From an early age, popular culture tells us that to be successful in life we must go to university, get a graduate job, find a life partner, buy a house, get married, have kids, keep working until retirement and then rest.
This is all fine and dandy if that’s what you want to do. It works out well for many people. But not for me.
I followed the script up until about the job bit, when I realised I wasn’t enjoying being in full time employment for any longer than 2 years at a time. I got distracted, I procrastinated, I yearned to be free. Then in my most recent role, the Universe handed me a very clear sign. I got laid off from my job.
That’s when things really took off. I decided this was the time to start my own business and find a part-time job to support me. A lot of people in similar roles are stay at home mums or those with many years experience. Not me, I’m 27 and kid-free.
I am loving the extra time, I am loving going against the grain and doing something I love. I can explore life, read more things, meet people on my terms representing my own brand. And no I’m not making any profit yet but I’m working harder and smarter than ever, because I enjoy it.
I’ve started challenging other stereotypes too. I have a wonderful partner and I live with him but we’re not ready to hurtle through each life step. I don’t want to buy a house at the moment and I don’t know if I want kids but what I do know is that taking control of your life and your choices is the most liberating thing you can do.
Don’t fall prey to the rat race of life. Break free. Women and men now are choosing to live their lives their way, and that’s how it should be.
You don’t have to work full-time, you can establish your own business on your terms, you don’t have to marry or buy a house and you can certainly choose not to have children. It’s your body, your life, your choice. And what’s more, it’s personal.
Why should it matter what others think? It shouldn’t, they will only ever reflect their choices onto you. Choose not to follow.
I have a good friend who is a constant inspiration on this subject. She dyed her hair orange, she has chosen not to have kids and she volunteers with birds of prey at the weekend. Her life, her rules and I respect that.
I’m also challenging gender roles in a relationship. I feel if women can say they don’t want kids or they want equal pay, then they can also say they want to propose or they want to be the lead in the relationship. So many strong women take the natural lead in many areas of their relationship and yet when it comes to marriage, they sit back and wait for the man to get a ring. Why?
I think I naturally take control of things as a personality and I would consider proposing to my partner. Not because I feel it’s due but because it is a romantic gesture so in line with what I am all about. And yes it’s scary, it’s huge! But it takes two to tango, so why should one role always fall to one person?
In a world where we are reversing or challenging nearly all the traditions, why do we get stuck on proposals? Yes it’s romantic to have a man propose and give you a ring. But how many relationships wouldn’t have flourished if the woman hadn’t asked the man out, or if someone hadn’t been brave enough to just go for it.
Be brave. Follow your own path. If you never ask, you never know!