The Life You "Should" Live

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The Life You "Should" Live

I've been reading Circling the Sun: A Novel about Beryl Markham who not only was an aviator but one of the first female horse trainers at the turn of the twentieth century.  It's a powerful story of what it is to be free, to be wild, and what it means to be in society.  Obviously, life for women has changed greatly over the past 100 years, but there are strides that have been made.  One of the biggest being you don't have to be married in order to have a life.  Some old timers might make snide and ugly comments about women that don't marry, but there are choices in providing for oneself.

One of the themes that comes up in the book is "the life you "should" live" as dictated by your parents, your circumstance, your whatever.  It got me to thinking.  The hubs and I are in the middle of making of pretty significant life choice:  buying the home we will live in forever.  Like we will die there and never move again.  This makes me elated.  


When I say I hate it, I mean I cry for the month before we move, act irrationally, and cry for weeks following the move.  I don't know why it bothers me so much but it does.  The act of packing is particularly what bothers me.  I think I'm going to do it wrong somehow; it all gets back to that perfectionism thing I mentioned before.  

What has been interesting, however, is that in our deciding to (fingers crossed) actually buy and move into this home, there have been lots of mumblings about whether or not this is the "right" choice we "should" make.  My family lives in an old home and I've always wanted to live in the big Southern mansion with white columns.  

This fits the bill, right?
What I've been questioning is A) have I come to this conclusion and desire because it's always been the thing I "should" do B) is this the life I really want C) why is it anyone's business where my hubs and I live.  Growing up, I was pretty rebellious.  I pierced one ear 5 times and 2 in the other.  I only wanted clothes from Goodwill and wore them to the country club.  These things led to some pretty tense relations at home.  I also had this weird thing about money; yes, I liked it but it made life seem fake to me.  I also had a dear friend (who is still so very dear to me) that when we would meet older boys, she would rattle off that we lived in a big mansion (only part of it to be fair), my dad had a plane (also old), and we had a 65 ft yacht (not old - it was awesome).  Yes, I grew up in a fairly charmed life but I was so concerned about somehow losing my soul when I became an adult.  At one point, I think I said out loud I don't want to get old because my soul will die. 

 <<I know very 90s weird teenage angst>>  

Fast forward until now, I am 37 and am rip-roaring towards the life my parents always dreamed for me and I do for myself.  I'm on the way to having the right house, the right friends, the country club, and so on.  It's wonderful and I am grateful, but there's this tiny itch I have.

Am I living the life I "Should" live or the life I want?

What about you?


1 comment:

Joan Senio, said...

Wow, Lee, I can really relate to this post. I grew up with a certain set of expectations and ask myself every day how many of my thoughts are truly authentic and how many are just stuck in my brain. I wish I had answers.

My husband and I are going through similar decision making right now as we are trying to plan a seque into retirement. It has helped me to try to stop viewing it as a "rest of my life" decision. I figure, we'll try something. If it turns out that it feels wrong, we can begin to plot a new course, and change things up again when we're up to it. My husband has trouble seeing things this way, but it helps me feel less anxiety about trying out something new.

In the end a house is a house, and your family makes it a home. I'm sure you and hubs will be happy wherever you land!

Love and congrats on your new home!