Let’s be real Kweens- adulting is HARD!
I could not wait to grow up and make all my own decisions and create my dream life!
I thought it was going to look a certain way. You expect to get married, have babies, have a great career, buy a house all by the age of about 25. The earlier the better!
SPOILER: it didn’t happen for me this way at all. Well to be honest not even one part of that has happened.
I am about to turn 40, very single, with no kids, no house, (and I don’t mean I rent, I mean I have a storage locker with my stuff in it and no fixed address) and I chucked in my career to work for myself. Absolutely not the life mini-Jane planned out but what did mini-Jane know anyway?!
I spent almost ten years working in media in Sydney and I LOVED IT. It was my dream gig. My workplace was listed as one of those ‘top places to work’ in Australia. I interviewed there 3 times before I got a job. I had great friends, a great boss and great perks (think lots of parties, tickets to the best concerts and a beer fridge that was permanently open). But I left it all on a whim (and with a lot of tears) for nothing. For wide open space. To chase dreams that I hadn’t even figured out yet what they even were.
I flailed around for a good six months afterwards. It was terrifying. I regretted it. A lot. I went back casually. I felt so vulnerable. I wasn’t achieving anything. Basically I got scared that I’d made a HUGE mistake.
Thankfully, just before I reached the point of begging my boss to take me back I scored a contract to produce a two month tour for someone I hugely admired. Literally my dream gig! And I learned that your dream gig can change. You can change. What lit you up yesterday doesn’t have to be it for you. Sometimes you need to wait for the right timing. And waiting can be scary.
Flash forward and today I contract regularly creating events for people I admire. I work for myself. I can roll out of bed anytime I want. I can work in my pjs. I’m on the road so much that I currently do not have an actual home. I see my friends so much less than I did before.
I don’t always have a steady income. Some months are better than others but I always get by. I cannot imagine going back to setting an alarm every day AND doing my hair. No thank you.
I do miss working in an office. I miss the camaraderie, having like-minded people around, the office parties, the office crushes (ammmiirighhtt??), the birthdays with office cake or when something big & exciting happens and you can just turn to the person next to you and share it. It can definitely be lonely and there’s no Christmas party (alright there’s a Christmas party but it’s just me singing Taylor Swift songs).
This year I spent two months living in New York, two months in New Zealand and two months on the Gold Coast. Some for work and some because I can literally do my job anywhere so I picked New York. I’m not an idiot.
This sounds pretty glamorous but let’s be honest, in New York I was sleeping on an air mattress next to my niece’s cot (actually that bit was pretty fabulous!), I wasn’t going out to the coolest New York bars, I was negotiating time differences and working ’til midnight cause that was when the Australia market was online. Most days it was exactly the same as being in Australia, but better. Ok, it was definitely better!
Sometimes I feel like I’m always making life harder for myself. Leaving good jobs. Moving cities. Being away from my friends and my support systems for long periods of time. Finding my comfort zone and leaving it again.
I swing wildly between loving being a gypsy living out of a suitcase and seriously craving bed linen and throw cushions and wanting to buy groceries. I really, really miss owning food. You can’t cook shit if you have to buy all the ingredients from scratch. This is a fact. But I wouldn’t trade any of it. Even if I don’t always know what I’m doing or where I’m living.
You’re under no obligation to live your life a certain way. Not the way your mum says you should or the way your friends do or even the way mini-you thought you would. Live life your way. Do what lights you up. Set your life on fire! I mean not like real fire. I mean like the Rumi quote says. But also sometimes burning stuff can be cathartic, so if that’s what you need I am not here to judge. You do you.
Pave your own way Kweens! And then find other Kweens that have done the same thing and have a long lunch on a Tuesday because you can do whatever the hell you want!
Jane Connors is a Freelance Tour Manager specialising in not being in one place for a long period of time. She loves Taylor Swift, TV Crime shows and is a very fast walker.