I am the poster child for the phrase "Do Not Settle".
I wish I was the one who copyrighted it, but sadly I didn't. And for someone who's been saying this phrase for over a decade, I'd like to think that what I'm saying next is going to come as a shock.
No, folks, don't get ahead of yourself, nothing radical has changed since the last time I spoke about this topic, but then at the same time, I know that the biggest changes in one's life don't have to be big in order to be significant.
On most days, the change is such a tiny wave that you don't notice until the waves crash into one another and you wake up and realize that, hey I am looking at things differently.
I have always been dead set about not settling. I often cringe over friends who choose so poorly when they can do so much better. And I still believe in that phrase, really, I do.
I strongly believe that a girl should not settle for a boy who:
a) hits her
b) verbally abuses her
c) expects her to get to the place on her own, pick up the tab and go home on her own.
d) is a womanizer
e) doesn't believe in God
I also believe that a woman should work on herself and her relationship with God instead of trying to be defined by the guy she is currently dating.
A woman should also have a strong sense of self-worth before entering into a relationship so she won't get consumed by it.
I still believe that.
But there are so many beliefs that I may, or may have not shared on this blog that when I go back to now, I cringe.
You see, I have always seen myself as "idealistic" and on most days, I still am.
I often say why go for second best when you can be THE best. And that's a good attitude when it comes to work, schoolwork and working out, but sometimes, when we always think that we deserve the best, we often judge everyone else, snubbing them thinking, "they will never be good enough for me."
To begin with, who am I, in my finite human strength, to define what is the best for me? And who I am, a mere human, reject who God has planned for me?
You see, I had to learn this the hard way and since this is a mature, twenty something blog, I will not mention names or events but let me just say that I once thought that I have come across "the one" simply because he looked absolutely, ridiculously good on paper.
And I mean ridiculously, this is it Lord, the wait was worth it kind of ridiculous.
And if you are perceptive enough, you would know that that did not turn out well.
It was like I found the guy version of me and I did not like it-- not one bit.
If I was anything like him, and to his credit, he does have cool points and I'm sure the timing was just whacked, but seriously he felt like the world owed him a Christian Barbie Doll and for the longest time, I was just disappointed.
Of course, I never quite admitted it to myself, but man was this guy harsh simply because he thought he "deserved" the best simply because he has been praying for the best. I was so angry and agitated with the phoniness of it all before realizing that, oh my goodness, I am the exact same way.
He wanted beautiful, Christian girls who also looked like they were going to be on the cover of Vogue and rejected anyone who didn't fit in the category and I realized wow, I was holding out for perfection and had a checklist just to make sure that those who didn't fit would be thrown out (o diba, confidence!) without realizing that I was judging every single guy I met based on my "Mr. Perfection List."
I was going to get the "BEST" but I was professing that I was waiting on "God's best for me", which are two entirely different things. I wanted to tell the world that I could get a Jeremy Lin/ Tim Tebow simply because I prayed and waited for it.
And don't get me wrong, I believe that there are wonderful girls out there who are praying for the two perfect guys above and will end up marrying them, but that's because God planned them for each other.
For the longest time, I was trying to get God to do what I wanted to do and twisted my belief system to make it look like I deserved a Jeremy Lin or a Tim Tebow. I never sat down and asked God what He wanted for me, I just went ahead and said what I wanted.
And you know what? It was nothing but PRIDE. I wanted to prove to the world that I was the one better off.
I am not ashamed of what I've done, really but thank God for grace.
Now, this doesn't mean that I don't think God will bless me with someone who would turn my entire world around because I know He would, but now I no longer (hopefully, by God's grace) walk around with a chip on my shoulder, constantly huffing, "I'm better than you so I deserve better."
And now don't get any ideas, I won't date just for the sake of dating (I love my TV shows way too much to give up my Saturday nights) but I won't close my doors either on someone completely opposite of what I've always had in my mind just because I am still waiting for Jeremy Lin.
I've also realized that it has nothing to do with who deserves who and it's all about being the perfect match. Two people could be completely wrong for each other and yet feel completely happy.
Now there's no more pressure and lesser disappointments and in a way, I still feel that I am not settling for less but actually giving myself a chance to truly be the one I was meant to be with simply because I stopped trying to figure out something that only God knows anyway.
Also, I realized that by constantly assuming what my life would be like, I always end up being disappointed in my life and God simply because life didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.
I shouldn't be calling the shots anyway.
My future may or may not include someone wonderful and you know not knowing is okay for now because just like what my brother said: there is beauty in the unknown and for now, that is enough.
Footnote: No, I am not throwing out the list. There are things that I still have on that list that can never, ever be compromised, but at this point, I am not even looking at it. I guess that's what people mean when they say, "Let Go and Let God!" Such freedom!