Today, I was walking in a cute Cambridge neighborhood. You've seen English movies, you can imagine this idyllic serenity. The air smelled of cookies, every front yard had fresh flowers and the look into the houses revealed a luscious Christmas tree and a motherf**ing fireplace. My company brought a dog and so me and English gentleman were walking through the smallest city in the world, looking into family homes displaying all of that insane happiness people want to see there. I was wearing a hat, he was wearing leather gloves, the sun was shining and we were living the countryside dream. Like, even a dog was there. Sounds good right? Almost perfect. Yeeeah, let's talk about that. This entire city is full of people who came here to live that dream. Most of them brought two kids. But me and doggy daddy were thoroughly unimpressed. Turns out there's two people in this town that are not living this dream.
"Would you want to live this life?", I asked him. We talked about this a lot before, quite possibly bonding over the fact we were quite possibly the only two people in Cambridge that didn't actually come here to procreate. It looks sooo good, that life. As if I didn't want a house. Or a dog. And a roast every Sunday. The truth is, and that makes it so hard to want it, what else is there? I've been in this life for almost 30 years and sooo much has happened. No year was like the other, I was very rarely bored. I then decided to take up the least boring job in the world, as had this guy, journalism, and we never did anything to get any closer to this life we saw in this street today. We were always able to change everything about ourselves on a whim. Soon he is getting on a one way plane to the other side of the world. If he had a house, a dog, this life, that would simply not be happening.
I feel like this life is the place people work for. But when you achieve that, what else do you work for? I've been looking for love for 15 years but what if I found it? I've been working on my career for ten, but what if I got a house and settled down? I've been living arguably the most exciting life I could have, but what if I had a child? I like the unpredictability of life and the fact my life today is the opposite of what it was this time last year. Once I buy that house in that street, get that dog and make that baby, that's what it will be from there on out. It's what they call "arriving". I understand everyone wants that, as do I. The idea sounds so beautiful. But the expectation sounds unlikely to hold up because expectations are rarely a good thing. This one, 30 years in the making, sounds like an epic way to feel empty very quickly. Can a simple reality, a never-changing routine, satisfy a person for 30 or more years if the previous 30 were the complete opposite? I would love if it could. I doubt it can.
So since I had these thoughts today I decided to knock myself out: I watched 'The Holiday'. I saw this movie before, needed a Christmas film, and remembered the English countryside life to be the theme of this cheese feast. Let's forget it's actually the cheesiest movie in the world, but here we have Jude Law being a rural daddy in the nicest of places with the cutest of kids. It's been 11 years since I saw it first, thinking that one day I would live that life: suburban London, working at the paper, making hot chocolate for my children. Well, not quite huh? I see Kate Winslet's house in Surrey now and find it just as appealing as in 2006, only today I know something very real: that's not me. It might never be. I see the movie, and reality, and I'm happy for everyone who found their happiness that way. I just doubt that the eventuality of that life would not scare me. Why "arrive" when you can keep traveling?
I could very well only think that because living that life is not in the cards for me right now. Then again, the fact I can't for sure say that this is what I do or do not want, means there's quite a lot left to figure out before making the decision. I feel many people haven't actually given it the necessary thought but just rolled with the expectation that buying a house, having a family and making roasts is what life is all about. It's a great idea, it's just not the only one. I sincerely hope I turn into the person at peace with herself enough to be able to live this life, maybe making more life for the right reasons, but I simply don't know yet if I will. And if I don't, I don't think that's a bad thing. There's a whole world out there, not just an English cul-de-sac.