When I was in my early 20s I thought I had everything figured out. My whole life was mapped out in front of me and I knew exactly where I was going to be at exactly what time/age. According to my (very detailed and incredibly intricate) timeline, I’d be married by twenty-five, buy a house with my husband, have two kids before I turned thirty, and then I’d quit my job and begin my life as a stay-at-home Mom.
Sounds like something straight out of Leave It to Beaver, doesn’t it? Well, I can tell you right now that I didn’t get the husband, I didn’t buy a house, I certainly didn’t have a baby (let alone two), and I’m still working my 9-to-5 office job in the city.
Thing is, I’m (mostly) happy where and how I ended up. I’m not mourning the life that should have been, instead I’m living the life that is. And even if I wasn’t happy with how my life’s panned out, it’s not like I could do anything to change it. Life gives you lemons sometimes and you’ve got to learn to deal.
Here’s how I feel about certain things …
I haven’t had a serious relationship in over a decade. I’ve gone on a couple dates, but that’s about it. I’m happy being on my own most of the time now, whereas before, in my early 20s, I was much happier spending time with a partner. I’m not sure what happened between then and now to change my mind, but something definitely clicked and now I’m at my most happiest when I’m on my own, doing my own thing.
Marriage? No thanks. Marriage means constantly having someone in your personal space. Seeing the same face every single day and night whether you want to or not. That just isn’t for me, sorry not sorry. It may be what other people are into, but for someone who’s as big an introvert as I am, that’s a living hell. I seriously believe that had I gotten married back then, I would certainly be separated or divorced now.
Technically, I accomplished this milestone! Four years ago I took the plunge and purchased a brand new condo with the incredibly generous help of my parents. Without them, I would never have had enough saved up to afford a place of my own (real estate prices in Toronto are INSANE). The apartment complex is nearly finished now, and as of this winter, I will officially be living on my own!
Am I scared? Yes and no. Deep down, I know I’ll be okay but it’s the bill-paying that’s got me worried. I’ve always been really paranoid when it comes to finances. I’m hella protective when it comes to the money I earn and I like seeing it stashed away in my savings account every time I check my online banking balance. I know that once I move into my new place, buy furniture, buy groceries, and start paying household bills, I’m going to see that money deplete. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle that.
Umm nope. Just no. No babies for me please! First of all, I’ve waited too long to start having babies (I’m thirty-five years old). Second, I no longer have those cuddly maternal feelings anymore and the thought of me getting pregnant and birthing babies has me running for the hills.
If I had babies, I would pretty much lose my independence. No more lesisurely time spent reading in bed for hours, no more movie binges, no more solo trips around the world, no more impromptu jaunts to the bookstore and library. All that would be gone. Yes, I’d have a child to love and nurture, but that’s not what I’m looking for anymore. This might sound absolutely awful – and it might shock some of you – but the thought of starting a family just doesn’t appeal to me at all. I refuse to apologize for this; it’s just the way I feel.
The 9 to 5 Job
Now this, I could do without. I’ve worked a traditional office job for the past (nearly) fifteen years and I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve become completely disenchanted with everything the corporate world stands for. I feel as if this corporate atmosphere is holding me back from something that could potentially set my world and heart on fire. I feel uninspired. I feel lost. I feel TIRED.
My dream is to one day become a full-time writer and work from home. In 2017, this is completely attainable, whereas a few years ago it would have been considered completely unthinkable. I won’t ever give up on this dream, but for now I honestly don’t see a way out of this whole 9-to-5 corporate world. I need a salary to live, to pay my bills, to buy new furniture, to spoil my nephews with, to buy copious amounts of books and magazines with, to buy food, to basically just support myself with and to live off of. Yes, my job leaves me feeling like I want to punch myself in the face but am I ready to forego a steady salary? Hell no. Not yet.
I like to think of myself as a fairly simple person. I don’t ask a lot of other people, I’m happy living as a minimalist, and I’m content spending most of my time on my own. I write, I reflect, and I read. That’s pretty much what my entire life consists of. So no, I don’t want it all. I’m happy with having just enough thank-you-very-much. I don’t want to “lean in.” I don’t want a husband and a house full of kids. I want peace and quiet, piles of books everywhere (goodbye minimalism), a pot of hearty chili simmering away on my stove top, and some Christmas carols playing softly on my radio (even in summer time).
To me, “having it all” means having too much and ain’t no one got time for that!