Scroll through Facebook and Instagram and one thing is immediately clear: pretty much everyone on this planet, my grandma included, has a more exciting life than me. Whether it’s artistically snapping prayer flags in Nepal or giddy engagement party shots of loved-up couples, people are out there doing something with their lives. Me? I’m busy going on a few low key dates while enjoying a committed relationship with Netflix.
It feels like the only way to be successful is to live life in extremes. Just when I’m finally getting the hang of this Netflix and chill thing, it feels like that’s no longer enough. If you’re not near an Insta-worthy background or getting shots with a ring on your finger, you’re not up to very much as far as social media is concerned. Suddenly my life of mooching about feels oddly inadequate.
More and more of my friends are getting married and I’m just not ready for that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for my loved up friends. There’s nothing I love more than a wedding, and I absolutely want that for myself one day. Thing is, if I got married now, I’d feel like a child walking down the aisle. Aside from lacking the emotional maturity to be a wife, I’d be missing out on all the things you should be getting up to in your twenties. Maybe I’m an idealist, but I’d like at least one more year of inviting my friends ’round for sleepovers and pizza before I tie the knot.
Committing at this age feels like jumping the gun. It sounds kinda depressing to say, but if I get married in my early twenties, what do I have to look forward to for the rest of the decade? Before I know it I’ll be having ten kids and taking out a mortgage on a second home just to pass the time. I want to save some of life’s excitement for later on—right now opting for a different flavor McFlurry is enough to keep me on my toes.
Can I just be in a relationship without being asked when I’m expecting my first child? Now that I’ve got my first few serious relationships under my belt, people seem to be expecting the big one. Relatives start wanting to be introduced and friends are asking when we’ll be moving in together before we’ve even hit date number five. At the moment I’m enjoying my relationships for what they are, without the need to stress about the future, and I’d like that to carry on a little longer.
Single or dating, I have bigger fish to fry in my life. Even if I were at the point of settling down, is that the be all and end all of life? It feels like our success as adults is measured by the number of proposals we get rather than our personal achievements. Right now, I have a career to build, a style to iron out, and friends to stay in contact with. Relationships are a bonus, but I’m not ready for them to take center stage in my life.
Why do we feel the need to banish single people to other countries? It feels like young, single people are programmed to book a one-way ticket out of the country as soon as possible (which could explain my issues when it comes to attracting dates). I don’t have to be married to have a family I care about, or to want to spend time just kicking back at home. I love my life as it is, why should I have to keep running away from it?
I don’t need to have a boyfriend to be attached to my home. OK, I may not have a ring on my finger, but there’s more than one reason to want to settle down in an area. Strong, independent woman that I am, I’d like to start saving for a house, working my way up the career ladder, and building a community of friends in my neighbourhood. I love seeing the world, but I’ll always want a home to come back to.
Traveling feels more like escaping life than living it. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for people that go off travelling—it’s scary, exhilarating and frankly expensive! Still, I can’t help but feel if I went traveling, it would be to escape the obligations I have at home rather than for the pure joy of it. When I come back from my travels, all my previous worries (i.e. how to fund my avocado toast habit) would still be there, so I may as well face them now.
Corny as it sounds, I need some time to work on myself. Before throwing myself into a huge life commitment, I want to make sure I’m absolutely happy with myself. I want a career in my own right, to be able to wash knitwear without calling my mom, and to finance my life independently, before I introduce anyone else into it. Settling down or rushing off abroad in my twenties would prevent me from doing the growing up I know I need to.
My mediocre life is plenty exciting for me. OK, so my photo albums have more group shots of me in front of my living room curtains than stunning landscapes, and I’m probably as far away from a marriage proposal now as I am when I was 12, but I’m happy with my mediocre life. Taking this time to relax and be myself before delving into adult life is an opportunity I might not get again, so excuse me while I go and enjoy every second.
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