“It’s not about time, it’s about choices. How are you spending your choices?” ~Beverly Adamo
Hi, my name’s Tash. I’m twenty-six years old and soon I’ll be living in a van.
My sister is twenty-three. She owns her own flat, which she shares with her long-term boyfriend and their pet tortoise. She has a well-paid job that she enjoys, and she even has a company car. For some people, this might look like she’s really got her sh*t together—she’s ticking all the right boxes!
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she isn’t! I’m very happy for her and everything she has achieved, and she really is doing a great job. But personally, this isn’t my idea of having my sh*t together, and it certainly isn’t a life I see for myself.
Yet the other day she said to me, “If you don’t get a house soon you’ll probably never have one.” My reply? “That’s okay, I don’t want a house any way.”
You see the thing is, everyone has these preconceptions of what it means to “do well” and “get your life together.” Do you have a house? A good job? Are you earning a good salary? Do you have a partner to share it all with? Will you be getting married? Are you planning to have children?
These are all things we are led to believe we should be working toward, because achieving these things will make us happy and complete.
Well, I call BS!
I don’t own (or even rent) my own house. Okay, I am married, but that certainly doesn’t prove I’m adulting well. I’m giving up a great job in order to pursue my career as a freelance writer, so as of March I’ll officially be unemployed. Oh yeah, and in April my husband and I will be packing up our entire lives and living in a van.
But do you know what? I couldn’t be happier or more proud of our decisions.
What Brought All This On?
Let me rewind. A colleague of mine recently turned twenty-six as well. As I stopped by her desk one day she said, “I thought I’d have my life together by the age of twenty-six.”
This got me thinking, what was her definition of having her life together? I told her, “If by the age of twenty-six you wanted to be happy, in a job you enjoy, and looking forward to your future, then you’ve got your life together, right?”
We all want different things from this life, but there’s so much pressure to follow suit and do what has always been seen as the normal or correct way of doing things.
I was that way once. When I was at university, if you’d asked me…