There are so many ideals and expectations portrayed by society and the media. We are always told that we should do this and we should do that; this is wrong and this is right, and in order to live life to the full, we must do things in certain ways. I’ve definitely been guilty of sucking up to things on social media platforms. I see quotes on a regular basis and blog posts telling us the ‘correct’ way to live our life, as well as explaining what’s expected from us when we hit our twenties and then slating people who have chosen to live their life the way they want to – it’s considered to be the selfish time of our lives. So I’m surrounded a lot by what I should and shouldn’t do – one of them being ‘settling down’.
Settling down in your early twenties is seen as somewhat wrong. We’re encouraged to travel the world, play the field, avoid buying a home and living as freely as possible. I get that – but that doesn’t mean it’s the correct way to live. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll probably know that I’m currently living my dream of travelling around Australia. This wasn’t because it was seen as the right thing to do, it was a personal choice and for me personally, it felt like the right time to do it. However, recently I’ve been thinking more and more about settling down. There’s still so much of the world to see, and still so many things I am yet to learn, but in February alone I’ve been living through the most stressful time of my life – learning to live off virtually no money, moving in with a partner, endless job rejections, realising who’s worth my time and who isn’t, and living away from home. And because of these factors, I feel like it’s already time to settle.
Over the weekend I published a blog post describing how much of a Grandma I am so young. My idea of a perfect night is sitting in front of the TV, with all of my favourite snacks beside me and being surrounded by the people I love (and of course, my dog). I struggle to find the motivation to go out clubbing with a bunch of underage teenagers when I know I can be inside, snuggled up on the sofa. But for some reason, it feels as though settling down, preferring to stay in and being in a committed relationship in your early twenties is seen as erroneous. Choosing to spend time at home over a wild evening in an overcrowded, sweaty club on Deansgate Locks is now portrayed as ‘boring’ and a ‘waste’ of being a twenty-something old. For example, when Googling the words ‘settling down in your twenties’ – you will be greeted by articles such as ‘settling down in your twenties isn’t worth it’, ‘twelve reasons you shouldn’t be too serious about love in your twenties’, and ‘five reasons your twenties aren’t meant to withstand a serious relationship’. I guess this is okay for some people, but there are also people who, like me, believe that living a quiet life is just as good.
So why is avoiding settling down seen as the key to happiness? Referring back, in your twenties, society tells us that we need to travel the world, we need to try out new things, we should party in new places, meet new people and step away from serious, committed, relationships. My Airbnb host is currently preparing himself to climb Mount Everest, flying out to Nepal tomorrow morning. Since retiring, he’s travelled all over the world, stayed in Hostels, travelled alone and met some incredible people – some of which he now travels with. Putting an age on when to live for adventure seems pretty stupid to me, age is nothing but a number and we have our entire lives to travel and discover new things. This is mind, I do believe that your twenties are about focusing on you, what you want and discovering what the future holds for you personally and professionally. However this can certainly be done from the comfort of your own home. Perhaps the quieter life is what makes you the happiest, instead of being sucked under the pressure of society. Living the life you love and living the life that makes you the happiest isn’t what’s portrayed on social media, it’s about living the life that you want – there isn’t anything wrong with settling down if you feel like you want to.
Don’t get me wrong, the odd boozy nights can be needed at the right time, but right now, I’m so excited to get home, find the perfect home with Jack, shop in Ikea for homeware, buy a puppy Cocker Spaniel and settle down in a career I love. By this point, I’ll be going on 24, but that doesn’t matter. The older I get, the more eager I am to ignore society and social media and do things my own way.
Surely I can’t be the only one?