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I want it all, money, fast cars and bitches…

I was at work the other day and a teenage boy asked how old I was. I answered that I was 27 and he made the predictable fuss about ohmigod you’re so OLD (and then bumped himself up to #1 on my favorites list by saying he originally thought I was 18. STILL GOT IT).

I don’t know why, but as I walked away time slowed and the words sunk into my head…I am 27. I will be 27 for six more months and then I will never be 27 ever, ever again.

I started to do what you should never do if you wish to remain sane and happy. I started to take stock. I ran down life’s little to-do list to see what, exactly I’ve accomplished in these 27 years. I am generally a happy and optimistic person (perhaps as the result of getting every ounce of depression out of my system during a prolonged Emo phase before we even knew what Emo was) but despite this, there are boxes unchecked. Is it just me or simply human nature that I immediately zoom in on the items that sit glaringly empty while all around me my peers busily check them off?

Someone I’m too lazy to google once said “It is possible to have it all. Just not at the same time.” And I wanted to fist-pump as I digested those words. PREACH!

Right now I can check: happy, married, fulfilling job, well-behaved dog. Two years ago I could have checked: happy, job. Two years from now I might be able to add the North American dream: owning a home.  It’s disgusting though isn’t it? Unsavory, this rush to the finish line, like once you check off everything you will ascend to something unimaginably better. No. Lies I say, lies! The only thing waiting for you once you’ve checked everything off is…all the stuff you checked off! And you’re stuck with it and you call it your life: the house, the career, the stale marriage, the geriatric dog, the whiny children (what was that about optimism?)

Truthfully though it’s like when I hear people talking about travelling and they refer to “doing” countries, “Yeah I’ve done Japan and Thailand, but I still want to do Greece and South America.” Check, check. What of the experience? What of the process? What of those other quotes about the journey being more important than the destination, about life being what’s happening while you’re busy making other plans?

This is the trap I remain vigilant about falling into and sometimes, like you, I fail. I compare myself mercilessly with those who have more, or different, or better. But I keep reminding myself that I can have it all…just not all right now.

One of my friends is single. She often laments this fact, she’s tired of riding solo, she desperately wants a partner, someone in her corner rooting for her. She has told me she envies my relationship but when I look at her I don’t see sad single girl, I see freedom! Indulgence! Never having to compromise! Not finding beer cans behind the toilet!

I tell her if I were her, I’d be backpacking. I’d be hitting the road without looking back, no one to miss or call or write letters to… I can taste the adventure and it tastes like tequila and heavily-accented foreign men. She tells me if she were me she’d be getting busy and having babies, what am I waiting for?

So. Lesson learned. Check.

Here I am, enjoying the journey. Enjoying all of what I have, right now.

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