When I was sixteen, my idea of a perfect life was to be a travelling bartender. My goal was to make enough money to move on to the next town and so on, so on, in such a pattern. The point was to travel the world. It wasn’t to be rich or famous or anything like that.
But then… Expectations came into play. I started interning for my parents’ friends. I started working part time. I started adding on to my resume. I went off to university.
There’s a huge difference between want and need and expectations of others versus self.
At nineteen, my dreams still haven’t changed that much. I still want pretty much the same thing. Only, maybe a little different. A little more chill? I want to just live near the mountains. Make enough money either as a bartender or a waitress to pay rent and to snowboard.
Maybe schooling in Canada has changed my dreams a little.
I wanted to move to New York because it was what was expected of me.
I was groomed to love bustling city life. And it doesn’t get any busier than New York. The truth is… I was running to New York because I thought that the busy would fill up the empty I felt within.
Being busy doesn’t fill up anything. It buries.
I wish I could tell someone how I really felt. How I really feel. But once again, expectations set in, and all I am is my mother’s daughter, and the only escape left is to write.
I wish things could be simple. I wish life really was just “do what makes you happy”. I wish happiness was that easy.
Because happiness isn’t attained by being selfish. It isn’t about doing what you want, because sometimes doing what you want is done at the expense of others. I learnt that the hard way.
I know that people grow up and as they grow older, they become more burdened by unnecessary expectations. Sometimes, expectations hurt us. I know one person’s expectations are hurting me, but… Perhaps the great mystery of how to get out of this labyrinth isn’t some Great Perhaps, but simple acceptance.
It goes against everything we were taught, but then again, so does everything to begin with. Life is just one big contradiction.