I wish I had a blueprint in life. The kind that everyone else seems to be having. Or maybe I did receive it as well, but I must have misplaced it.
What do I mean with a blueprint of life? A guide, a map, a step-by-step flowchart that tells you what actions to take at a certain point in your life. What studies to take, what jobs to pursue, what kind of life to live.
Blueprint of acceptable life
It seems to me that so many people accept this blueprint we call ‘acceptable life’ and without questioning they take it, frame and base their life and decisions upon it. The benefit is that the blueprint has all of the answers, so you don’t have to think about any of it yourself. What studies to do, what career to choose, when to marry, have babies, to buy a house and what car to drive. It will tell you all of the essentials needed to being a functioning adult in this world.
It seems so easy. Just follow the lines, follow your blueprint, never questioning whether it actually makes you happy, never questioning whether it’s what you want to do or if it even makes sense. You just do it because … that’s what one is suppose to do. And it’s easy because everyone else is following the same blueprint.
But what about us in the jungle?
Making your own path
And then there is me. A woman in the jungle with a machete. Everyone else is taking the beaten track somewhere along the same mountain slope, they whistle and laugh as they go along, they travel in packs and they know where the path leads them. It leads them to the same place, through the same experiences. It leads to acceptance by society, place of no questioning and a place where everything is as it “should be.”
Somehow I cannot join them. Somehow I am always in the jungle with my machete beating and hacking down my own path. And it’s hard. The machete is heavy, the jungle is thick, the air is heavy and I am sweating. Every single step is new, and if I don’t beat it down, I stand still. There is no path, nothing is done for me, nobody has gone here before. Sometimes I stop and look around me, I see exotic birds and views that take my breath away.
I am on to something, but I don’t really know what it is. I am beating and swinging and a path will appear, one swing at a time. And one day it will make sense.
But when it’s dark, when I get lonely, I wish I was with everyone else. In the land of the blueprints where everything is similar, where your life makes sense to everyone around you, where no one asks you questions about your choices because their choices are exactly the same.
The price of not conforming
Choosing the jungle means you always have to explain yourself. Why are you standing alone with a machete in the woods? Why do you choose to live like this? Nobody is living like this, it’s not normal, they say. For someone your age with your background you should be doing something else, you should be living somewhere different, you should own something different and you should follow the blueprint!
What they are really saying is that you are disrupting my concept of normal, and it makes me feel uncomfortable. Please stop. Please return to the path which I know so well.
I often long to belong, yet I cannot lower my machete. I sometimes long to conform, until I remember that the woods are magical too. And I’m sure there are thousands of ladies like me, holding their own in the midst of a thick jungle, making a path that is new and entirely their own.
Why do it?
Because maybe, just maybe, one day I will stand on a mountain of my own.
Maybe, just maybe, someone is following me and I have to be brave.