When you’re commitment phobic, it’s hard to stay put.
For example, when I lived in Chicago the first 5 years, I lived in 4 different places and had 4 different jobs. The second 6 years there I lived in 4 different places and had 3 different jobs. I was improving. I was only in Vegas for 1 ½ years – 1 place, 1 job.
I’ve lived in Seattle for 21 years. In the first 13 years I had 9 jobs although 4 of them were part time second jobs. I’m in my 8th year at my current job.
In the first 8 years here, I moved 6 times. I’ve owned my home for 13 years now.
I’m definitely improving.
Commitment phobic people like me don’t like conflict and we deal with it by running from it. The dichotomy is we’re only running from ourselves. Rather than facing our problems and fixing them, we run from them and hope they don’t follow us. Inevitably, just when we believe we’ve run fast and far enough, they tap us on the shoulder and say hi.
As aware of this as I am, whenever I run into a conflict my first instinct is still to run.
Fortunately running isn’t as easy as it used to be. When you’re a renter, moving is as easy as moving out when your lease is up. Yes it can be a lot of work, but it’s easy. When you own a house that needs some work, it’s harder to walk away.
I recently made a new list of all the things that still need to be done to my house – about $20,000 worth – and then my drain collapsed and I added $6,100 to that total. My first reaction was to go on the internet and start looking at houses – new houses and condos that don’t need work. The problem with all of them was location. They weren’t in my neighborhood with my wonderful neighbors. I can’t move. I’m taking some money out of savings and finishing my house. I love where I am and can easily stay here another 13 years. By completing all my projects I can enjoy my home and focus on other things. I’m staying put.
My job has also been a center of unhappiness lately. I was so frustrated I updated my resume and started hunting through the want ads. The problems with all of them was, I really like where I work now and only have about 7 more years until I retire. I can definitely stay here for that long. They pay me well and I have great benefits. At my age, benefits are really important. So I had a long talk with my boss at lunch the other day and we resolved the problems. They like me value me and want me to stay. I’m staying put.
All the changes in my home and job won’t happen at once, but they will happen within the next 6 to 9 months. I can wait that long.
I am commitment phobic but in most areas of my life I control it now, it no longer controls me.
Sometimes staying put feels really good!