Now that I’m into my thirties, it seems like everything on my Facebook newsfeed revolves around engagements, marriages and babies. The odd time I’ll see that egotistical maniac running for office or a ‘Save the (insert animal, person and/or the Earth here).’
There was a time when I felt like I was falling behind. A time where I thought everything and everyone around me was moving on except me. I chose to take a path that not a single one of my friends had chosen. I was in my early twenties, just graduating university and I couldn’t fathom settling down. So I promptly packed my bags and left the country.
I hear stories about small town couples being high school sweethearts, getting married and having three kids. Being me, I can’t help but think ‘what the fuck.’ What the actual fuck. In my opinion, you haven’t even lived. You married the one and only person you’ve ever been with, you settled down so quickly and now, there are children. I already have anxiety just thinking of it.
Now, I’m not knocking people who are in these relationships, honestly I’m not. We’re all entitled to opinions here. Not everyone is cut from the same cloth, and for that, I am so so grateful. Because what I just said above, that to me, is like a life sentence in prison. Sure, I’d love to get married one day. I’m all for it actually. Kids though….that’s a definite hells no. I’ve known for a long time now that there is no way I’m bringing children into this world. I’ll gladly rescue every feral cat or stray dog in the world than to have a baby.
So that feeling of me falling behind I mentioned earlier, these were the things creeping into my head as I lay in bed some 6000km from home. I was happy seeing friends getting engaged or breaking the news of their soon-to-be baby girl/boy. But I thought…’is this what I should be doing?’ Shouldn’t I be following in line with the rest of them?
And in that one small instant, the doubt started to creep in and take hold. I had to literally get out of bed in that moment, grab my travel journal and bucket list and read. I had to tell myself that this is the life I wanted and needed. I’m not the type of girl who falls in line with the rest of them. Years ago, my high school boyfriend told me that once he and I graduated from school, we could get an apartment in the city and live together. I promptly dumped his ass and told him that I had plans for my future and it’s obvious now that you’re not meant to be included. I was horrified that that’s what he had planned for himself and that he thought I would go along with it. I call it the small town mentality. My dad’s one request after graduating high school was to get out of this town and make a life for myself. He knew this town wasn’t meant for me. I owe him big time for that.
The path I chose for myself may not have been what everyone else was doing, or wanting to do. I can’t just assume everyone wants to pack up their life and travel for forever. That’s just what I wanted to do. Those feelings of doubt soon dissipated. As I read over my own memories I was creating, I knew that this was exactly where I needed to be. We shouldn’t feel like we have to do what everyone else is doing because that’s how it’s always been done. If no one ever broke away to do something else, this world would be quite a boring place.
My life, as unconventional as it has been, has been my greatest accomplishment thus far. Since that night of self doubt, I have never had those feelings again. I do not envy what anyone else has going in their lives, but I am eternally happy for each and every one of them. I may not be following in any one’s footsteps, but I sure am happy to be breaking away from the mould.
Thanks for ‘listening’ to my odd rant here. I promise the next post will be about my travels!