yeah, you expressed this just right! Thanks cuz. I am going to email this to a couple of my friends as well. Keep up the good, excellent and GREAT job that you are doing(-: LOVE YOU!!!!
well well well ms alisha, u hit a nerve. i was just explainin why i regret some of the choices i have made…. i can tell u now that at this point and time in my life i am strugglin with where i am supposed to be and if i am even goin to get to a place where i can smile and relax. its not like i am loungin on the couch eatin bonbons watchin oprah everyday. i am doin a lot. but still i cant seem to get it, contentment that is.
shawn (hey girl!) couldnt have explained it any better about women thinkin if that one thing, relationship, or havin a child comes to pass, everything would be ok…. its a hard thing to swallow but its true cause i am one of those women. and i know these things wont solve my issues. its just sucks monkeyballs. lol (yes i am still ebony).
anyway this blog was very comforting and has encourage me to shift my focus a lil bit. thanks girl!
LS, this was beautifully written. I agree with everything you said. It is hard to be content especially when you still need accomplish so many things. Thanks I need this!