Monday, June 4, 2012

When I grow up....(Oh, wait I'm 31)

When I was 13 years old, my days were spent awkwardly  sliding through school hallways with an enthusiasm to be almost anywhere but those hallways. I would race home from school, fly through the house toward my bedroom and jump straight onto my bed lying on my belly. Shoes off, school uniform off, window open (to watch the much older cute guy from school drive past my house on his way to his after school job) and teen radio music program blasting Sonic Youth on! Tune in, tune out. In those early years much of my dreams or ideals about life "when i grow up" consisted of becoming some high profile professor or rock musician (thanks Courtney Love) and finding my grungey counterpart. The concept of time when you are growing up is almost surreal.

 By the time I had reached 16, I was sure I was going to be a successful writer or teacher and married with children by 25 (at the latest). And then life stepped in. At 18, I was ready for life. Heading to University, 7 hours away from my hometown. "Yep, I'm totally grown-up." Through an assemblage of 'coming of age' events and feminist awakenings I soon realised growing up was a lot different than I thought it was going to be. There's no ultimate fairytale, only a tale after a tale after a tale. So, when 25 came and went there was no husband and no children... I mean truth be told I could barely keep a boyfriend.

Fast forward to today. I am now 31 years old. I live in a city I love, I try to travel internationally once a year, I have a great job in Publishing, I run my own website and freelance write. I don't have a boyfriend or a child but I have a dog and a busy lifestyle. I don't have a car or my own house but I eat well and shop well. Ideals change. Dreams and ideals bend and shift in relation to life, year after year. So what is the moral of this story? The moral is there is no ideal time to do anything, there is no right time to get married, get that job, have a child. Life is a ride. A crazy ride most of the time but an enjoyable one.

So remember -

Dream big. Life is yours for the taking. Don't be a backseat driver.

This is YOUR life. Not your friends from high school, not your parents, not your teachers.

Listen to your own inner voice & always follow your gut instinct. It's generally right.

There's no shame in making mistakes or changing your mind.

There is no time limit on when and what you do. Find your own pace.

As Troy Dyer said to LeLaina Pierce in Reality Bites "Honey, all you have to be by the time you're 23 (31) is yourself."