Scrolling down through insta I see old school friends posting picture perfect scenes of their 3 kids, hubby and the dozen cakes they’ve made for a local fundraiser. This is the life I wanted. The life that was I watched in the movies, the books I read, the people I grew up with; even the family I was raised in.
My parents met at 19 church bells at 21, bought a house together and had kids at 24. This was normal, this is the way you did things.
My whole life was leading up to the moment when I would get married and follow in my parents, friends, movie stars and story book character footsteps and finally let “life begin.” (Just to be clear this was never specifically stated to me, more that it was an example of what life looked like.) I was surrounded by it and dare I say it, growing up in a church where it was even more of a “norm” to get married have lots of Babies and be part of the women’s prayer group.
Please understand my heart that in no way am I saying that this is lame nor am I saying that I don’t ever want this. But when it didn’t go the way I thought It should/would I was hit with sorrow, bitterness and a feeling of worthlessness.
What is the purpose of my life? Why am I even here? Shame flooded my entire being. Shame when people asked how old I was, knowing full well I had no kids or husband, not even a potential husband. Shame that I wasn’t falling madly in love with guys that I had been dating, Shane and guilt that my mums friends were all becoming grandparents and the guilt I had that I hadn’t given her any.
All I am saying is that PERfEct life was subconsciously portrayed to me in a certain way. So when i got to 18 and didn’t meet me right and wasn’t married at 21 or homeowner or have a bunch full of babies at 24 but in reality struggling my way through a degree that tested me beyond measure and a past that was coming back to haunt me. I told myself that my life was in ruins. As, the life I thought I was meant to have was not a reality.
But you know. It’s the best reality I could have hoped for.
I wanted to be married because I didn’t want to be alone, a man to make me feel important,safe and happy, kids to give my life purpose, a home to show that I made something of myself, a dog called oscar for good measure. Young people hear me out, there is nothing wrong with wanting to get married and you should for love but not for dependency, out of loneliness or sadness, you will then relay too much on man and will never learn to be you first before being someone’s other half.
I am going to share my dream, not to boast but to show that everyone’s dream and life is different. There isn’t one road to happiness or fufillment or a checklist of what your life should involve. Everyone has a different purpose, destiny and dream. I moved to Africa at 23 to volunteer as a teacher. I saw that there was more than the cycle of marriage + house + kids that I had believed was life’s main goal. I saw that happiness came in the form of clean water, an education, being healthy from deathly diseases, having a roof over our head. I know it sounds cliche. But even without, I saw the poorest children playing together dressed in rags kicking an old plastic bottle around, sharing a dish of rice and passing round a beaker of muggy water. I’ve never seen such genuine smiles. And why? They don’t lean on “things” for happiness they find their happiness and then use that in what ever thing may come about. A plastic bottle, a new song, a friend and maybe love and marriage. But they are not determining their happiness on a person. They find their true happiness in themselves. That’s where true happiness comes from. Within.
It’s selfish and unfair to expect another being to bring us happiness, true happiness. Yes people can make us feel happy, but what happens when they don’t do what you want or when they shout or lie or even don’t reply to your text. Are you still happy?
Anyway. Not too sure where I’m going with this other than to encourage you to not conform to this world, don’t get married cause they do in the “note book” or don’t work a job you hate because you’re scared to live out your dream which may not pay much, don’t copy your friends because they look happier than you in there insta story, nor do not buy a house and scrimp and save for the rest of your life because you want to feel secure. Comparison is an evil emotion. It’s best friend can be social media when you are flooded with the “perfect” family pictures, or bobby”s first day at school cheesy grin snap, compared to your latest post of a picture of the last meal you just ate. Now by all means if you genuinely want these things and it makes you happy brilliant, marriage, a family etc is one of the most wonderful gifts that god has given us. But it’s not the only thing! All I’m saying don’t do what I tried and beat myself up for not accomplishing all because I thought that was the “right” thing to do, that doing those things would make me happy. Things do not make you happy. They cover up real issues that need to be dealt with, you have to unlock those issues and not cover them up with happiness fixers because it will never bring full and meaningful deep happiness.
So anyway I just want to share with you that I have made the brave decision to step out of the “norm” to not sit and wait for Prince Charming to make my life complete. I am genuinely so content with life, I know who I am, I feel secure in what I’m about and what my purpose is in this world, I am independent and do not need to follow the “norm” when it never felt right and would have been doing it for the wrong reasons.
I love my life, I love the passions I have that I have discovered over the last 5 years, things I like and not things my boyfriends use to like that I would adopt as mine, I know that I want to fight for justice to see this world changed for the better to allow people to unlock the happiness that is within themselves and conquer anything because of who they were made to be.
I am moving to Africa, giving up my flat, my career, my income, my car, leaving my friends and my family (all things that made me happy but don’t define my happiness)
I am going to pursue my dream of rescuing orphans. Welcoming them into home, a family and giving them an education built on love and a knowledge that anything is possible.
This is my dream.
Everyone’s dream is different. It comes in different ways, from different backgrounds and journeys, for different reasons and at different stages of life. It may be raising a family, running your dream business, saving lives, giving children an education, writing a book or working nights to provide for your children.
If you get anything at all out of reading my waffled thoughts, know that you can’t find your happiness through things or comparing to other people. You have to find it within, search your heart for your deepest desires what makes you happy. Live your dream what ever that may look like. Not what the world says you should do or what should make you happy but what’s in your heart. You’re unique, you’re your own person. No one else has the destiny that you were created to have so never sell your self short. You are worth way too much!