Have you ever realized that the older people become the more they say things like "Where does the time go?" Or "It's been 10 years since high school?!" You know - all the shit you never say when you're taking 18 credit hours and working 20 hours a week at Starbucks grinding coffee beans. Then you find yourself waking up at 28 on Monday morning about to start another 40 hour week wondering why you look so tired and why the hell your belly button is showing more and more through your shirt.
Because the real world" is boring. Most people work 40, 50, 60 hours a week and try to balance a social life in the dead space while maintaining a clean house and making sure there's at least cereal AND milk available for those nights you just can't fathom dirtying the entire kitchen. That is, if you even have a full-sized kitchen.
For those of you who were like me and the handful of my friends who were the first ones to go to college, it's super convenient to adapt to the concept that your life is meant to be a job or, if you're lucky, a career. Step 1 - college. Step 2 - job. Step 3 - marriage. Step 4 - die.
Say whaaat? You think about it that way and it sounds ridiculous but how many people that you know are doing anything different? I look on Facebook at how people live their lives and spend their time and I'm saddened that the reality seems to be a lot of people lay down and die at 25 because there is no longer a plan" to follow. If you don't go to grad school for your Masters or Doctorate you're just kinda left to your own devices and told to figure it out yourself.
Work for 30k and if that's not enough find a partner, combine your income, and then it'll all make sense.
What if you're gay? What if your goal isn't to get married and have 8 babies? What if your goals don't have anything to do with work and you want to live on a beach and sell hemp bracelets and play the ukulele? The gays end up drinking themselves into oblivion and lonely at 40, the straights feel unaccomplished bc all their girlfriends are paired off so they settle for the guy who hasn't stopped partying like its 1999, and the beach bums are "immature" and need to "get their shit together."
Well I'm here to tell you I think that is fucked up. 100% - fucked. up.
I've met all kinds of people - professionals, young professionals, people who are self-employed and successful, people who are self-employed and unsuccessful, students, adult students, artists, etc etc. You know what I found out? The people who are the most unhappy are the ones who thought they were following the "rules" and doing what they were supposed to do. I was conditioned to think a 35 year old bartender missed the mark and couldn't grow up and the self-employed business woman was the brave one; the smart one. But the bartender is the one who has filled his life with passion and let's his job be that - a job.
I realized that life is a series of small moments that, when combined together into weeks/months/years make up a story. Who wants to read a novel about a guy who works a full time job drafting documents and drinks after work until bedtime? Boring. Who wants to talk to a person who only talks about money and his/her career and all that blah blah bullshit? Nobody. Who are the interesting folk? It's the 65 year old woman who was a lounge singer, and a flight attendant, who partied through the 70s, lived in Rome in the 90s, and who still enjoys a whiskey on the rocks and grows her own herbs and cooks with butter. It's the couple who got married because they WANTED to - because they love each other and want to experience the entire world together. It's the person who raised a middle finger to the norm and did whatever the fuck they wanted to do because, the simplest reality is, it is their life.
It's not about money. It's about passion. It's about experience and love and being moved to tears because you allow yourself to feel what the world has to offer - not what it takes away.
So you got a late start - who cares. So you're single at 30 and your girlfriends have 4 kids - you're still young. You don't make 90k and live in and apartment with your cats - at least they won't judge you when you need to sit in your bathrobe and eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's.
The point of this post is to share my inspiration because I have been lucky enough to feel inspired by other people. If you are happily married with a gaggle of babies I commend you because that is not for everyone and if you raise those babies with love and support them and teach them how to be happy and successful and appreciative - that is more amazing than any other gift they'll ever receive. To be taught how to be happy inside and not always think its "out there somewhere"... invaluable. I would never look down on a stay at home mom or dad who absolutely loves what she/he does. I just wanna see people living. I wanna see people chose to live.
We're all trying - trying to glue together the pieces and figure out how to make sense of it all. It's a big world and it's a scary world sometimes which is why I hope everybody can stop and feel that sunshine, smell that rose, and steal a hug and a smooch from whoever or whatever makes your heart beat.
It's never too late to be the boss of your experience. It's never too late to start a new chapter.
Somebody, somewhere, at some point will want to read your book.