Whenever I’m blankly scrolling through blogs and articles you seemingly love to feed me this idea that if I haven’t laid on the beach of Phuket, or walked through the streets of India, or took a selfie in front of the Eiffel tower, that I’m somehow not living up to the mid-twenty standards of a fulfilled life.
You’re constantly telling me to quit my job, to stop looking for a soulmate, and to start living. Because you made me believe that living on the edge and living a full life meant making short term and bloody expensive decisions, and that I’d find my way at a different destination. That it would somehow make me happy. Well, I’m here to say efff you.
If I have to see #YOLO one more time. I first heard of this in 2012, and it still surfaces on the web when I’m told how bad my life is, because #YOLO.
I’ve worked at an average job, with an average salary and an average life. And yes, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m making it up as I go.
I want to tell everyone my age, that’s busy building their career, or in a relationship, and haven’t seen the outskirts of their country. You’re probably doing great, and your happiness is dependent on YOU, not the places you’ve seen, the job you have or your freaken relationship status.
Living a relatively average life, with a husband, small apartment, average car; living a life with zero debt, a ten year plan, and a traditional career path is the happiest I’ve ever been, and no trip to Bali can beat this feeling.
Seeing all these people on my social media that’s traveling the world, makes me excited for them, but I don’t feel envious or jealous or that I’m failing or missing out in any way.
The internet has somehow shape-shifted to the typical hipster/feminist and most offended platform of 2016. Where you are forced to believe that traveling, entrepreneurship, feminism and growing a beard is the only things you’re allowed to believe in when you’re in your twenties. That you’re not living if you’re looking to settle down, and live your life.
So Internet, here’s the finger. Because I have peace of mind, I haven’t seen the world, but my life is fulfilled enough for me to feel like I’m not missing out on something. I’m working on a ten year plan, with my husband, with financial and social sacrifice, yes. But we’ll be traveling the world in our thirties, with established careers and lives. And that’s more than okey with us.
Of course I want to see all these beautiful places, but not at the cost of my thirties, forties, or stability thereafter. You’re telling me to take a vacation because we’re allowed to fail in our twenties. I agree undoubtedly that we should take major risks at this age, but it should be calculated, and telling me to quit my career for a 3 month trip around the world is NOT calculated. Time is money, and if I waste my roaring twenties on floating around, all I’ll have left is photos and a constant longing to go back, with insecurity, shortage and fear around me.
Use your twenties to build a life worth living, take risks that will benefit you in the long run. Make decisions that your future self will thank you for.
If you’re building a life, and you have the opportunity to travel, kudos to you for making it work. But for the people that live a similar life to mine, that has a set plan for their life, that makes them happy, don’t feel for one-second that you’re doing something wrong, or that you’re missing out on life. You’re not.
South Africa is a beautiful country, and I’ll enjoy this country fully for now, for a fraction of the cost, with everyone I love, and Monday I’ll be back home, working again, and happy to do so.
So please Internet, stop telling me to quit my fucking job. Stop telling me to start living. And stop telling me how mediocre my life is. I’m exponentially happy with my life, here, at home, in South Africa. Building a business, nurturing a fantastic marriage, and being surrounded by family and friends that love and support every single thing we do.
Bali, I’ll see you in my thirties.