I’ve always been a good procrastinator. I get shit done and get it done well, but oftentimes I wait right up until my deadline to finish. Then there are the other times, where I finish (insert task here) with about a week to spare and it feels GREAT.
On that note, I recently booked a bunch of trips around the U.S. (and a couple outside the States) for this summer and fall. Southwest was having a sale and I wanted to get it all taken care of right away instead of waiting.
It led to some interesting thoughts and discussions about money-saving and money-spending. I’m 28, not very wealthy, and living in my hometown (for a couple more months, anyway…). Yet, I still just dropped a zillion dollars on flights and experiences for the next six months.
Some may say I’m procrastinating on adulting, and that my patience will screw me in the end.
I have steady work that I love, even if it isn’t lucrative. I have amazing people around me. I wake up happy and healthy every day and go to sleep feeling accomplished most days. I have hobbies I’m passionate about.
Talking about “waiting” is funny. I wouldn’t say I’m “waiting” to grow up, or “waiting” to get a Real JobTM, or “waiting” to get married, have kids and buy a house. The reasons I haven’t done any of those things is because I’m not waiting.
I’m not waiting to dance in the sun at any music festival I can get myself to. I’m not waiting to explore as many foreign countries (and new states, for that matter) as possible. I’m not waiting to work in a field I enjoy or partake in activities that excite me.
I’m not waiting to live, for the sake of doing what I’m “supposed” to be doing.
I was there for a while. I’ve worked shitty jobs I hated because they were “on the right path” to wherever I was supposed to be going. I’ve lived in an expensive apartment because I wasn’t supposed to be living at home anymore after college (though I’ll admit living in San Francisco was worth the money!). I’ve found excuse after excuse to pass on opportunities in the name of saving money and not taking too much PTO.
I ignored that desire to travel, write and explore for about five years too long. Now, I see more and more people of this generation saying “screw it” and breaking away from whatever has been expected of us for so many years. It’s awesome.
As this way-too-real HuffPo piece, entitled “This Is Why Our Generation Doesn’t Believe in Settling Down” perfectly articulates:
“There is a whole world to explore still. There are empires to create. There are dreams to achieve. There are places to go, people to see, and memories to be made. And buying a two-story house in the suburbs of the small town, USA would only get in the way of all of that. We’ve discovered that you don’t need a house to be at home. We value experiences and connect rather than material investments such as huge houses.
This doesn’t mean we aren’t out there getting married or starting families, it just means they don’t look the way our parent’s families did. We are having kids and traveling with them. We are marrying who we want, when we want, and then seeing the world with them. We are doing the jobs we want to do, where we want to do them. We are still creating life it just doesn’t look the way they are used to.”
This is the new normal. If we see something we like, something we want, we go get it? Why not? As long as this form of selfishness isn’t hurting anyone else or dishonoring commitments, who cares? YOLO, seriously.
I mean, Donald Trump is starting random wars so we could literally die tomorrow. That’s not a joke, but it is dramatic, so how about we try this instead – you could get hit in the head by a hammer falling off a construction site. You could trip and fall into oncoming traffic. Your body could decide to shut down for no reason.
Bleak. Sad. And still true. You have no idea when you’ll never get to do the things you love to do, with the people you love to be with, in the places you love to be in ever again. None of us do.
I’m all for being responsible. I think it’s very possible to have a Real JobTM, a family, a home and still find ways to live out those dreams.
Still, why wait? It’s more than okay to explore. As the HuffPo piece says, “…we are one of the first generations to realize that “settling down” like you are supposed to, isn’t the only thing you can do with your life or even the best thing to do with your life.”
Truer words have never been written.