I think about it a lot, what I want my life to be like after 50. I picked that age randomly, as a way to give myself enough time to get what I’m after. When I was younger, I imagined what life would be like, but I didn’t always chase after it. Now, I live a life that’s more pragmatic. Everything I do these days has a practical reason for it. It doesn’t mean I’ve left whimsy behind, it just means that as I got older, I realized that some things need to be planned. If you want something, you have to structure your life in such a way that invites that “thing” into your life.
I knew ten years ago that I never wanted to work in an office building ever again. I’ve managed to make that happen, and I’ve been working from home for over a decade. I knew I wanted to be with a woman who had her shit together, wasn’t knee-deep into politics, and appreciated nature and city life as equally as I did. I met her, and I love her more and more each and every single day.
I’ve never really asked for much out of life. I’ve always just wanted a roof over my head, and the ability to pay my bills, and feed myself. I’ve been poor, very poor. I’ve been in the closet. I’ve been ridiculed, and embarassed. I’ve done a lot of things that I regret. For all of the wins I’ve had in life, I’ve had double the failures. I’ve fought for everything I’ve ever wanted. I didn’t have the credentials, I didn’t have the looks, and I didn’t have the experience. I fought fair and square. I’m tired of fighting. All I want now is a peaceful existence.
I’ve found myself drifting away from people who fight, people who run in circles, people who seek attention. It’s not my fight, and it’s not my problem. I don’t care if I fit in, and something tells me that most women in their 50’s can’t be arsed, either.
That’s my dream. To be surrounded by a group of men and women over 50, around a bonfire, laughing about all of the stupid things we’ve done in our youth. Things that would surely get us in trouble today. I want to be around people who are secure in their skin, who are interested in the natural world, the trees, the fish, the sky, and the moon. I want to breathe fresh air in the morning, and I want to see the stars at night.
I’m trying my best to engineer the kind of life I want to have when I’m 50. I want to live in the country, and I have no idea what I’ll be doing for work by then. I imagine something related to technology. Though if I’m honest with you, I’d love to be able to disconnect completely when I’m that age. I don’t know if that’s possible, but I like to stay flexible to what opportunities might come by then.
Sometimes, I think I’ll become a beekeeper. Other times, I dream of becoming a toy maker. I want a simpler life. I want to go fishing during the week. I want to do random things that make other people smile because I’m relaxed enough, and happy enough to make it happen.
I’ve been practicing the art of living in the moment, for the past few years. It helps to keep stress at bay. Stress is terrible. It’s just as bad as alcohol, or sugar. We don’t talk about that as often as we should. I’ve been living more for today, but it’s fun to dream. It’s fun to think about what life might be like when all the pieces fall into place. I’m engineering this life because I know I have some control over it. You can have any life you want. You’re never really stuck, and if you are, it’s temporary. There’s always a way around it, no matter what the issue is. There’s a substitute, a solution, or another option. Remember that, and you’ll be happier in life.
While I have a pretty good idea of what I want in the future, here’s a little secret: don’t try to plan it all out. Leave some room for surprises. Open up little doors during your journey, and take a peek inside. Try new things. You don’t have to commit. But, try things, scary things, absurd things, things that feel just out of reach. That’s how I got all the stuff I’ve got today. It’s not that things always went to plan. It’s that the things that I never expected would happen, happened. I got lucky.
Besides, luck only really happens to people who dare.