Those two words speak to the life of most people in America. From an early age, I was told, some might even say brainwashed, into how I was going to live my life. I’d get good grades in high school, get accepted into college, earn my degree, and start a career. I would work hard in said career, putting in however many hours necessary to advance and make more money. I would find that one nice girl who made me want to forget everyone else, and we would have a wedding and raise a beautiful family. Of course, this would all be surrounded by a white picket fence. Flowers would bloom in the spring while the children frolicked in the yard. Summer days would consist of BBQs and pool parties with the neighbors. Summer would transition into the orange and red leaves of fall, and the start of another school year. The little munchkins would get out of the car and bound up the steps to school to yet another year of learning, while I watched from the driver’s seat as I realized another year passed me by. Finally, winter would roll around, and with it the excitement of the holidays. Traveling to the mountains to pick up a Christmas tree, and hot cocoa around the fire.
Fuck it all.
Why does it have to be like that? Why does my life and what is acceptable have to be laid out like clockwork for me? Why, when I want to take massive risks and go against the norm, does it have to be so damn intimidating? Why does it feel like so many people want to hold me back? Why is everyone so concerned and cautious?
That’s the life most people live. I could continue at my job for the next 35 years, and I’d live a damn comfortable life. I’d take my three weeks of vacation a year, I would work my forty hours a week, I’d upgrade my car and/or house every couple of years, and I’d be totally typical, and totally safe. My median income as a single-and-recently-turned 22 year old is significantly above the average US median household income.
Why would I want to give that all up?
Maybe I don’t want to be like everyone else. Maybe I don’t want to work a 9-6 for the next forty years in the hopes that I’ll have enough money banked away to retire and live comfortably. Maybe I want to travel the world and get lost in historical cities. Maybe I want to struggle. Maybe I want the satisfaction of overcoming that struggle, breaking through, and feeling accomplished.
Maybe I’m a pussy because I keep saying “maybe”. Truth is, I doubt myself because I let people close to me, and whom I know care deeply about me, put those doubts in my mind. They don’t want to see their friend or child fail and give up what could be a good life.
But, wouldn’t it all be worth it for a great one?