I often feel like I’ve been emotionally and spiritually stunted since graduation, a realization that occurs to me every time Simon charmingly (or annoyingly??) asks me what my dreams and visions are for our future. I have nothing to cough up except like, I don’t know, buy a wood-fire pizza oven that we’ll never use, eat 25-cent tacos in Mexico, or something else that involves food. Meanwhile, his plans are incredibly specific and involve too much physical exertion. For example, he’s suggested a month-long boat trip along the Mediterranean even though neither of us can sail and I get seasick watching Titanic.
Before you point out how incongruous our life goals are, let me point out that I have witnessed this grown man audibly delight in glee at the sight of a red velvet cupcake. And I, in turn did not peep a single complaint when he made me live in a tent and hike through Yosemite like Reese Witherspoon for a full week.
This stunt gets amplified whenever someone asks me what I’ve been up to, and all I can say is that yes I am living in the same apartment, yes I am working the same job, and no, I haven’t written anything yet so please stop asking. It’s a little foreign to be in this stage of life, to have a lot of freedom and very few responsibilities.
All my life I feel like I’ve just been hustling from one short-term goal to another, one exam to the next, with the ultimate goal of getting a good job and being able to support my family and myself. And now that I’ve achieved it, well, now what? Is this a time to do everything that I now have the money for, but won’t have the time or energy for when my uterus is ready for motherhood? Sorry to all the hustling moms out there, who must want to pierce a fork through my whiny entitled eyeball.
I am so grateful for what I have. The privileges I have now are what I’ve been working towards since the advent of my first report card in Kindergarten. However, when it seems that there’s an infinite array of possibilities – places to live, people to meet, jobs to have- settling for the expected path makes me feel like I’m not taking full advantage of my opportunities. But while the idea of living in different countries, trying different jobs and wearing different masks excites me, it scares me even more.
I grew up in a household where a salaried, steady job came few and far between. Financial freedom was my mantra that got me through the worst of exams and it was a big reason why I went to pharmacy school. The thought of risking what I worked for, to go “live life to the fullest” makes my head spin and would probably piss off my teenage self. I can be a bit haughty when I hear about other people who can quit their jobs willy-nilly and move to another continent with barely a second thought. I like to tell myself that they don’t have other people relying on them, or certain expectations to fulfill. It’s probably not true for them, and not fair of me, I know, but it makes it easier on myself.
I know the answer is always somewhere in between. I know I don’t have to choose between living an exciting, ever-evolving life, or one of constants and stability. I know I should make new goals for myself and that there are no constraints on self-improvement. This I know, I know, I know. There are BIG changes ahead for Simon and me in the near future, which I will divulge more about later, so it’s got me thinking a lot about where my life is and where it could be headed.