Ever since I was a little girl, I very clearly and effortlessly envisioned my future. Well, at least I thought it was clear. I would eventually reach an age that meant “figuring it all out.” I’d have that set, steady, adult-clothed job, my morning curls and coffee, embark on the tedious 9-5 day, and of course, come home to my prince charming. We’d laugh and talk about our time-consuming hours, cook dinner in our bare feet, and cuddle our way through the night until starting it all over again. Ah, life.
My oh my. My once perfectly-pictured, almost tangibly inevitable future has evolved into a subconscious day-dream that my conscious can’t help but patronize. Don’t get me wrong – I am still a believer in the American Dream, no matter how old school or naively optimistic it might appear, I’m all in. I believe in happily ever after’s and always will. I just can’t help but laugh at my 14 year old self for thinking that ten years later; I’d have my shit together. It is quite the opposite.
I find it ironic that by the bold age 18, we are so societally-driven, crazy hungry, for our “life to begin.” We are so sure, so ready, that the upcoming years will be these pivotal, life-changing, almost settling times of our lives. Well… they’re indeed pivotal, and surely life-changing, but settling would not be a term I’d coin for my early twenties.
While my 14 year old self might have assumed I’d be rushing home to my own cozy bed every night come 10 years older, I’d be unashamed to tell her that I spend more nights on couches and air mattresses instead. I’d tell her that the idea of routine and monotony seem not only unrealistic but kind of unwanted. I’d tell her that there is this very apparent, very real feeling in my heart that there’s so much more to explore, so much more to experience. I’d urge her to say yes to every and any opportunity or call that makes her heart flutter.
I’ve always admired people who could stare at a goal or a future as if it were so evidently concrete and point to the exact spot they wanted to land; but I’ve never been one of them. Also, I’m not necessarily sad about it. Often the years I’ve been most unsure of what I wanted have ironically led to the most answers and resolution.
In an honest way, I guess you could say that I am uncomfortable with the idea of comfort. It’s not that I don’t want to curl up next to someone on a Wednesday night, or share my life with another soul; it’s just that I don’t want it to hold me back.
I am excited by so many things; adventure, people, growing closer to myself and my beliefs, strengthening my career and long-term self – the list goes on. That’s not to say I wouldn’t enjoy clinking my champagne flute with another after a successful week – but I’d like to tell my 14 year old self that there’s so much more than the quest for comfort. The discomfort, anxiety, questioning, and soul searching is just as much of a beautiful journey.
We all assume that the end-goal is to find our person, and BOOM: euphoria. I beg to differ. Maybe it’s about us; maybe it’s about thinking we’re searching, when in reality, we’re secretly loving the process of growing closer to ourselves.
I think it’s cool, and totally acceptable to postpone the comfort of life as much as we want. Whatever that means for you. Do the things that terrify you; participate in the uncomfortable. Ask the questions or state the statements that most people don’t. Why not? Whether you’re monogamous or as complicated as a 24-year-old blogger, don’t settle for safekeeping.
Say yes to the late nights or to the plans you’re a little unsure of. Recognize the outskirts of your safety zone and lean into them. We all have wild hearts, and while I may not be the moral compass, I think it’s up to us to acknowledge them every now and then.
I hope you sleep on someone else’s couch this weekend, or if anything, entertain the idea that life can be adventure-filled no matter where it’s taken us. Embrace the uncomfortable and remind yourself that none of us really know what we’re doing.
Maybe one day my 14 year old day dream will fully come to fruition, but for now – here’s to not having a clue.