blonde girl smiling on the back of a boat on the water, with monaco in the distance behind her

This is 29.

I am a passionate believer that life should not be ordinary.

If you’re someone who struggles with societal expectations – you know, the ones that say you’ve gotta go to uni straight after high school to get a job working for a big corporation and work 50 hours a week to save enough money for your house with your partner and 2.5 kids that you should probablyyy all have by 30 (omg take a breath), to then go on a small trip once or twice a year because hey that’s just what LIFE IS (???) – and that doesn’t really appeal to you, then you and I might have something BIG in common.

Do NOT get me wrong – I wholeheartedly believe some people are put on this earth to live that beautiful wholesome life. A life of ease and love, stability, peace and contentment. A life without too many moments outside of your comfort zone. A life of caring and compassion and ticking off the boxes. I sometimes truly wish I was one of those people.

But, because I’m not one of those people – my 20’s have been trickier than I’ve had many people around me believe.

Breaking the mold.

I spent most of my 20’s trying to subtly push against against that expectation of life – and it took me until my 28th year to work out why I was resisting.

It simply isn’t for me.

I could never understand why I didn’t care about getting promotions or climbing the ladder at work, or why I left jobs after a year or two to go on a big trip, or why my desire to become a young mum fell further and further away the older I got. It’s because I was quietly re-writing the script of what my life could be, and discovering the kind of life I actually wanted.

I grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne with my 2 siblings and my mum and dad. I went to a nice girls school, I got my first job at Woolies when I was 15 and paid for most of my life from then – with much appreciated support from mum and dad when called for (ily). I did well academically and I was pretty social. I liked sports and staying active. I was blessed with my upbringing.

It was fun, it was comfortable, and it was sheltered.

It wasn’t until I left high school and moved to Canada for a few months that I realised how much life there was outside the suburbs I’d grown up in. I didn’t stay in Canada for long because my life hadn’t prepared me to feel uncomfortable. I didn’t like the feeling, it was new to me. I got scared, I felt secluded and very lonely, and I came home early. Granted, I was only 19 at the time, but I wanted my bed, and my friends and my family, I wanted to drive the roads I knew, and I wanted the comfort of my dad’s cooking. I wanted to be back in my bubble.

Or… so I thought.

I didn’t know then, what I know now:

That being uncomfortable is when the biggest growth and change happens. It is when LIFE. HAPPENS.

The life I had lived as a child and teenager was preparing me – I would say intentionally – to the life I mentioned at the beginning of this post. The life of routine, ticking items off the list, of working a ‘normal’ job, and of success – but not too much. Enough success to get by, to fit in. To not ruffle feathers.

Let me quickly jump in here to add: this is not to say I am not grateful. I write this from a place of privilege and I KNOW that. As I said – I loved my childhood, and I love my parents, my siblings, my lifelong friends more than anything. I loved my school, and I know how lucky I was and still am to have the opportunities and safety net.

This is more to say that I was quietly influenced and guided (perhaps not intentionally) to live a certain life.

I believe the reason I have struggled with anxiety throughout my 20’s was because that life never fulfilled me. I was always going against it. Trying to find any way of working that meant I didn’t need to give up so much of my precious time making money for someone else. Trying to find a way to travel for months, rather than weeks. Trying to find myself and support myself so I didn’t rely on anyone for anything. Trying to find a way to have fun all the time, not just on Saturday night.

Trying to find a way to create an extraordinary life that I could look back on and say – that was pretty unbelievable.

Now, as I have just entered my 29th year, I’m ready to stop trying to fit in a box, and fully accept myself and my goals as being different to what’s around me. I’ve embraced the unknown, and I am focusing on myself and my dreams. I am backing myself for a change. I want to see what happens if I don’t give up, whilst being my most authentic self.

At least this way, if one day I am back working in an office, counting down the hours til 5pm – I know I would have at least tried to break away.

Kelly x

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