I remember as a little kid, my friends and I would play house. If you have never played house before, you know that naïve kids partner up with their best friend or secret love and became adults: the boys proposed with an enchanting bread bag twisty tie and a large bottle cap entwined at the top, like a sparkling gem. The newlyweds would walk, arm and arm, into the side of the playground that would become their home. Here, children were brought into the world as if by magic, allowing you to have the dream career and the perfect imaginary family. But life isn’t like House.

I first realized I didn’t want kids or marriage when I was in middle school. Even as a child, my career was my passion, real or imaginary, and I wanted to strive for perfection. As I got older, I feel into societal norms, believing in order to be accepted, you needed to conform to what was expected of you. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with cancer that I realized that everything I ever wanted before was a façade, an illusion created in my mind to prevent from being ostracized. I woke up from my 17-year coma and began to realize that the things I thought I wanted were not at all how I imagined my life to be. It scared me, the thought of waking up one morning and realizing that I never became the person I wanted to be, but the person that someone expected of me.

I feel like my list could be extensive as to why I want to forgo marriage and children, from money savings, to independence, to freedom, and not to mention options. On the other hand, I want to be married to my career. I want to nurse my passion and watch it flourish in front of my eyes, feeling that proud warmth that parents get when they see the thing they created prosper. The thought of sacrificing the one thing I worked the hardest for in life is daunting, it leaves me feeling empty and unfulfilled thinking about it, and I can’t imagine life without it. Not only that, but I like to think of myself as a free bird; at any given moment, I want to be able to pack all my things in a carry on suitcase and leave, not entirely sure if I would return, anticipating the spontaneous adventure. I want, I crave, I lust, for the freedom to choose, to loose, and to risk everything for a choice. Everyone has choices in life, but I want my to be more unencumbered.

Don’t get me wrong, being a parent is the hardest job a person could have. It’s laborious and draining; it leaves you weary and to be honest, a little closer to death than you were before. The stress in insurmountable and the pressure to succeed is worse than any career. All the sacrifices made, all the dreams and past fantasies are put on hold or cast away, in order to devote your attention to another human being. Shit, it’s more stressful than being married, but still the same demon. I will always have the utmost respect for those who chose to settle down, have families, and live the lives that they see themselves having. But that isn’t for me. I will never say never, because life in unpredictable, but it is not in my life plan and that’s okay!

Not everyone has to have the same life, the same plan, the same dreams and wants and choices and regrets and that’s what makes everyone so unique. Whatever you chose to do, make sure it’s for you, so you don’t wake up one day and think about where your life went, where your friends went, where your choices went, unlike when we were kids, playing house, where all our choices were abundant and life seemed so black and white…