Almost exactly 2 years ago I was sleeping on my best friends sofa bed when she burst in at 8 am singing Taylor Swift’s “22”, it was my 22nd birthday you see and big things were about to happen for Larissa and I. She was about to head off to travel Canada, and I was about to leave for America where I was to work as a singing teacher. As I type I am rapidly approaching the anniversary of my 24th year on planet earth, and as cliche as it sounds, I have no idea how I got here so quickly. I still feel 18 years old, maybe I always will, hopefully I always will. Anyway, around my 22nd birthday I was about to embark on an adventure, and as it happens about a week ago, (2 weeks before my 24th birthday) I set off on another adventure. I’ve been thinking a lot about direction lately and what I want to achieve in my lifetime (see previous blog post), therefore this seems like a very appropriate time to reflect on the past two years of my life and assess if I am indeed going in the right direction.
I’m not really sad about getting older, there’s no way around it so why waste time being sad? I am however concerned about the increasingly lessening amount of time I have left. The truth is that every breath you take is one of a limited amount of precious moments you will have to live your life; to make your dreams come true; to be happy. And with every out breath that moment is over, gone, and you will never get it back. Life is one big countdown, are you making the most of it?
Inevitably as human beings we tend to compare ourselves with others, and possibly the most natural comparison we make is with people the same age as us. You know, people we went to school; or college; or university with. It just happens, and with social media thriving the way it is, the comparisons are even easier to make. How many times have you heard someone say in a whiny voice “everyone I know is getting married/having babies”, where did they get this information from? Probably Facebook. Social media has a way of gathering everyone else’s achievements and flaunting them in front of you like the donkey and the carrot. The good news is that you can have the carrot! If you want it. There was a running joke at my previous job that I am desperate to get married, this is because I have been with my partner for so long. Although I would not describe myself as desperate, it is true that I would love to get married. When I see people I went to school; and college; and university with that have been with their partners for a lot less time getting married, it does hurt a bit. However, as I keep telling everyone, what’s the point in getting married if we can’t afford it? Why spend money we don’t have now, when we can wait a few years and be financial secure. It’s not like we are not committed to one another, If either of us wanted out it would have happened a long time ago believe me. Over the years we have built an entirely unique, committed, loving, happy relationship that is still exciting and fun filled. We have the kind of relationship that people are jealous of, because we have put in so much care and attention and worked at it so much. My relationship with Ritchie is the greatest thing I have ever achieved.
About a week ago, before Ritchie and I set out on our backpacking adventure, my mum said something about us that got me thinking. She said: “Will they ever settle down?”. As I thought more about it, I started thinking about what it is about our life that appears so unsettled? What have I been doing over the past 2 years that is different to my peers who are ‘settled’? Sure I haven’t got married, or had a baby, or started a career that I am passionate about, but come to think of it in these 2 years I have done one or two things those ‘settled’ people may have missed. I have lived in 3 different countries and visited 7; I’ve had 4 jobs; I have lived in London for a year; I’ve climbed a mountain; I directed a musical; I got a tattoo in New York City; I’ve seen 2 west end shows and at least 4 professional comedy gigs; I’ve held a Koala bear; I donated 12 inches of my hair to charity; I’ve had Christmas in 40 degree heat; I’ve been on a speed boat: I’ve seen Whales up close in their natural habitat; I’ve lived in an 80 year old log cabin; I saw Mark Zuckerburg’s dorm room at Harvard; I’ve been to a thrift store; I’ve seen the Great barrier Reef; I’ve met Crocodiles and Cassowaries in the Daintree Rain forest; I’ve seen where they filmed the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit; I’ve been to the Red Socks stadium; I have made hundreds of smores; I have reconnected with long lost family members and bathed in natural thermal pools; I’ve stayed in a town that is famous for smelling like rotten eggs; I have made an astounding number of lifelong friends all over the planet; I have eaten corn dogs and corn bread and chilly cheese dogs; I’ve put on weight and I’ve lost it; I’ve been scared and lost and tired; I’ve been homesick; and above all else I have been truly, passionately and devotedly in love. I’m sure there is more but not bad for 2 years right? I do understand what my mum means about settling down though, and there is a huge part of me that wants that. However (and relating to my last blog post) how can I settle down if I don’t know where, when, how or why? That is why my soulmate and I have embarked on a journey of discovery, currently in Italy living in a Villa on Lake Garda, it’s only been a week but already things seem clearer in our minds. Hopefully, when we return from travelling at christmas we’ll have a clear direction in which we would like to take our lives. Maybe we will ‘settle down’ – but I hope not!