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Oh this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down…

11 May

Sort of. Except that I didn’t become the prince of some upper class neighbourhood at the end. Dammit.

If you had asked me 10 years ago what I thought my life would look like in my twenties, I probably would have rambled on some blather about working my (high-paying) dream job, living in some wicked pad and starting a family with Mr. Right. I probably would have been pretty confident about this too. And, really, why not? After all, I was a straight-A high school student who had everything going for her. I was going to go to a good university and study hard and do great things. And because I was raised to be a tough and independent young woman, I was going to be able to perform this circus-grade balancing act between being a kick-ass professional (doing what I wasn’t really sure. I figured it would come to me eventually) and being super mom AND wife and not take any shit off of anyone.

I, like so many of my peers, was raised to trust in this magical formula for success and to believe in the “good life” that following through with said formula would lead to.

How aghast would my younger self be if I could tell her what I know now?

I did study hard and I went to a great university. But that magical moment where I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life never came. Instead of setting my sights on becoming a doctor or a lawyer, I studied what interested me, not what was going to get me the job. I spent some time overseas and realized that maybe, juuuust maybe, I was missing out on a great big world with a lot more to offer than I had ever thought.

Enter, Real Life.

Poverty and disenchantment in a post graduation world eventually led to the devastating break-up between me and the big city. My parents, bless their hearts, welcomed me back into the (much more rural) family home until I could get back on my feet. I was suddenly, and still am, a teenager all over again (angst included! In fact, possibly more so! Having your best laid plans dashed will do that I hear. Sorry, mom – it’s not you, it’s definitely me.).

And as for happily ever after with Mr. Right? Ha ha, yeah right.

I’m not down on love, I’m just not as convinced as I once was that latching on to a man is something I really need (I am seeing someone so it’s not like I’ve committed myself to cat-lady status yet). The institution of marriage has lost its sparkle as I realize more and more that it isn’t what most of us really want it to be. The tough and independent woman I was raised to be just doesn’t see the point in attaching myself to a man just because it’s what we’re supposed to do. And kids? I have a dog and that is all the selflessness I can muster (word to all you mothers out there; I don’t know how you do it).

So, here I am: In my twenties, living with my parents, no dream job, no house, and decidedly uninterested in traditional family life at present. My younger self would probably be hyperventilating at this point our little heart-to-heart

After handing her a paper bag, I’d tell said younger self not to worry so damn much. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t change much of anything given the chance. I’m not where I thought I’d be by now (or even necessarily where I want to be for that matter). But is taking a little longer to sort your shit out worse than dedicating yourself to a career that you aren’t passionate about just for the money and getting roped into family-life before your ready?

And so, dear readers, I imagine that at this point some of you may find yourselves irritated at my babble, possibly swearing at your monitors with something akin to, “Whiny little bitch, who DOESN’T find themselves caught adrift in an ocean of never-ending existential crisis? Fuck this shit!” To which I reply with, “I know, right? Fuck this shit indeed”.

My situation isn’t unique. I know that I’m not the only one still feeling dazed, confused, and maybe even a little ripped off in the wake of this “real life” business. But admit it: it kind of helps to know that you aren’t the only one lost at sea in the same make-shift boat. The semi-directionless masses take comfort in their massy-ness as they lumber about in search of purpose and self-justification, amirite?

Anyway.

So, here I am, picking myself up and dusting myself off and hacking my way through the underbrush of the “off road of life”, carving out a new path. Sure, I’m a little more bitter that my sweet, unassuming younger self, but I’m determined gosh darn it. Plus? Bitterness also makes for snarky self reflection and witty social commentary. Blogging is fun!

See, aren’t you glad you came? We’re friends already!

Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Tell me your story. We’ll laugh about it in a few years anyway. Quarter-life angst! Ha!