And I’m a little panicky on the inside. When I was 18/19, I couldn’t even envision what I wanted my life to look like by the time I got to 30. I had visions of the future but never at a specific age. I knew that I wanted to be done with school by 25 and hopefully married by 28, but that was really it.
The vision I had for my career changed and developed over time as I went from culinary arts degree to communication to school counseling. Even with those changes, I imagined I would own a small café style restaurant in Abaco. Who knows, that is still a possibility.
I’ve never been super materialistic so I can’t think of any material things I feel or felt that I should own by now. I just bought a watch for myself this month. Go me. To be fair, I’ve had watches but they were always gift items. I’ve never owned a car and in fact, got my US driver’s license in 2017 despite living in the US for 7 years. I still have a pair of jeans, satin pajamas and a towel from my grammy I got back in high school and I’m okay with that.
I’m okay with that.
By Bahamian society standards, first of all, I should be a doctor or lawyer for all the years I’ve been in school. Thirty years old and no kids? Must be barren or something. I don’t have an apartment complex on rent (yet), I don’t hit the clubs and bars on Saturday and then church on Sunday. I don’t have a house, or a Commonwealth Bank loan that I’m trying to pay off. I’m not in an asue to go on a Caribbean vacation cruise this summer.
I’m okay with that.
From time to time, I think about my uncle who went off to the states to go to school to be a doctor when I was little, and never went back home. Haven’t heard from him or seen him since I was 13. And then I wonder, have I become him and then I remind myself that I haven’t since I at least talk to my family back home. [side reflection]
So I’m thirty. What does that mean? Well, when I first thought about this post, I figured I’d list off things I’ve accomplished but then I figured that would only be to soothe my ego. To get others to point out that I have “done well”. Or to remind myself of the things I’ve “done well”. I don’t even know if it matters because I’m no where near the people that matter most to me.
I tell my kids that it’s okay to not have their entire lives figured out in high school. I don’t know who created that idea, but whatevs. Just pick a path and follow it through. Whatever you choose to do is the best version of your life there is as long you do everything wholeheartedly. If you choose to follow the path that makes everyone else happy or satisfied except yourself, you have no one to blame. And that’s okay. Just pick a new path. No one said we had to stay on the same path forever! Cue random assortment of photos below.
Look at young Neu. 17 years old. Had dreams of being a chef. Had no idea she’d be a school counselor in Southeast Asia at 30. Had no idea what life would bring. Or take away.