I stood in the kitchen today and took a deep breath. I’ve just had a significant birthday.
I am exactly where I wanted to be by 50.
This would not be by many people’s standards, but I’ve never paid other people’s standards much attention, so that’s unimportant. It’s also vastly different from my working class roots, but still has aspects of working class sentiment.
What prompted this thought:
A battered passport filled with 18 countries that most people don’t get to. Not your usual suspects, but the kinds of places that make conservatives heads spin. They’d think me a drug lord or a terrorist. All travelled on shoestring budgets, for lengthy stays, guided by locals and more like immersion than tourism. Not just travel for travels sake, but for love of diversity and the planet.
A home filled full of meaning, not just objects. Things like a hand made chess set from Bolivia – with comical chess pieces (that I bought from an old lady in La Paz). Second hand up cycled furniture, some traded, gifted, some bought, some salvaged. Babysitted plants. Art and music space. Everything has a story and not just for decoration, but stories of not just of how it got here, but also why I have it.
Stories worth telling. I am that quirky character I wanted to be as a child. Really I am; but it still shocks me that I am. I had no desire for a suburban life filled with people. Rattling around a house minimally filled with the quirky, living alone, monitored closely by an overprotective greyhound, onto the next course of study (of many) and in no need of validation from anyone or anything. I study because I love learning, not to prove anything, just because I’m curious and interested.
Wealth beyond money. I’ve rejected the notion of acquiring property and land and instead, exchanged it for a life filled with experiences. To others monetary wealth is not renting and staying settled and acquiring property – and that’s fine for them, I have no issue with that. But it’s not for me. To me wealth is the freedom that I’ve got the next few years here doing a planned PhD and getting back to teaching work and I’m not sure what else is next.
But I’m promising myself it will be interesting. Today’s the first day in a while I’ve felt this hopeful, this is huge for me.
2020 was rough, but it was only 1/50th of my life.
I’m looking forward to the rest of this life, however long or short in time, however challenging or rewarding that might be.