A set of rules are all laid out like tracks
And I must follow, questions shan’t be asked.
But what if bumping off the rails
Wasn’t quite as dangerous as they say?
What if they are lying and fields on either side
Are full of nourishment to make a happy life?
What if they are lying, so that all those crops
Are all kept for themselves
While we all chug on by?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the choices I have made during my life and why I have made them. And I’m sad to say that most of my big decisions have been made based on what other people think.
I don’t know about anyone else but I had a very narrow view of how life should pan out while I was growing up. From a very young age I strongly believed that you got good grades at school, got a job, met someone and married, bought a house and had kids. It was the only path that I could see.
And as I got older I tried to rigidly stick to that plan even though my heart was telling me that it was all wrong. And you know what? The whole thing went up in flames, or just made me very unhappy.
I got married when I was really young and had a baby. The marriage didn’t last and it’s scared me off having a relationship again, meaning that I have been single for well over a decade.
I bought a flat, and although I do love it, it makes me feel stressed out every day as I think about the fact that I have a mortgage weighing me down until I’m nearly sixty. I realise that I only bought it because I had some money and it was what everyone told me was the right thing to do with it.
This led me on to thinking what I would have done if I had just listened to my own inner voice and not everyone around me. I would probably be living on a canal boat or in a tiny house, I’d have travelled the world and I’d have been confident enough to really push forward with my art and writing. In short, I wouldn’t have played it so safe.
I hope that people start to see that those rules we think we need to live by aren’t real. We’re told to stick to the formula because it keeps everyone in check and makes a few people rich. I know that once my son has finished school I’m going to start breaking some of these rules, just to see what happens. My gut instinct tells me that it’ll be fun and I won’t actually care if boring people turn their noses up at me.