It’s near to midnight, and I’m watching my family as they putter to and fro, getting ready for a camping trip. I decided last minute not to join them, in order to see some friends for the last time before they jet-set off into their new adult lives.
And I guess it’s made me think about my ‘adult life’, or whatever this is I’m living. Or where I want to be, I suppose.
Like I’ve said before, for the moment, I’m quite content to be working this secretarial job. It pays well, and so far it hasn’t given me the “oh Christ I hate my job” sort of feeling I was expecting. They’re pleasant people, they make me laugh, and again, it pays well for such relatively light work.
My plan, I guess, is to work here as long as possible, and spend as little as possible. I’m lucky in that my parents are happy to house me and feed me as long as I can stand living with them, as their graciousness comes with the guilt trips and restrictions that we associate with high school. It’s a matter of balancing. What is a little guilt trip when I’m not paying rent?
So the saving money bit is going to involve making a conscious effort to not spend all my money. Which, let’s face it, is going to be an effort. I mean, there are at least 4 video games I want, on at least 3 systems, not to mention clothes, and shoes, and other nerdy things I can’t even mention, and you get the idea.
Maliciously, I have calculated that if I work from say, August 2011 to August 2012, and adjusting for possible schedule changes, I could make anywhere from $12k to $18k. And again, I’m not paying rent. I DO plan on helping to pay for my insurance or phone or what have you, because I hate feeling like a brat, and I don’t want to get in the habit of taking things for granted, like plenty of people in my life have.
And I mean, even if I only saved $10,000, with that I could move and get a new job somewhere else. Or fly to Scotland. Or Japan. Or wherever the heck I want.
I want to keep traveling. It was so much fun. And once you leave and come back, it’s never the same. Home isn’t home anymore, it’s just that house you live in. And I love my family, but I learned that I can live in a place separate from them and be okay. I loved Scotland. I’m dying to go back. I loved Ireland, I want to see it again too. But I haven’t been to Japan, or Greece, or Italy, and I want to see so many places.
I think the hard part is figuring out how, and when. I never want it to be too late for me to do something. I want to make the best of the time that I have. Whether that’s traveling, failing, or loving - I want to do it all, and never regret.
I don’t want to put restrictions on myself. My mother says get a good job, settle down, get married, make babies. My father says get out, experience the world, get married in thirty years when he’s dead and I’ve accomplished everything I want to do.
But what if I want to have fun now, get married, and have fun with my spouse? No one ever suggests that option. No one ever brings up the valid point that if I can work for a year and save up money and then go on an epic adventure, it would work even better if I had a partner.
Part of me wants babies. Part of me wants to be domestic. But another part of me wants to get married on a volcano in Hawaii, or in Vegas, or elope to Italy. We could move to France, move to Canada, move to Japan. Wherever we want to go. Because traveling is so much more fun when you aren’t alone.
Right now? I want to roadtrip across America until someplace looks good enough to stop for a while. I want that freedom. To say sure, this place in Oklahoma looks cool, let’s live here for a few months, and move again on a whim.
And then one day, we’ll tire of that life, and finally settle down somewhere awesome. Somewhere peaceful. Or exciting, I haven’t decided. I want trees, and sunshine, and weather that actually consists of seasons. (California, what the hell, why don’t you have any seasons?)
Possibly the worst thing is that for once, I know exactly what I want, right now, and it’s a thousand dollars and a thousand miles away.