I recently blindsided myself with the realization that my life is up to me to control.
Revolutionary, right? Hardly. Yet the concept struck me straight in the gut. As I watched my friends careen into suburban motherhood, I recognized that I’m not cut out for The Mommy Track. This isn’t to say I never want to be a mom, nor do I judge my friends for their decisions. I merely recognized that I’ve always lived my life with a different sense of balance than they do.
So I pictured my life in every circumstance, letting myself feel the weight and freedom of possibility. Graduate school out East, chasing an MBA in finance. Setting up new roots with my current job in Arizona. Rooming with a grad-school bound friend in Nebraska and figuring things out from there. Testing the strength of my network in California, New York, or Massachusetts.
I took stock of what I valued. What I was hoping to find, what I didn’t want to lose. And I ended up deciding that I don’t want to go anywhere.
My world is here in Minnesota. Yes, for the right adventure I’d uproot and fly. But not only do I love what I have here, I’m proud of it. Not every 23 year old woman is close friends with her grandparents. I may only have a few decades-long friendships, but some people have none at all.
I’ve been told that my life is at a point of change and growth, which is it is. And I know moving wouldn’t mean losing touch with loved ones. But I’ve worked hard at the relationships in my life, I simply don’t want to leave them. And I AM at a great period of growth and change. For example, I’m establishing independent adult relationships with relatives that I love and feel blessed to experience.
Sure, I don’t know what it feels like to Chinese takeout in New York at 3 a.m.. But I do know what it’s like to drink wine coolers by firelight with my Grandma. Fair trade.