I have never ever been a settler. From a young age I wanted the best grades and the best toys (luckily if your parents are into bribery like mine, those two work very well together) – I wanted the best life – and I still do. Second best was – and never is – good enough. Why settle when you know you can achieve more?! Do better! Be better! Aim higher! Faster! Harder! Wait, I’m still talking about life, right?
…Anyway, I have never ever wanted the simple life. Fuck the simple life. Yes, sometimes it’s nice to take your foot off the pedal, a little bit because we all need downtime. But lately I’ve been in situations that have made me question the fact that I won’t settle. Others lack of ambition and willingness to just make do and accept things as they are has made me feel way less than a good, spiritual human. Does my unwillingness to accept things make me greedy? Does it make me a bad person? Am I totally completely deluded and still chasing a dream that won’t come true? Am I just one of those stupid millennials who’s parents promised them the world and I just haven’t realised yet that I can’t have it all? When will this reality come crashing down? Or will I still keep chasing my dreams? So. Many. Questions.
Truthfully, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t partly materialistic – girl, I work in fashion so of course I still want the best shoes and bags – but mostly, it’s an ambition thing. It’s about sense of achievement. Ambition can sadly be a dirty word, don’t you think? Ambition. Even when I think of it now, the first thing that comes to mind is ex-colleagues who were friendly in one breath, then willing to sell you out and throw you under the bus just to further their own career, snarling it’s a “dog eat dog world, bitch” whilst sticking their jaw out in a super aggressive way. Well, yes, bitch (as you’ll probably soon find out when people catch onto your falseness.) I’ve never been about that. You’ve still got to be nice. Because people talk. And karma’s a bitch.
But anyway, back to the “the best” – it’s not just materialism and achievement – it’s about experience. I want the best experience and life and memories. Wouldn’t you rather look back at your life, when you’re old and dying in a high tech hospital ran by robots at the crinkly old age of 143 due to scientific advances increasing life expectancy, and think wow I truly LIVED. If life was a dinner, I’d want it to be a damn steak with lots of sauce and truffle parmesan followed by a chocolate cake and probably some cheese too. It’d be rich. But not in coins – in experience and memories. Who wants a simple life when you can open a photo album full of memories and say “wasn’t that fun? – oh how we lived!” rather than open your photo album full of empty pages and say “I wish I did more”. Ok yes, we’re more likely to use an iPhone or whatever the equivalent of that is in the future, but you get the 3D holographic picture.
Obviously, everyone’s definition of the best is different. For your version of the best might be my version of settling, or my version of the best could be your idea of settling! Everyone has their own standards. And you have to be respectful of that. But it’s unfair to feel apologetic about your goals, just because they’re not the same as someone elses.
I have a lot of self belief, but it’s also balanced by a lot of self doubt – it comes from being a perfectionist. And I know that can make me seem somewhat uncompromising and fills me with the constant thoughts that what I do isn’t ever good enough. And whilst those thoughts can be totally crippling, they have a duality, and they are the thoughts that keep me aiming higher, striving for more.
Not settling is about development. Thinking ahead. It’s about questioning the status quo. Never settling for answers. It’s about working at yourself to be the best possible version. Desperate to know more. BE more.
I never wanted the simple life. Nothing is worth having comes easy, as they say. And we all know that easy come, easy go. I don’t see how if you’re striving and aiming for the best, whatever the best may be, for you, how that can ever ever be a bad thing? You should never let anyone limit you, or feel you should limit yourself based on others thoughts about you.
And never let anyone hold you back.
Photography by Rebecca Spencer