As I watch many of my Facebook friends announce via social media that they are either pregnant or engaged, I can't help but feel as though I am falling behind. I cannot even imagine settling down at this stage in my life, let alone caring for another human being who is completely dependent on me. When I look at the timeline of my life, I feel incredibly concerned as the pressure to settle down and start a family is daunting and hard to incorporate into the mix mash of the life that is laid before me. Between taking a gap year to travel, and then going to medical school, and then starting my career, it seems as though there is no time to find love and have kids and indulge in all the good things that everyone says are so worthwhile.
I shouldn't have to feel this way. There shouldn't be a stigma around women who want to put themselves first before starting a family. I value family and friendships, but I also value travel and expanding my horizons and doing all the things that I could possibly dream of doing while I am still young and able to. There are so many bridges that I would love to cross and so many sights that I still have to see, and if I am 21 and fresh out of college, then I want to backpack across Europe and run marathons, not start a family quite yet.
And if I am 25 and fresh out of medical school, I want to bungee jump and skydive and ride on camels in the middle of the desert, not buy a house. Maybe this is childish of me, but I think that we should encourage people to live the lives that they always dreamed of living rather than confining them into cubicles for the sake of sustaining a family at such a young age.
I am 19. I will be 20 before I know it. I haven't seen much of this world, but in my heart, I so desperately want to. I am myself right now, but I cannot wait to be a different person in one year, and then again in two years, and then again in five years as I go from place to place and person to person. Ambition and drive is what the world needs.
The world does not need more people who crack under the pressure of society and put their dreams on hold to get married to someone that they maybe do not even love. The world needs more people whose souls are on fire from the passion and drive that is burning inside of them. The world needs these people to get up and go. Never settle.