I feel the need to defend the ‘normal’.
I don’t know what sparked this comment but about five years ago when I was working in a restaurant, someone said to me the following: “I bet you will never leave here. You will just get married, buy a house and start a family.”
This person meant it as an insult, like normal wasn’t cool enough for them. The funny thing is that this person was older than I, was in the same place as me, now has a kid, and is, guess what, still here. But here is the thing, I bet right now she couldn’t think of anywhere she would rather be.
Traveling and moving around sounds freaking awesome, and part of me wishes I did at least a little. I sometimes wished I had studied abroad, or moved to a bigger city for a year. I have a bunch of friends who have gone that route and I give them all tons of credit for having the cojones to do it. Seriously. Maybe I didn’t.
I also happened to fall into some great situations in life. And when I lay my head on the pillow at night with my wife and my dog. I can’t think of any place I would rather be.
These normal things are still pretty neat:
I Got Engaged at 26
I don’t care if people say you should wait to get engaged. That you should “enjoy your twenties.” Look, I found the best girl ever, so I locked that shit up. She won the #sweetheart award at work. She loves me so much that I literally have a hard time comprehending that someone can have my back THAT much. It doesn’t make sense to me. Crazy right? Oh, and I am enjoying the fuck out of my twenties.
That brings me to #2.
I Got Married at 28
“Enjoy life first,” they say. “Don’t get married until your thirties,” they say. Hey, for the same reasons as above, I locked her up. What’s the point of being single and looking for a girl just like the one you already have and love? Don’t make no sense. I want to enjoy life WITH my wife. She is my best friend. Awww. I know, right?
Buying Our Own Home
More and more people are talking about how owning a home is a bad investment. And look, Your Brooklyn Brownstone may be super cool and trust me, I’d love one. But your rent is five times my mortgage and this space is ALL mine. Who cares about the investment? I don’t. Happiness is currency. My house was a great value in my heart.
My Home Isn’t In a Big City
It isn’t in a suburb either. There’s nothing wrong with either and we looked at both options. I live in a college town. I am a ten minute walk to breakfast diners, burger bars and nice restaurants. More importantly, I am a slightly more scenic ten minute stumble home from the bars. It’s the best of both worlds. And I have money left over to spend on those things AND save.
Getting a Dog
So I can’t pack a bag and go Vagabond through Southeast Asia for months. It is a little more difficult to go on a all-night bender and stay out at night. Trips cost an extra $30/night to send the pup to camp. But when he falls asleep on my chest at night and goes freaking bonkers every time I get home, it’s more than worth it. I’d be lost without that little dude.
Staying at the First Job I Found
I said my current gig would be a three year starter job. I meant it to. But I am four years in and don’t plan on making a change. My job is great and I make great money for my age and skill-set. It bought me a house and is making it easier to plan for…
Starting a Family
I don’t think this needs an explanation. I don’t know but I’d guess it is basically my answer to Getting a Dog but multiplied by 1,000. I will say this though. When people say to do some cool shit before you have a family, that makes sense. But it doesn’t mean you need to do ALL of the cool shit. Life can be short. But it can also be long. There is plenty of time to do all the cool shit I want.
No one is going to look at me in my casket and say, “Chris was so cool.” Maybe they will. I mean, I am freaking cool. And I do a ton of cool shit and I go on road trips and vacations all the time. Some people can’t go beyond walking distance from their homes. They can’t afford clean water let alone the ‘boring’ and ‘normal’ stuff that I do.
I’m grateful for my life and the experience that I continue to have.