Coming to Terms with Settling Down

I used to be a wanderer. As soon as I got my drivers license, I hit the open road, visiting friends in other states and exploring forgotten back ways.

In college, I became a frequent rider of the South Shore Rail Line between South Bend and Chicago. I spent every other weekend in the Windy City, wandering the streets or staying with Jesus People USA—perhaps the world’s largest collection of Christian hippies.

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Through school, I weighed my post-graduation options. I thought about joining the crew of a missionary ship. I talked to a missionary school in France. I made plans to sail the world, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and drift between countries, making friends with the locals.

My life didn’t really turn out that way though.

I got married a year after graduation. We bought a house, got a dog, started a business...

Not exactly your typical vagabond lifestyle. And you might expect that there’s some part of me that’s suffocating as I walk through my everyday routine. Some days, I expect that too.

But if I’m being real honest, I’m completely satisfied. My life might not be filled with the kind of adventure and unpredictability that I thought I craved, but I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older that predictability isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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In fact, I sort of like it.

I like knowing that every morning, we’ll lazily scroll through Facebook and Reddit until our dog starts whining to go out. Then, I’ll put on a record and we’ll have bacon, eggs, and coffee and scroll through social media some more.

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Depending on the weather, we’ll take the dog for a walk. A little before noon, one of us opens the shop. We’ll do whatever work we need to do till the shop closes, then we’ll have dinner. If we don’t have anything going on, we’ll watch Netflix and scroll through the internets some more till around midnight, when we go to bed and do it all again.

It sounds boring when I put it all together like that. But in that predictability, we have the freedom to create art, make music, play shows, support other artists, and help build a community of artists, musicians, and makers.

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And as much as it might surprise me, helping that community grow and watching my friends find success is more rewarding than all of the adventure and untamed unpredictability the world could offer.

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