I was dinking around the ole’ facebook today and saw this article posted by a friend. The title sort of jabbed me in the heart like a sewing needle you weren’t expecting to sit on. Those words are me. I know it, I know what I am, who I am and where I am in my life, but to see them written down was, well, a little a bit of a shock. Written down they seem so dry, cold, empty and lonely. They seem that way but I certainly don’t feel that way. Maybe a little confused, curious, and unable to sit still but I’m ok with that.
Before reading on to the rest of this blog, please take a moment to read Ms. Bast’s article…
WOAH chica! At least that was my initial response. Here I was, loving my vagabond lifestyle and what do you know, there is someone just over the great pond from me feeling scrutinized and down on it. I thought that this article was going to be all affirming and righteous but after having read it, I get the feeling Ms. Bast was choking back tears the whole time she was writing it. So to you Ms. Bast I offer some counter thoughts…
—It doesn’t feel nice that people are asking about “what’s next in your life”? Well that’s because, god-forbid, you’re going against the grain, figuring out who you are and what you want in life and taking your time doing. This ain’t 1957 anymore sweet-pea. You don’t have to do what your parents did. Our generation has the world at our finger-tips. So dip your whole damn hand in and have no regrets.
—You feel like you are letting people down or making a horrible mistake? Well, that’s your first problem, you care way too much what other people think about you. Live your life. Hopefully you will realize that these kinds of remarks come out of curiosity, jealousy and fear.
—You feel like you’re an outcast? Well that’s because you probably are. Embrace that shit! Would you really prefer to hum-drum yourself into a mortgage in a neighborhood where all the houses look the same, work the same job for 30 years, never leave the U.S. (except on your honeymoon…to Costa Rica…wow…exciting) and never experience your youth filled 20’s because you popped out 4 kids before you were 30?
—Defective? Try daring. Defiant.
—Inadequate? Try adventurous. Audacious.
—Frustrated with lack of a stable career? Yeah ok, that’s a justifiable argument, I feel that way too sometimes. Then I look at older people who have been doing the same thing day after day for 20, 30, 40 years and I have a panic attack and want to vomit. At some point, it would be a wise idea to start a retirement fund, and I plan to at some point head in that direction. But not until I’ve tried and tested my interests and am confident in my decision to use the word “career”.
I get where you are coming from Ms. Bast, but there is no use trying to sell it…or even wanting to. Own it. Be proud. And please, for the sake of all of us 26, unmarried, childless women, don’t buy in.
I will leave you with some parting words that I hope will help you through the doubtful questioning from your family and friends. I don’t know who said it but by-golly no truer words have ever been spoken…
"Life should be lived like a cavalry charge, not like a nudist crossing a barbed wire fence."