I used to think my life was going to be like this: When I finished school, I’d get a job, which would lead me to a man, then to marriage and a house, or dwelling of sorts that can be afforded due to two incomes, and then kids and mom-hood and that’s that. I wanted all of this by the time I was 24-years-old. I’m turning 25-years-old in October and I’ve gone a bit off course because I’ve learned what it is I truly want: Independence, happiness, success and a career. When I consider what I used to think life would be like, I’m reminded of a children’s movie producer who may or may not have encouraged these thoughts, portraying what my future would be like. I’m reminded of what I grew up thinking was the standard for women in my family. I’m then reminded how grateful I am to have a choice.
For me, the lifestyle I once thought would be blissful and romantic now makes me feel stuck and claustrophobic. I do see marriage in my future, but it’s certainly not my whole future, because I wasn’t born to get married (though, some of my family members would differ). Marriage can certainly be a part of my life, but it isn’t the sole reason I am on this planet with billions of others.
Though I knew the choice I wanted to make, I never thought I could feel unstuck. I never thought I would ever have enough money to actually invest in a living place for one (and the cat I plan to adopt), as a result of not being married (and not having that dual income).
I never thought I would have the support from my uber-traditional family. I never thought I could make my own dreams come true.
Yet, a few weeks ago, I put down a deposit for a condo in Toronto’s west end. It’s a one-bedroom nook in a gorgeous building with two, yes two, pools and glorious fitness rooms. It’s a 30-minute commute to work, which is a huge upgrade considering living with my family takes me sometimes close to one-and-a-half-hours each way.
The reactions I’ve been receiving
My friends, my partner, my parents, my brother and many of my cousins, aunts and uncles are overjoyed at this big step I’m taking. The hardest part, though, is that some of the elderly folks in my “circle of trust” have had different things to say.
“We start our lives when we get married,” was recently said to me. This phrase is ringing over and over in my head, reminding me of the life I thought would be my destiny, while also reassuring me I’ve made the right choice. Besides feeling great about buying something all on my own, I can now sing “Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child and mean every word while also defying gravity – these are huge factors.
My closing is in less than a week, kind of during a busy spell at work. I’ve managed to lock in a few days off – thank you, overtime – around my closing date and should be in my new place by the end of the first week of May. That’s really quite soon.
Right now, though, this waiting period feels like an ETERNITY. I have to wait weeks’ worth of mornings and train rides and gym clothes stuffed in my HUGE bag, which screams, “I commute from the suburbs.”
I am trying to give 150 per cent of my attention to my professional and social lives, but it is proving to be ridiculously difficult.
How does one focus on tasks at hand when there are a million new things happening all around? How does one focus on the current when the future teases you?
As I wait for this huge milestone to become a reality, attending my home inspection, completing paperwork, sending emails and using the lunch break I never take to run I-just-bought-a-condo related errands, it’s very challenging to focus entirely on my professional agenda (and my friends, my partner, my family and everything else).
Until the big move
Though anxious, I have to remember that living in the future is what will make me less appreciative of the present.
I need to look at this like it’s the end of a really great chapter, the kind that always leads to a more exciting one. I need to understand what’s happening in the moment before flipping ahead to another.
As time ticks (ever so slowly, might I add), I am trying not to overthink how close I am to finally feeling unstuck. I am trying to appreciate that I am an agent of change who only just realized it after taking one, big (financial) leap.
I am trying to appreciate (even more than I already do) each breakfast with my father, each Sunday night movie with my mother and each mid-dinner laugh with my brother.
I attempt to focus on each day’s tasks and that’s that. I want to appreciate this transition period, but as I try to do this, I’m learning that waiting for this key to independence and success is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’m an inpatient being regardless of what I’m waiting for.
In three weeks, I’ll probably read over this post and laugh to myself.
Until then, my countdown still ticks and my Pinterest continues to explode with home decor inspiration.