Stability vs Sustainability

I always thought I wanted stability. A stable career, stable relationships – a stable life. But, thinking about this earlier (in the shower – you know, where all the best thoughts emerge), stability is not at all what I want. The stable life that I’ve been trying to manifest would not, in practicality, fulfill me at all. I should have known this all along, really (Sagittarius squad, what’s up). But it’s what I thought I wanted – stability, as I imagined it, would be the thing that eased my anxiety. All this time spent trying to manifest stability, and not once did I really sit down and think about it.

For years, I was in a stable career. Every two weeks I would get the exact same paycheck amount. I was in no real danger of being let go, and believe me, my work ethic is definitely not one that would make me a candidate for firing (sorry for the flex there). So with this I, as a very career driven person, really had all the tools necessary to build the stable life that I wanted. But – spoiler alert – I was unhappy. I took for granted the reliability of my income, and my job security. I used my long hours and hard work to justify poor spending habits, and a sometimes twice a day SkipTheDishes problem. Instead of stability, I built chaos.

So I left that life. And here I am, in a totally different environment trying to create the life that I had just ran away from.

In the realm of relationships, I’m not much better either. We don’t need to get into my commitment issues or what I like to call my “Kylo Ren Disposition” – my unstoppable draw to brooding, emotionally overwhelming, but super attractive “bad guys”. But I will say that I was recently asked out by a guy who was, on paper, everything that would make for a great, reliable and – you guessed it – stable partner. From the perspective of the life I was trying to create, he would have been perfect. But after one date, I can tell you for sure his personality was way more Finn than Kylo, and I was not at all interested. Because you know, Finn is also very attractive, but wayyy too much of a nice guy for me. (This is the end of my Star Wars references, I promise) Anyway, I told him I just wanted to be friends.

Listen, Universe. I’m sick of my bullshit too.

So, thinking about all of this today I’ve realized something. Stability, at it’s core, lacks adventure; lacks adversity. Stability isn’t passionate. It’s monotonous. To be stable means that everything is predictable – the same, repeatedly. Stability is not, for me, fulfilling. And in fact, stability is exactly what I disliked about all of my past experiences.

Stability was never what I was looking for. What I wanted was sustainability.

Sustainability to me means the ability to move freely through life while having a strong base to start off at – a landing pad, of sorts. A sustainable life is a balanced life.

A career, even a 9-5, can provide the basis for a a sustainable life – so long as it provides enough financially to allow for the continuation of a desired lifestyle, and as it allows enough freedom outside of work hours to nourish your self and your soul.

From a relationship view, sustainability is equally important. We should all get ourselves a partner who is reliable, of course, but that inspire us to grow individually and together. Settling for someone who doesn’t bring out that spark in you – the want to expand your own self in such a way that you cannot wait to share every second of your journey with them – or that doesn’t make you feel like you can be your full self with, just for the sake of stability shouldn’t ever be acceptable to us. We deserve more than that. And this “settle” type of relationship will never truly work out – add in the ideas of resentment for missing out on things, or acting out maliciously to have the experiences you feel you missed. It’s just not sustainable.

Keeping in mind here that I am by no means saying that stability can’t be part of a sustainable life. Some people thrive on it. For example, I had a doctor when I was younger who ate the exact same things at the exact same time everyday. Homie’s entire day outside of work was completely the same as every other, and he thrived on that. So for some, routine is entirely fulfilling, and their most satisfying life is based on knowing exactly what happens tomorrow, or next Sunday. For these people (and maybe this is you), this is the most sustainable life.

You’re a Capricorn, aren’t you?

For me, a Sag, I want adventure. I want expansion. I want constant improvement and challenge of myself. And I want to share this with someone who I want to show every aspect of myself to, without fear of judgement. All while having a stable base to call my landing pad.

Stability and sustainability are not the same. Stability can very much be a part of sustainability, but there is so much more to it. May we all find the formula to bring us to our most sustainable lives.

May the Force Be With Us, Always (OKAY, I’M SORRY)

8 thoughts on “Stability vs Sustainability

  1. This was such an interesting read. I love what you say about stability being boring and lacks energy I think I was in that mode for a while this year and I missed the adventure. I think I am now more in Sustainability mode x


  2. I love this so much! Your writing is amazing – I love your voice and really enjoyed reading this. And I totally resonate with what you’re saying! Stability sounds nice but it can be dull and it’s not what I sought out in my life either. When I had the stable job and house, I was unhappy, just like you. Being able to live more unstable has been my preference, but it’s that sustainability that’s the goal. Awesome post!


    • Thank you, first of all, for your kind words, Riana! It means a lot to me! 😊 And I am so glad to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way! I’m looking forward to my new outlook and the adventure that comes with it! Now, I’m pretty sure I’m not move to Prague adventurous, but we’ll see! Haha


  3. I love how well you have written this, and how deeply it reflects your train of thought!
    I too love adventure and adversity, and all the rockiness that comes with sustainability. Stability is, as you say, unchanging and too solid for those of us who need change.


  4. LOVED THIS POST AND RELATE TO IT SO MUCH – Stability is really all I want career wise, it’s been a tough year applying to jobs and job searching, and as much as I want it, I also know that my sense of fulfillment comes from outside of what would bring me stability. It’s my fear to keep doing a routine of going to work (pls someone hire me lol) and just not being happy at all.

    It’s why I have a lot of things that contribute to my happiness – if it were up to me, I’d be focusing my all on being a sponsored athlete, but! I need that stability of a full time role to support that dream. I hear of stories of people being over worked past 5 and I- I can never see myself being happy with that. It’s like a catch 22 really, I need the stability, but also know it won’t bring the same happiness I get from competing at races.

    Cheers to that – may we all find the formula to bring us to out most sustainable lives, hoping 2020 is a great one!



    • I feel you on this! I left my career job in June to move back to my home town and it’s been non stop applying ever since. But I will say that even with how terrible job searching is, I’m a lot happier now than I was when I was working all the time (and I mean, all the time). Except like you said, that catch 22 – now there’s more time to focus on my real goals and what makes me happy, but I need the financial base of a full time job to continue that.

      Cheers to an amazing 2020, and to you getting even closer to your goal of being a sponsored athlete!


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