I was so sure of what I wanted to do with my life for years on end. I knew exactly what I wanted or at least I thought I did.
I was going to be a wife and a mother. I was going to buy homewares at John Lewis. I was going to work part-time at a university. I had it all mapped out. And then my marriage ended and now I no longer have it all mapped out. In fact, I don’t think I have anything mapped out.
I now live in a tiny room in a rented furnished apartment room and with a rubbish bed. My furniture now all lives in a storage unit waiting for the day I buy a place and it can come out to play again (and I can be reunited with my beloved bed). I work at a university but I really want to pursue writing as a career somehow even though I know it is super hard. I don’t know if I ever want to get married or have children. I don’t know if I ever want to live with a romantic partner again. I might want those things at some point, but right now I am focused on more immediate things. I am working to sort out my finances, my health and my work.
I am not quite living day to day but I am living a lot more in the moment. I am not waiting for the time when I am grown and I have achieved all the symbols of being a grown up. I now realise those milestones do not have to be my mine unless I want them to be. I know self-discovery and all that is the thing you are meant to do in your twenties but I spent my twenties in long-term serious relationships. I’m using my thirties to work out what I want when I am not trying to check off all the items on the middle-class aspiration checklist, I don’t want a checklist life, I want a (potentially) messy, muddled life that is made up of my choices. And that is what I am going to have and I think it is going to be great.