One thing I’m proud of is not caving to societal conventions of living the “normal” life.
By that I mean that after graduating from high school and college, I didn’t go straight into an office job (OK, actually, I did, but it was temporary), buy a house, get married, get a puppy, buy an SUV and start having those 2.5 kids every American family seems to have.
I don’t mean to knock that kind of life, because it works for some people. But not for me. At least, not right now.
Post-college life can be daunting, especially if you’ve always followed the expected path.
When my first post-college job didn’t turn into a permanent one, I took it as a sign that I should return to New Zealand, something I’d been dying to do since I left the country in 2011. I moved back in with my parents (a situation a lot of people criticize, but one that can actually be great) and started a minimum-wage job as a barista that I loved. Conventional? No. But it got me to the point financially where I was ready to move back to New Zealand.
The move itself is probably one of the main things of which I’m most proud. I moved here without a job, which a lot of people find crazy. To me, crazy would be spending the rest of my life in a cubicle (Again, I’m not criticizing office workers; I just don’t see myself as one, excepting temporary work.).
Another thing people can’t seem to wrap their heads around is that I didn’t return to New Zealand for a guy. Some have asked me more than once, as if they didn’t believe me the first time. I understand why they ask – or, to be fair to them, I think I do. For whatever reason, it’s societally acceptable to ask about people’s significant other, even if you hardly know the person you’re asking. But for the person being asked, it can feel downright offensive: your hypothetical boyfriend seems more interesting to the questioner than you do.
So, in short, I’m proud of following my (non-romantic) heart to do something I wanted to do, even if others don’t approve or understand. As I’ve said before, if we were meant to be doing the same things in life, we would be the same person.