I’m so happy with the choices I have made over the last few years. I could have done the standard thing, the expected thing, but I chose a different path than others. Instead of kick-starting my career, I packed a bag and left. I can only say I made the right choice back then. I believe I would never have grown as much as a person if I hadn’t. This year I am turning 30. I’m ok with turning 30, because so far, life has only gotten better with every year. And yet I’m frustrated and just because my age will soon have a 3 in it, I am feeling a gigantic pressure.
Nobody’s actively putting me under pressure but myself though. There is this thing about 30. First of all it’s the expectations. I thought I could ignore them. I thought I had put them in the box labelled ‘never open again’. But I notice I am not immune to society’s way of thinking. Ask anyone what life in your 30s looks like and they’ll picture a good career, a house and having children. I’ve accepted that I’ll never fit into that perfect picture, but at times I wish I was normal. I wish I could be satisfied with that. However, I am not done yet. There is so much more in life waiting for me and settling in the traditional sense would mean giving that up.
Sometimes people forget that even though my life is not ‘at home’ in The Netherlands, my life continues as well. I’m not travelling and working abroad to escape reality. I live in the same reality as everybody else. I’ve simply found a way of life that suits me, that makes me happy. Yet, that doesn’t mean I don’t want anything ‘normal’. I hope to get married one day. I want to have kids, and I realise my lifestyle won’t last forever. Suddenly that innocent number 3 is like a bomb. The biological bomb started ticking and it’s ticking faster every day. In my wildest dreams I’m taking my kids all over the world with a husband who’s as crazy about adventure as I am. I just haven’t met him yet.
Somehow I feel like I can only have one thing. Do you take the red pill or the blue pill? I feel like I’ll never have what I really want. I think I won’t have a family if I don’t settle down. I also feel like I would lose a part of myself if I did settle down now. Part of me wants a home, a place that is my own, but it would be such a burden with my current lifestyle and it’s impossible to decide where I want it to be. I am frustrated because I can’t decide what I want. I am frustrated because I feel like there isn’t enough time.
I feel like life only started 5 years ago. For over 10 years I’ve battled with depression and it gobbled up my time. I was already behind when life finally started. I was in Australia when I first thought ‘I am happy’. Through ups and downs I’ve managed to keep that feeling. I’ve accomplished so much. How can it be that turning 30 is suddenly such a big deal? Why does 30 make it all so hard? What’s so special about this number? I told myself I had these 4,5 months of travelling to decide what I wanted to do. Would I start an immigration process? Would I try staying in Europe somewhere? I still don’t have the answers and I can’t force them out of my brain. I am putting way too much pressure on myself to make these, quite important, decisions.
So I’ve made a decision. I made the decision not to make a decision. I might end up emigrating and I can make decisions that will make this possible in the future, but I’m leaving my options open. For now I’m going to continue pursuing my dreams, exploring what life’s got to offer. I’ll find my path along the way, when I’m ready. I don’t have to decide now. I’ll decide when I’m ready.