Someone asked me the other day “do you think you will finally settle down once you’ve finished travelling next year?” It sounds like a simple question that should have a very simple Yes/No, even ‘hmm maybe’ kind of an answer. However one thing is for certain I will never ‘finish travelling’. As long as I am healthy, mobile, coherent and have the financial means of getting from A to B I believe this wanderlust soul will always be seeking new horizons and new adventures.
And what exactly does ‘settle down’ mean? When we are children we are all encouraged to find a career, meet a nice boy/girl, buy a house and ‘settle down’. By this means what we are actually teaching our kids is; live your life in one place, with one person and work for 30+ years in one job!
I lived for many years believing just that, I brought my first property and got engaged at the age of 19. I got a nice secure job and was branch manager of a building society by the age of 21. Was I happy? NO
I later entered into a soulless marriage, because I thought it was the right thing to do – The right thing for who exactly? It certainly wasn’t for me.
It’s no secret that I have been locking horns with my 21 yr old daughter recently, it’s beyond hurtful (for both of us) and maybe it’s because we have always been SO close that little things can hurt us deeply. I also feel she is a little lost in life having reached adulthood but still not entirely sure what she wants to do. She is also sadly in a generation where getting a foot on the property ladder seems near impossible for youngsters I know that there is also perhaps an element of “it’s not fair, Mum brought her first property at 19 and for me it’s completely out of reach” The thing is that whilst I was absolutely penniless in my early 20’s with a massive mortgage around my neck, many of my friends were travelling the world or living & working overseas and having the time of their lives. I admit it, I was jealous as hell – but were any of them jealous of me stuck in at home struggling to meet my mortgage payments each month?? I doubt that very very much!!
Fact is when we carry a child, they begin life basically as the meeting of two cells and we meticulously following the rapid changing development which follows for the next 9 months. Then we welcome a new baby into our lives and with great excitement we watch them grow, develop, explore and change. Teenage years sees them question, test boundaries and find their independence – which suddenly as adults we then want to take away from them again. We give them wings and then want them to become rooted again, we encourage them to become independent and then put pressure on them to become someone’s ‘other half’.
It took me many years to figure this stuff out and I admit that I spent far too long trying to find “the one”, scanning virtually every online dating site out there, feeling my life wouldn’t truly be complete until I found Mr Right to settle down with. How wrong I was.
Then my own life transformation happened (some may call it a mid-life crisis!) and I have never felt more complete and secure than when I discovered that I didn’t need to fit in to any box anymore – the time had come when I finally stopped seeking everyone else’s approval for the way I lived my life and instead I found something which was inside me all of the time, quite simply; wholeness.
Over the last 21 years I have watched my daughter grow from a tiny bean into a fully grown adult, yet because I have been an ‘adult’ for that whole time I was expected to have stood still, settled down and stagnated…I haven’t. I have been criticised for such within my own family, but it’s MY life and finally I know that that’s O.K.
It’s O.K. for me just as it’s O.K. for any other adult, no matter what age or stage of life we are at. Any one of us can change, evolve and transform at any time.
We are human, and as living things we are changing and renewing on a cellular level every single day, in fact the majority of our physical self rejuvenates itself over & over again during our life span, yet all to often we do not allow ourselves to change and evolve within the adult life we are living.
So do I want to settle down or finish travelling?? Hell No!
I’m not saying that IF the right person came along then I wouldn’t commit to a long term, loving relationship – BUT they too would have to not just want to settle for what is right in front of them for the rest of their life but to share that intense desire to explore new paradigms in the collectiveness of human and universal consciousness, testing boundaries to explore, learn and grow, both logistically and spiritually so to transform the power of intimacy. When I use the word intimacy, I am not just using it in the obvious sense but translating to ‘into me you see’. Someone who can connect with my soul and see into and understand the inner me is more important than anything else.
If that person does not appear in my life though, I know now that I am also perfectly happy and secure on my own and actually I have come to LOVE my independence and the freedom which it brings.
Whilst I may not always change physical locations quite as often as I am doing right now, a part of me will always seek exploration, adventure, growth, change and new destinations.