I never had a clear idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought for a bit that I might be a teacher. Later I thought about being an astronaut. Then, I realized I hate school and I’m not one for thrills. As I got older, I realized I had a creativity bug. So then, I wanted to be a musician. A singer song writer. No. I wanted to be in a rock band. No a dream pop band. No, Regina Spektor meets The Beach Boys meets Tame Impala meets Frank Sinatra. Then, I wanted to be a buyer. A buyer for Urban Outfitters. Or maybe a personal stylist. Maybe just a style blogger. No wait, a coffee blogger. Maybe I’ll be a philosopher. I’ll just be a writer. No, I think I’ll be a blogger but this time for healthy living. So maybe instead I’ll be an instagrammer. You know, just famous foresting pictures on instagram. But wait, I don’t know if I want to be famous. Maybe I’ll be an interior designer…. and so on.
So I’ve wanted to be a lot of things in my lifetime.
I’ve changed what I wanted to be almost monthly since I was five. It’s like an identity. Choosing your “path” is like choosing who you’re going to be. We’re encouraged to do this so early. When you’re 18, you have to choose your college, but that has to be based on your major which has to be based on what you’re going to do to make money which is ultimately who you will be and what you will do for the rest of your life.
I hated that.
I hated the idea that I had to pick one thing and be that forever. I’m not afraid of committing to people. I am deathly afraid of committing to activities.
I hated the idea of writing other people’s ideas. I hated the idea of picking out other people’s clothes and designing other people’s homes.
Yes, I knew I wanted to do something, but I wanted it to be for me and I didn’t want it to become my identity.
WHY DO WE ALL HAVE TO BE SOMETHING?
My biggest, “is this it?” moments in life happened between the ages of 17 and 20. I had on and off again boy troubles and problems with drinking responsibly and my jobs were full of serving people who were mostly rude. I knew I wouldn’t be there forever but I hated the idea that all life consisted of was getting a job to make money to save so one day you could retire and enjoy living… assuming you made enough to retire with enough to be comfortable enough to enjoy anything.
I resented life pretty much that whole time.
I resented the fact that I was given this existence that barely lasted a minute only to spend it making money.
This is why I was always anti-school, anti-college, anti-career. I thought maybe I was anti-society so I fell into that crowd for a while, but I don’t hate society. I don’t hate people. I don’t feel like I don’t belong.
I just don’t want a job. I don’t want a career. I don’t want a passion. I don’t want a mission.
I just feel like, what’s the point? I’ve always loved being alive but I hated the idea that all life had to offer was the potential for a good job. Yeah, you could get a family… but that doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.
It never seemed acceptable to say I just wanted to have a family and be retired now and enjoy my life now.
Don’t get me wrong, I have fun doing projects and having hobbies. I just don’t enjoy having a career. I don’t enjoy the feeling of obligation. Having to do something or be somewhere or answer to someone at any point in time. I’ve always known that’s just not something I want to do.
I JUST WANT TO BE CONTENT
Each of us is content with different things. My husband, for example, loves his job. He loves the company he works for, he loves the challenge that comes with building a career. He loves having people rely on him to show up and make things happen.
His drive was attractive to me before I even knew that I didn't want to work, probably because my subconscious was like, “HEY DUMMY! Marry that guy cause you’re going to figure out you don’t want to work one day and he’s gonna help you do it.”
At the time we both had terrible jobs and no money so, of course, I married him for more than his ability to make money. But isn’t the goal to find a partner in life that has interests and passions that compliment your own?
Either way, I’ve come to accept recently that I just want to be at home. I’m content with that life.
And I think more of us need to be okay with what we choose to do, even if we feel like everyone around us thinks it’s wrong.
I think, when we feel like everyone around us thinks what we’re doing is wrong, it’s really just us projecting our own insecurities into others.
I mean, how else would it be possible for us to live in a society where women who don’t want children feel like everyone is against them and women who just want to stay home with their children feel like everyone’s against them?
The reality is, you just have to decide what you want and do it. Do it confidently. Do it even if it feels like other people think it’s wrong. Do it because it feels like the right thing to you.
And if there are those people that say your path for happiness is wrong. Brush it off. Be annoyed by it for a little bit, sure. But then just let it go. They have their reasons for thinking what they think and to them it matters, but to you, who cares?
As someone who’s been very angry with the status quo, I think when we’re mad at the status quo, we’re really just mad at ourselves for not allowing ourselves to do what we love.
It’s not the world’s fault. It’s not society’s fault. It’s not men’s fault for making us feel inadequate. It’s our own fault for letting them. It’s our own fault for letting people say we’re weak enough to be manipulated.
So, I want to be content.
I don’t want to be an astronaut, I don’t want to be a designer. I just want to be a mom who stays at home and makes breakfast for her husband and gets excited about household cleaners and writes stuff occasionally. I want to be a person and I want to be happy. I want to make life more than what I thought it was. I want to make this life a life I think is worth living. No matter what anyone else says.
Photo by Ryan Riggins