There’s a common narrative that people who live a stable, uneventful life eventually hit a midlife crisis and chase excitement.
They fantasize about escaping the mundane, feeling young and alive again, or doing something completely out of character as a way to rediscover themselves. Sometimes it leads to regrettable decisions such as having extramarital affairs.
Even if you’re not having a midlife crisis though, as a consumer, you’re being sold excitement all the time: the passionate romance, the fast cars, the wild nights that you’ll never forget, the feeling like you’re someone else — someone far more important and interesting than who you really are.
I get it. I fell for it many moons ago.
But, I suppose, as an immigrant woman, I lived through the “excitement” at a much younger age than most.
Uprooting my life at the age of 17 — Exciting!
Exposing myself to completely different cultures and lifestyles— Exciting!
Changing living and working environments frequently — Exciting!
Befriending and dating people from wildly different backgrounds — Exciting!
See, during the fragile years between age 17 and 24, my life was in a constant “excitement” state, though not necessarily because I wanted to. The decision to move to a foreign country had caused a domino effect. Changes and chaos turned into habits while stability became a luxury. In a way, “excitement” was my new normal.
I had no ties and so much freedom, which I know many people would kill for.
But freedom could be a double-edged sword for a person that young. It was addictive and dangerous. I didn’t have much life experience, money, or social power. I had no idea who I was. Thus, exercising my freedom often meant walking in the dark alone with bare hands and no armor — I was very vulnerable.
I sought excitement because I had become addicted, but deep down I craved stability even more.
Stability stopped being a given; it was a very conscious choice I made as I approached my mid-twenties.
I knew what life was like without it — the price of chasing excitement without solid ground underneath your feet. I knew how it felt to have nowhere to turn to when shit hit the fan, to fear for my future because there wasn’t any safety blanket wrapping around me.
For the younger me, excitement was often fleeting and came hands in hands with deep anxiety. Many things advertised as fun by mainstream media brought on far more troubles than what it was worth; I figured the rules of the game were just different for someone like me. At one point, I found myself at the opposite end of stability, and it was terrifying.
After endless negative outcomes, I came to the conclusion that excitement was overrated. It was a lie. It wasn’t enough. And it’d never be enough for me to risk destroying myself ever again.
No one really talks about the unfair advantage of growing up in a happy family or being emotionally secure.
Well, I opened my eyes a few years ago and decided that I would build real stability for myself — I became the intentional woman I’d always wanted to be.
I went to therapy to heal from past traumas and break toxic attachments; I learned to regulate my emotions and tried hard to stick to wholesome routines. It was very difficult at first as I was restless, but after a while, real life magic happened.
I fell back in love with my life and no longer felt like I needed anything but myself. I was at peace. Soon after, I found my fiance.
Dating him was wonderful, but his proposal truly elevated our relationship as it signaled the highest level of security and trust to both of us — just what we treasured. Harmony ran throughout our minds, bodies, and souls.
One of the biggest advantages I have now is having a highly emotionally intelligent and resourceful partner who is fully committed to me and treats me like a queen.
The truth is, excitement is easy when, at the core, you’re secure.
You don’t have to worry about having everything taken away from you just when you’re not looking. You don’t have to fear for your future because your future is already here. You don’t have to deal with problems alone. There’s a safety blanket; there’s a shoulder to lean on when things don’t go so well.
I value stability because I know how beneficial it is.
And, personally, it doesn’t stand in the way of me having excitement. Actually, every day is exciting now because I get to spend it with my best friend — the love of my life — and pursue my dreams, which is also a privilege that comes from having enough security. Excitement doesn’t come with anxiety anymore; it’s just good. Meanwhile, security keeps increasing over time; it’s an investment.
I value stability because it makes me so happy and full, and I know how hard it has been for me to arrive here.
To be clear, when I say stability and security, I don’t mean “finding a husband”—it’s not that simple.
Stability: consistency, reliability, control.
Security: safety, confidence, and freedom from apprehension.
These qualities allow for efficiency, well-being, and happiness.
Even if you get married, it’s no good if your husband is an alcoholic and cheats on you while you’re pregnant with his 3rd child — that’s chaos from hell.
It’s about the quality of your relationship and the value it adds to the foundation of your life.
But you don’t even need a spouse to find stability and security. It can be gained through all types of relationships, careers, money, lifestyle, and, essentially, your mindsets.
My message to you:
If, like me, you value stability and security, I’d advise making it your first priority. It means every decision you make should get you more — not less — of it.
You should cut off people whose values don’t align with yours immediately and be morally clear. Practice self-discipline when it comes to important matters.
The world is changing; society is losing its structure, for better or worse. So, if you want something, you have to be very intentional about it and stand up for yourself — no one can and will do it for you.