I Don't Want To Settle Down

I Don't Want To Settle Down

...at least, not any time soon. Is that bad?

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You can hold your dreams of an engagement ring, white picket fences and three cute little kids all giving their best Instagram family pose. I might want that in ten years, but now, I'll smile and say, "no, thanks".

Is that so wrong? Because I feel like it is.

I won't lie, this idea (or lack thereof, I guess) makes me feel like I am deemed as one of those mean, crazy, lonely, potential cat ladies. Sometimes I think it makes me look heartless. Other times, I fear it makes me look undesirable. But hear me out. I hope you understand. I hope you know that none of this is true.

I just can't fathom it right now. Not even in five years.

Turns out, there is something I fear more than anything else. Or, maybe it's two.

Number one: not to be too dramatic, but sometimes I find myself lying awake at night, afraid that my life will turn out completely mediocre, and I'm not okay with that. I know it seems as if I should. I mean, this is the type of life that is constantly taught within the walls of school and everyday life.It's safe and cozy. Nothing is wrong with it. I know the idea of an ordinary life shouldn't terrify me, but it does.

Two: I am afraid of stopping and creating a real, solid life that I come home to everyday. I am afraid of settling down. I am afraid of it all. If I do, does that mean I have already given up on chasing my dream? Does it mean that I settled?

Surely it doesn't mean any of this. It has to be my mind playing games.

All the girls with those rings, new homes, and cute little kids seem happy. In fact, they all seem happier than I could even imagine. And, honestly, that's great for them. I wish them nothing but the best.

But that isn't for me.

I don't want it...yet.

I have dreams of becoming the mother that my children can look up to. I want them to see the results of hard work and dedication. I want to be able to tell them stories of things I have done- both the cool and the ones that make me want to hide.

(No lie, I want to be the boss mom that wears heels like a goddess. But, I guess, I need to learn how to walk in them first.)

So through all of the engagement rings, gender revels and wedding dresses that flood my social media feed, I have to stop and smile. Though it makes me feel behind, I know I'm just on time. I know what I want and who I want to be. But in order to become this person, I need time to work on my life.

Is that so wrong?

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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Intimidation Isn't Always What It Seems

Always ask yourself this question when feeling intimidated...

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A few months ago, I read something online that really stuck with me. I don't remember who said it, or where it came from, so my apologies for not accurately crediting the genius who spoke these words, but it said this:

"Am I actually intimidating, or are you just intimidated?"

Growing up, you constantly find yourself in situations where you feel scared or uncomfortable. I don't think there's one person on the planet that can say that they didn't feel intimidated at one point or another growing up. Maybe it was by the "popular kids" or by a teacher or a supervisor. So many people can make you feel a certain way and it can be scary when you're a child growing up. Maybe you felt intimidated because they were bullies or they were a strong personality.

But after reading this quote, I started to think about every time in my life that I felt intimidated. Walking into a new job, taking a chance on writing, seeing a group of girls in the cafeteria - whatever it was, I thought of it. And my perspective completely changed.

It wasn't necessarily that the people who I was encountering or the situation I was entering was scary. In fact, most times, those people turned out to be incredibly welcoming and nice, or that situation was nothing but spectacular, but at that moment, I was completely intimidated. It was something new and the unknown can always be scary. But looking back, it wasn't that those situations and people were intimidating - it was that I was intimidated.

Being intimidated is completely natural. It'd be crazy to say 'hey, don't be intimidated' and expect people to actually feel comfortable. But it's something to think about moving forward when you find yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, anxious, or even scared. It's easy to get caught up in the moment and let that timidness get the best of you but think of that question and realize that it's not necessarily the situation - sometimes it's you letting the situation get the best of you.

At the end of the day, people are just people. Everyone has boogers and everyone had good and bad days and to be honest, the people who others find intimidating are usually the ones who are just better at putting up a front. They're the ones who find having a hard exterior is easier than being vulnerable and letting others in. Don't let those people scare you. They're usually fighting a battle that they're taking out on the people around them - and that shouldn't scare you.

"Am I actually intimidating, or are you just intimidated?"

Think about it, feel it, let it wash over you, and don't let those feelings get the best of you. Most of the best things in life are just past that line outside of your comfort zone.

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