Why does everyone’s life have to look the same? Why are we all expected to get stable careers and buy houses? Why do we have to get married and have kids? Why do have to fall into the same routine as everyone around us, and every generation before us?
The world has changed drastically over the years, and the millennial generation (and younger) are no longer doing what is expected of them. “Settling down” is no longer the end goal, and why is that such a bad thing? Why are we put under so much pressure for our lives to look like this ideal template? We are more likely to put off marriage and kids until our 30s, we are more likely to switch careers multiple times in our working lives, and we are less likely to buy houses and more likely to travel. Sure, in many cases, we put off the career and family until later in life, but for others, maybe those things aren’t in the plan at all. Some people never settle, never want a marriage and kids. And what’s wrong with that?
I still don’t know what I want. The idea of having my own house sounds nice, mainly because I hate moving every year or two, as I’ve done for a long time now. A stable “proper career” type job would give me the financial freedom to travel a lot, but the idea of sitting in an office, or doing anything remotely corporate makes me want to die, no thank you! Yes, I got good grades at school, and a degree from a good university, but these days, that doesn’t guarantee a high paying job anyway. I don’t really care about marriage – a partner would be nice, but marriage isn’t necessary! – and maybe I’ll have kids one day, but I’m sure as hell in no rush for that, and I enjoy the freedom and independence I have right now, doing what I want, when I want, without having to factor in others.
I am happy living in my present moment. Is it perfect? No, I would like to have a bit more money in order to continue travelling. But otherwise, I’m good with where I am right now. I don’t want commitments, I don’t want to be tied down and starting to settle. I don’t want to feel like there’s a deadline for having that “ideal” life, a deadline I almost definitely won’t meet. I want adventures. I want newness. I want to feel excited about life, not just content or average. I want to prioritise the things that make me happy, and not feel like I have to sacrifice them in order to do what is expected of me, if it’s not what I really want.
I understand why planning for the future is important, and why it’s good to be financially stable, rather than just getting by – but isn’t it still possible to do that, without settling into that picture perfect image of what life should look like? I absolutely do not want to work a corporate job of any sort, no matter what the payday looks like, because it wouldn’t be worth it for how miserable and stressed I know it would make me. And sure, a house and a family would be nice someday, but that’s not the be-all-and-end-all. I want to travel and have adventures, and I want to enjoy whatever work I do to the fund those. I want a job that’s about enjoyment more than it is about profits, a job where I’m out and about, not stuck in an office, and a job that makes me happy, not stressed out.
And I want people to stop expecting my life to look like something else. I want it to be ok to live in the moment, be ok to do something different, be ok to have a life that isn’t the same as everyone else’s. And given the job and property markets in the UK these days (and even the dating market…), maybe that’s a good thing, as it’s so hard to get all that stuff to make the “ideal” life. The world is changing and our lifestyles are changing with it. so can we please get a new picture of what life should look like? Or better yet, throw out the pictures all together. Every life is different and shouldn’t have to aspire to the expectations of an “ideal” that may not even be what you want. Do you, do what makes you happy, and screw what the rest think.