I strongly dislike the word stuck.
As an extremely independent individual, stuck brings up many negative connotations.
The word itself has a number of definitions - but the ones most fitting for my dislike are the informal definitions, including:
- Unable to progress with a task or find the answer or solution to something.
- Be or remain in a specified place or situation, typically one perceived as tedious or unpleasant.
- Be at a loss for or in need of.
- Unable to get rid of or escape from.
So, why do I dislike this word so much?
Well because feeling stuck brings me to a place of desperation, of need. It creates a strong gut reaction to get out. To get away. A deep sense of needing something to change - of a lack of balance.
And to be stuck is one of my biggest fears.
Stuck is what happens when you give up.
Stuck is what happens when you find yourself dwelling on a decision for hours on end twirling the thoughts around and around and around in your head endlessly with no coming solution.
Stuck is when you find yourself wasting time online - on social media - or any other diversion in order to distract yourself from that pressing feeling of something needing to be done now - but due to whatever reasons you just can’t do it right now.
I do believe everyone knows what I am talking about - but there are some of us who are more sensitive to it than others.
And sadly, I believe there are even more people in the world who have desensitized themselves to this feeling or have reasoned their way out of it.
Settling is the friend of stuck. I’ve talked to far too many individuals who have settled into a lifestyle they hate - for whatever reason. Or friends who two years ago felt stuck in their current job, city, friend group, relationship, etc… who have just decided it is “the way it is” and are no longer fighting for a change.
Seeing this drives me crazy. And it drives me to the edge of delirium when I find myself in the same situation.
I always need to be moving towards something more. Towards a goal. To a greater experience. To a greater world. To a better me.
Stuck is a feeling I have been fleeing from for most of my adult life. From the time I was 18 and off to college I have tried with all my might to create a lifestyle free of being stuck. From designing my own major in college, to working overseas for 2.5 years because I fell in love with Cape Town, South Africa when studying abroad there, to resigning from a job and drifting between volunteer positions until I found a dream gig in tourism, to moving myself back to the United States and back to Santa Barbara - a city I love - with few connections and no job - I have managed to keep moving and keep the fear of being stuck at bay.
However, as I move into a different season of life with a stable job and a home to call my own, it is difficult to not fear getting stuck here.
But there is one aspect I’ve been missing all along.
You see, being stuck isn’t connected only to our physical location or the people we know - rather it is intertwined to our emotional state of being.
This means that you can be in a corporate office job and feel stuck OR you can feel alive and like you are working in a position aligned with your purpose.
It all comes down to your perspective and goals.
Personally, this means that even though I find myself in a standard office job, it doesn’t mean I’m stuck.
Instead,with the right perspective, this job allows me to live in one of the best cities in the country and find a community of people who enjoy a lifestyle similar to what I aspire to have myself.
It means I have a steady income while I write this blog and turn this, or other ventures, into side gigs - that may eventually become something bigger.
It means I have a place to learn new skills and test my abilities with upcoming tasks and new initiatives within the company.
It means I have a community of coworkers to interact with everyday.
Yes, I still struggle with a sense of being tied down at times, especially post working in tourism where travel was the norm.
However, I know this is a season. And seasons are good.
So whenever you find yourself stuck, reevaluate whether this job, city, friend group, relationship or whatever else, helps bring you a step closer to your goals.
If not, let them go.
But if they do, then give yourself the task of finding a way to bring meaning and perspective to that area of your life because ultimately it’s the only way to get unstuck.
Are you feeling stuck? If so let me know why and what is standing in your way in the comments below.