Convention bores me. The "outline" of it, in particular. The idea of it. Though the reality is that even within a "conventional life," there lies intricacies. Nothing is thoroughly cookie-cutter as this...
- Be good, grow up.
- Go to college.
- Get a job.
- Meet someone.
- Get married.
- Buy a house.
- Have kids.
- Maybe get an animal.
- Raise kids.
- Pay for college.
- Have grand kids.
I don't have any issues with the above. And I have certainly done steps 1 through 7. And I am not a person who fears death. So I have no problem with number 14. I'd like to do number 9. Number 13 I have tried to do a few times, and have problems actually committing to it. The kids things I am not against. I just feel that it is those numbers that really change the dynamic of your life. And while I know it does it for "the better"... It means a lot more compromise than someone like me is willing to do. Right now.
Why bring all of this up?
Well, I've had a few instances recently with people in my social circle who like to refresh their stance on the life I'm living. And they've done it a few times over the past years. They're little comments that don't sound bad... But they certainly have loaded opinion within them. Things like:
- "Your last name is still your maiden name? I thought you hyphenated it." (Me: Nope. I was born with this name. I'll die with it.)
- "When you guys have kids, you'll need to change out some of this furniture. You have lots of sharp corners. And a lot of glassware within toddler-reach." (Me: Any kids I have will be contained in a 6' by 8' padded room till they are about the age of 3 and can control some of their destructive and curious urges.)
- "You don't want to have kids? What about your legacy? Don't you want a legacy?" (Me: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! If you think children are the "only" way or even "best" way to have a legacy, than I feel badly for you. My legacy will be bigger than that. I just have to figure out what it is. But even if I had kids, I would NEVER think of them as my legacy. They are their own persons. They don't have to live up to my expectations. Well, wait. I do have one expectation: Be nice. Don't be a douche.)
- "This is Heather. She lived in NYC. Then in Boston. Then Toronto. Then in NYC. Now Boston. And then she'll move back to Toronto."(Me: Toronto is my weekend home. Boston is my weekday home.)
- "Living in Boston and Toronto is the long-term plan? What?" (Me: Yep. I love Boston. I enjoy Toronto. I have created homes in both places. And that's what feels right for me.)
I get it. I smile and laugh gently at these things. They're not typical. But that's what I love about them! It's my version of rebellion. Rebellion that I am drawn to. Not rebellion for which I have to try hard. It's instinctive.
Rebellion isn't driven by just wanting to be different. It's driven by dreaming big. And choosing to go after those dreams. I think for a while that The Husband actually struggled with my "need" to be different. Then, recently, he had his own run-in with the "convention police."
He was talking about something he wants. And it is a big dream. The people he was talking to looked at him like, "Why would you want that? No one needs that. You're thinking too big."
When he relayed the story to me later over Skype, I laughed maniacally. And then I pointed out to him that THIS was a perfect example of a big dream being dismissed because it bucks the convention of those around him.
"There is nothing wrong with your goal. It is a great goal. I think you can achieve it. But even if you don't, it is still a great goal. And I admire you for it. Never let anyone tell you your dreams are too big. Rebel against those thoughts."
Now, each evening over Skype - as we say "good night" - I tell him to have "big dreams" as he sleeps.
If dreaming takes you away from the normal standard, that is fine. It often leads to quite a bit of hard work, ups and downs, but ultimately a lot of happiness. A fulfilled life of trying. A rebellious life.