The Big Dream and The Get-me-out-of-here

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There is a pandemic sweeping the lives of the late-twenty-early-thirty-something year olds who don’t have children, might have fur-babies and wake up one day asking themselves WHAT THE FUCK.

If you are reading this and taking a big deep breath because you realize you are not alone, you are welcome. If this awakens a long dormant sleeping dragon of thought that you suspected existed but you couldn’t fully recognize, then I apologize – because shiiiiit I am about to justify every niggle you ever felt.

We, the unsettled settled are out there and we are hungry, we are stubborn, we are restless and we are bursting out of our skins. Indulge me in self indulgence all you traditionalists.

Over countless coffee’s and beers, I’ve had the same conversation over and over again. The “I am stuck in a rut and I don’t even know how to get out because I’m too damn tired” one, where educated, hardworking, passionate people, lament the thought bubble we are stuck in. We were told we could have it all. So where is it? Cookie please!

The new normal is that we want to have jobs we like, we want to travel the world, have a couple babies, maybe get married and be able to afford it all while the job market around us is like “JK bae, 10+ years experience, no benefits, $38k pa and you cool with working unpaid overtime and weekends? Holla at me!” and the dating scene is a revolving door of fuckboys and girls who can’t make eye contact with anything but their phones. The news is going: Don’t even THINK about getting on a train/plane or congregating anywhere in public in case of shootings/bombings/knife attacks and our parents are getting older and more dependent. That isn’t depressing. No siree.

Believe me, I’m aware of how lucky I am. I’m writing this to you from a first world country that I am allowed to live in because my parents were born in the right place and got me a “good” passport. If I sound articulate or intelligent by any stretch, it’s because I am also educated thanks to that same birth place, and the guidance of two excellent people who poured money into my brain (via the veins of formal instructional institutions). I’m white, which means I hopefully wont get shot for no reason in my car, and I’m female, which puts me at an advantage or a disadvantage depending on who you talk to, and so long as I’m not running for president.

And listen, I’m the first person to call people out on #firstworldproblems. Believe me. I’ve walked on the sidelines of poverty, I know that there are deeper issues at play in our world than the demented cries of a person who can’t afford the new iPhone.

But if there is one thing I have learned over the last few months of the ups and downs, it is that you can’t just push away things that you feel, and you can’t panic or beat yourself up because you feel them (thanks Mum) or because you are so preoccupied with keeping up the pretences that you have your shit together on social media. We know you don’t have your shit together…we’ve been to your apartment.

I feel it and I’m calling it out. The transition from hopefully graduate to slightly more jaded adult is not that fun at the moment. It’s not cute any more that we feel directionless. This isn’t Sex and the City where our lack of partners is because there is just too much dick to choose from. Our parents are sitting us down telling us they’d “like to see us get on the property ladder” and we’re agreeing with them whole heartedly as we open another letter about our student loans and wondering if we’ll get scurvy if we eat no-brand frosted flakes five nights a week for dinner.

We all started out with such big dreams! We went to school and we played along and we were encouraged to day-dream about what we “wanted to be” when we grew up. And then half of us fell off the wagon somewhere after high school and shrugged and realized that our job’s maybe don’t have to be our careers. Then we split up again when some of us realized that we’d give up that dream job for the security of that paycheck, or the option to travel with work. Those of us that have stayed the course  are more often than not slamming our faces into our laptops in the public library when we are on the hunt for the next job or big break AGAIN, thinking about escaping through English teaching in Asia or “how much DOES selling your *insert body part or fluid* really pay?”

I don’t have the solution to the twentythirtysomething malaise, and no matter how I google it (or Bing it… just kidding The Bing is dead, long live the Bing), no advice post or computer filtered answer can make my decisions for me (though I’d invest in the app that could).

All I know is that personally, I live happiest in the carnage and constant movement of work and sensory overload – when there are TOO many plates spinning in the air (because when that happens, how could I possibly have time to turn inwards). That lifestyle doesn’t really jive-turkey with the expiring “rising-of-the-ladder” career trajectory theory, and I’m tired of trying to be a square peg in a round hole.

Success is measured in many different ways, which is a topic for another day.

But for today – for those this resonates with, just know that you are not alone, and I’ve come to know, for myself anyway, that is the door doesn’t open, I’m just going to have to buy a sledge hammer. The coffee is on me when it comes to these conversations, because maybe if we stack our thoughts and idea’s one on top of each other, we’ll find a way to climb out of these ruts.

 

That thing is happening again…

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About two years ago, people I know personally, started doing this thing where they were getting engaged and married and posting photos of it all over social media and junk. This freaked me the fuck out because it seemed like a very drastic and grown-up way to be like “I luv you 4eva xxx“. I thought we were still at the doodling each others names in our diaries stage, or carving the initials of the person we like into trees or our arms and stuff. I thought we were still all daydreaming about marrying Prince Harry and being princesses of England (he will notice me even though we have never met… I just know it!).

And now the trend has progressed to something even MORE drastic and ludicrous. At first it was just people putting rings on each others fingers (curious, very curious) and has now escalated to people mixing their saliva and body parts together and creating human life.

I’m talking about people I know having babies.

Like.

Actually.

On purpose.

Dayyyyummmm, I thought the word “Pregnant” was still up there with sentences like “her life is over” and “he got a girl” & “ohmygoddidyouHEAR!?”

But now everybody is all like “congratulations” and “that’s wonderful!”

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Oh yeah that’s right, I’m twenty five.

I’m in my MID-twenties. Day by day I’m closer to being thirty than I am to being twenty. I graduated from High School 8 years ago. People who were in year four when I was in year 12 can buy booze now and that’s totally fine (in Australia anyway, HAHA America still hates you 1996 – SUCK IT!)

And yet, in my mind I’m still 16. I’m like OH-SHIT-I-HOPE-MY-PARENTS-DON’T-FIND-OUT-I-FAILED-MY-EXAM oh wait that was a dream, that I had because I drank all this wine I bought without getting carded before I went to bed, and ate all this expensive cheese I paid for with my “real job” that I work, that I use to pay my bills that I have by myself in this life I live without my parents who don’t give a fuck so long as I’m not in jail, hospital, or dead.

I definitely want children.

I love kids (always have). I am not “baby-crazy” (go fuck yourself younger brother announcing this to table of friends at girls wing-night) but yes, I think tiny-humans are amazing, and cute and wondrous. But somewhere in my brain the word baby is synonymous with “adult” and when that word comes up, I look around the room because there’s no way they’re talking about me and my friends. We’re youths. We’re young people. We’re in our twenties, LONGhairDON’Tcare. Right? We’re hip, we’re cool. Do the kids still say “Hip” these days?! Lord I hope so. I need this.

I never wanted to be on 16 and Pregnant, but I also don’t want to be a part of MTV’s new  controversial programming 39 and Childless (copyright pending) or 41 and Wondering if she should go the IVF/Sperm Donor route or try to get on the adoption-list or if its too late (We’re still working on the title for that one).

If you never want children more power to you.

No ticking clock for you, nobody reminding you that by your age she had 3 kids, a husband a dog, 2 cars and a giant house in Malaysia. Right mum?

Soooo many of my single girlfriends tell me they’d like to, ideally, have their first baby by 29.

29?! How can you be so specific!? That’s in like, 4 years time yo.

First you’re going to have to find someone who wants to hang out with you more than once and in the daytime and who isn’t totally fucked, and then you’re going to have to convince this person to spend a shittonne of money on a joint party with you and all your annoying friends, the process of which is going to turn you into a mega-bitch and everyone is going to be like I don’t even want to go to that girls fragrance-free wedding anyway, and then you’re going to pour more money into a place that can accommodate your stuff ANNNND his stuff and that hopefully isn’t located in an area frequented by prostitues and crack whores (insert joke about Toronto’s mayor- eyyyyoooh) and then convince him that – you know what would make this stressful situation even more fun? Something I pushed out of my vagina that will live with us forever and if we kill it, we’re going to jail!

Four years?

You got this.

No seriously it could totally happen, and when it does – call me. Any time. I mean that. I’ll be awake because – you know… I don’t have an offspring, and I’m busy morphing my face with Prince Harry’s face to see what our babies will look like.