We all make choices. Those choices that we make forge our life paths, and the options that we don’t make become the life that we didn’t or can’t have. It’s a hard thing to realize that you can only live one life and by virtue, even if you reinvent yourself many times, there is still a limit on how many paths you can take. That’s why sometimes I wish I could live multiple lives. I want to do everything, and I want to explore every interest and hobby that captures my eye, but time is of the essence and finite, so I must choose.
My current life path has been forged by three aspects: being a professional who prioritizes travel and fitness. I almost always will put those above anything else. If I have a trip coming up or a workout to get in, I’ll prioritize that and try to fit anything (or anyone) else around my schedule. As a single woman, I can be that selfish. I can and have, book(ed) a flight on a whim and traveled wherever (limited by work, of course). I can be at the gym for hours on end because “ain’t nobody checkin’ for me, boo.” I can work as early or as late as I want without having to check in with anyone (although maybe my roommate would wonder if I’m alive).
I’m living this great life where I have so much personal freedom and I can focus on just myself. But again, by virtue of this life, there are many other lives that I’m not living. For example, I’m not a mom and wife responsible for a household. Of course, you can be a career woman who travels and have a family or wants one– but the point is that the life that I lead is the life that I lead, and by virtue of this life, I am not leading another life. I’ve made my choices.
Part of my “choice” has been for the usual reasons: “I haven’t met the right person,” “I’m not ready to settle down,” “I’m more focused on my career”—blah, blah. The truth is, I don’t WANT that life — not right now. And that’s okay. Because I have chosen this life.
I have opted to see the benefits of the freedoms I have, and the adventures I chase, the horizons I tiptoe, and I’ve decided that this life, for me, now, is perfect. It fits me, it fulfills me, and it outweighs the positives that OTHER lives have to offer.
Some of my mom friends make off-handed comments about their envy of me and my ever-after wanderlust, but for most of these women, their husband and family ARE their dreams. This is THEIR choice. And even when they get tired and overwhelmed, they still would choose to live that life. But while living this young mom life, they are also NOT living my life.
Lately, I’ve felt better about the fact that here I was, nearing 30 and I didn’t have this other life that society insists women should have (and by a certain age). But I have no regrets on the choices I’ve made that have led me here. I love the freedoms I can take. I am reaping the benefits of my hard work during grad school and enjoying life to the fullest.
Maybe one day the benefits of that other life will appeal to me. Maybe one day I’ll find someone just as wild and life-thirsty as me who can help merge a life of chase with a life of family. But for now, I am living my best life. It doesn’t have to be the life you’d live and it certainly doesn’t appeal to everyone, but it is my life.
I am living the life I choose; choose yours.