I was recently watching an interview between a reporter and Joe Cross, the guy who lost weight by juice fasting. During his interview he made a statement about getting caught up in what he thought he should be doing. What society expects. The materialistic/idealistic concept that is life. He described it as 'the brochure of life'. He explained it as being caught up in the every day rapids, floating down the stream and doing everything that is expected.
It made me think about my own brochure of life.
Only three or four decades before my birth women definitely followed a life brochure. They had no choice. It read something along the lines of: school, married, children, housewife/mother. The end. Very rarely back then could any women branch off from their path. Could they define themselves as who they wanted to be.
I was lucky enough to be born into a decade of choice.
Despite this choice, however, we still have some expectations in life.
For example, it was expected that I would complete a high school education. From there it was expected I got a job. Both of which I followed through with.
From this point I followed the brochure and found a partner, got married and had children.
But then what.
I am at that point now. The selfish point, the one that some may call a 'mid life crisis'. The point in your life where you go 'oh fuck is this it!'
Don't get me wrong, I do love my children and I am not suggesting I run to Tibet and live with the monks for spiritual meaning. Nor am I suggesting that I go define myself in the world by dumping my kids in a daycare and going off to mark my place in society by getting a career. But then do I really want to just be a mother and a housewife?
Im in a limbo land.
Wanting to be the ideal 1950s housewife. Trust me I want to be the little wife and the cook and the mother with the kids hair in perfect plaits. But theres a wanting, one where I can define myself as an individual.
Im sort of looking past the layers of materialistic stuff in the world. Im looking past the cars, houses, fancy clothes and money. Im looking past the brochure.
And it is scary stuff.
I walked through the shopping centre the other night. Every shop I looked in I thought why are we working so hard to buy this stuff. Why. It reminded me of a quote of Elizebeth Gilbert whereby she says that she spent most of her 20's working all week then spending the weekend wandering around box shaped stores buying stuff she didn't really want or need.
I remember crying to Craig once, probably five years ago. I was crying because our house was too small. I felt that there was too much stuff in it and I pleaded with him that we needed a bigger one.
Looking back on that conversation I feel so stupid, and so selfish.
Houses and stuff are safe. And remembering I am still in limbo land between the expected brochure and writing my own damn brochure I am scared to not have a house. Scared to not have routine and normality and predictability.
You will see that through my blog, I am bloody scared. Scared that we should have taken the road most travelled. Scared that we have branched off from what people 'normally' do. And a bit scared that without making changes I would have died of boredom.
Maybe I will re write this post once our six months is over. Maybe I will read it again and think back to this moment in time when I am grasping so tightly to convention that my knuckles are white.
When I look back I will probably laugh. And realise none of this mattered anyway.
So for now I have no idea where we will be at in a year. or two years.
Will we even come back after six months?
But I do know that this time in a month we will be on the road. We will be driving off the brochure of life and onto the brochure that I like to call 'doing whatever the hell we want'.
Ahhhhh..... can't you tell Im a little nervous.