I’ve officially reached the age when people are starting to get their “shit together.”
My Facebook feed is filled with pictures of people I went to high school with announcing new babies, engagements, weddings, new houses. And while I’m super happy for those people, I can’t help but think about how much I don’t want that right now.
Up until the age of 25, you can kind of get away with the whole oh-I’m-just-floating-around-until-I-figure-out-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-life thing.
But then you turn 25 and it’s like damn, you’re a quarter century old. There’s no hiding the fact that you’re an adult and you’ve probably found one or two gray hairs by now. Just me? Oh…
All of a sudden, you’re expected to have direction. People start asking questions and you can’t really get away with acting like a total train wreck anymore.
In the US, at the age of 25, you’re expected to have a college education, a stable job with opportunity to advance, probably some type of relationship, a car and a place to live that isn’t falling apart. You’re “supposed” to start thinking about marriage, kids and a mortgage.
Because that’s what people do.
Anyone who isn’t following these rules is basically a disaster, probably addicted to something and a touchy subject at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
But who makes these rules? What if I don’t want to be an adult yet? And what if those things don’t appeal to me? What if I don’t want a dog?
I’m still young, of course, but I’m not getting any younger.
At the age of 25, I have no house, no children and no husband.
I have no real savings, nothing even close to resembling a boyfriend, no inkling of a corporate career and I haven’t lived in the same place for longer than 3 months in over a year.
I also have an addiction (coffee) and massive amounts of student debt.
My freelance writing career is still young, at about 3 months old, and definitely not stable. Making money is a constant struggle and I still have no idea if it’ll work out or not. I could change my mind next week and decide I’d rather be a yoga instructor, or a software developer. Both are options I’ve considered in the past.
Like I said, stability and consistency are foreign concepts to me.
But here’s the thing…
I’m not sorry.
Not one bit.
If you want to get married, buy a house and have kids, by all means, please do. I will come dance at your wedding, help you paint your house and be the best “Auntie Lex” to your slobbery little munchkins.
I’m not judging you and I don’t necessarily think my way is better, it’s just better for me.
This may seem nuts to you. How does she live like that? You might not be able to relate at all, which is completely understandable. Settling down seems so completely out of the realm of possibilities for me, that I can completely relate to not being able to relate.
But in the end, we are the minority.
We, the travel obsessed, digital nomads, bloggers, writers, social media experts, videographers, mentors, developers, creators, fake-it-till-ya-makers. We are the beautiful, golden minority.
There comes a point in life when you have to own your choices. Eventually, you have to stop acting like you’re still “figuring it out” and accept that this is how you’ve chosen to life your life.
Not everyone will agree with your choices. You will be judged and people (probably a lot of them) will think you’re crazy.
You can tell them to shove their societal norms up their *ahem* and yes, proudly exclaim that you run an online sorcery school. Because you know what? Different is better than better.
I may not have a house, a nice car or a stable job. I don’t have any fancy watches or Michael Kors bags, and the only pair of heels I own are the ones attached to my feet. I don’t have a credit card or even a phone plan.
What I do have, is a passport full of stamps.
Friends all over the world, a collection of ratty $3 tee shirts and a love affair with a backpack. I have eyeballs that have seen tiny, undiscovered parts of the world and an insatiable appetite to see more of it. I have a plane ticket to Malaysia leaving tomorrow and scars all over my body from living at full force.
When I’m older, my wrinkles will reflect the many suns my skin has seen and my feet will hurt from all the mountains I climbed.
My memory will flicker with vibrant flashbacks of daring adventure, foreign landscapes and thousands of sunsets.
I’ll remember the late nights, the massive ideas and the deepest connections with the most improbable people. Pieces of my heart will lie all over the world, in the places I saw, people I met and experiences I shared.
And to me, at the age of 25, that is much more important than a white picket fence.