Ten years ago, I was twenty-five years old and if you would have asked me where I would be ten years from then, I think my answer would have been, “I’ll be married with a few kids, live in a house where my day consists of taking care of my kids, keeping house, and living my life through my kids.
Ten years ago, I was still actively religious and wanted to believe that I could find a person I would share the rest of my life with. Fast forward ten years and I’m single, agnostic, and living in a home I purchased by myself. I still wonder what was the defining moment when my desires shifted from wanting a family of my own to being staunchly single and pressing ahead on a solo path.
I remember when I was entering the last years of my twenties I stopped going to church, which severely limited my dating pool. I tried online dating, but meeting in person always brought up a deal breaker.
I began listing what an adult life should consist of if I wanted to contribute to society in a useful manner. My list contained things like buying a house, having no debt, and finishing my AA degree. The first order of business for me was to start saving every spare penny I made after bills were paid. In a few months, I saved nearly ten thousand dollars. I then signed up to attend evening classes at the local community college. Sitting in a classroom has never been my forte, but I managed to finish a business class with a passing grade. Time did not wash away my dread of busy work and trying to please teachers. I quickly lost my desire to complete my degree and focused on saving money.
It seemed like everyone around me was finishing college or raising a family, and I did not fit in the picture as a normal adult. For some reason, being abnormal chafed on me, and so I started in earnest to find a house to purchase. A bit of advice for those of you considering making a huge purchase because you are bored or want to fit into normal society, don’t. It’s bound to backfire when you don’t pursue a goal which beckons rather than a goal society dictates. Okay, public service announcement over. Soon enough I found a house close to family, in a quiet neighborhood, which I could afford. In a few months, I was the proud owner of a mortgage and part of the average human adult populace. Needless to say the experience has been as thrilling or fulfilling as I expected. If I could go back I would tell myself to continue to save money, get into performance comedy, and to look for a different job.
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Recently, I have been trying to remap my life to make it more fun and off the beaten path. Instead of trying to mimic the typical adult patterned life I want to make sure I live a life that matters. I want to be remembered for making a difference in my community and in the lives of those I care about.
I have started to volunteer consistently at the local food bank every month to remind myself how good my life is, and to meet with like-minded members of the community. I want my life experiences to stand out so I’m trying things, which are out of my comfort zone like performing stand-up comedy every other week. I want to be more social, so I keep tabs on what is happening in the community, and I make plans each week to get out of my house and into an unfamiliar situation of fun. My food experiences could use some expansion and diversity. I may start trying a new restaurant every few months to get the ball rolling.
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The older I get the less likely I am to look too far into the future, I’m much more concerned with what’s happening right now. I use my happiness as a barometer far more often than any goals which society dictates. I continue to self educate myself on any subject or language I want to learn, and the only homework I have is self-inflicted. Where will I be in ten years? It’s hard to know what I'll be doing or where I will be living, but I’m certain that the next ten years will happier, healthier, and crazy fun!