On Living Your Own Life

The other day I bought knives. Knives.

knives

 

What’s worse is that I used supermarket points to buy them. We asked around, gathered points from our sister-in-law and our housekeeper. Our part-time housekeeper. Our very very occasional housekeeper (ok okay, my in-laws housekeeper) who was willing to give us some of her points. She didn’t need them.

We got enough points, went to the supermarket, and filled our cart with a set of discounted knives. Discounted knives that still cost 56 euro. Like any good middle-class person, I packed the knives up, paid the money, and tried to immediately forget about the absurd amount for a set of knives. What’s done is done. Ya gotta pay to live in the middle class.

I bought knives for my house. Those good cooking knives. The kind that have a strong, sturdy wooden block to store them. The kind that are so sharp that it’s scary just to look at them and if you had kids you’d keep them far far away from little fingers. They’re the kind that, since you don’t have kids, you can hold in menacing poses like a samurai or Zorro.

They’re sharp. They’re beautiful and on Amazon they’re listed as over 200 euro for the set. Though expensive for us, we got a good deal.

As you can see, I think these knives are important enough to talk about. I thought it was a big enough deal to tell my mom about it and even my sister. ‘What did you do today?’ ‘I went to the kids’ baseball game, but it was rained out after four innings,’ she replied, ‘You?’ I bought knives. She discussed her new high-class managerial position and her son’s baseball improvements, I discussed knives.

See, the knives were a revelation for me. It’s not about accumulating possessions or being able to afford a set of 56 euro knives, the revelation was that they were enough of a priority to actually go out and get them. 

I no longer live like I did in college, or the immediate post-college lifestyle that is advertised in online magazines: “20 reasons why you should go crazy in your 20s!” 

The knife revelation was this: I’m 24 years old and I’m not going crazy. I feel like I’m building something.

With my move to Italy, my relationship, my marriage, my job and my house, I am building something. It’s important to me. I never judge those who are still aren’t ready to build something, yet I regularly see online articles disparaging those who are.

“20 Reasons To Be Single in Your 20s.” “The 20 Reasons Millennials Shouldn’t Give a Damn.” The idea is that when you’re in your 20s you should be selfish. You should be free! I’m a millennial. I have a house. I’m married. And not only do I feel free, I feel like for the first time in my life I’m able to create the exact type of life I want. One dictated by me, not by my parents, by education, by society. I believe that’s called freedom. 

I never thought I’d be at this point so young. A house, marriage, those things just weren’t important to me. Traveling was important. Writing was important. My girlfriends were important. I didn’t want anything to stand in the way of my dreams, but love sometimes comes when you don’t plan it – or maybe it always comes when we don’t plan it. I know that real love doesn’t stand in the way of your dreams, but it can definitely change the stakes!

I think it’s great when my friends are single. They can focus on themselves and focus on their career. I think it’s great if my friends don’t want to commit to a house. Then they’re free enough to pick up and move cities with no problem. I don’t mind if they don’t have the money to do something because they’re working on their side hustle, their personal projects or simply not working. Yet my lifestyle is constantly criticized by peers and publications serving my same demographic – or what I thought was my same demographic. 

The Internet abounds with articles expounding a “go-get ’em even if you have to step on others” mentality for millennials looking for success. Splayed across Facebook are statuses asking the Internet gods to shoot them if they see another Facebook friend who is pregnant, if they have to be witness to another engagement ring picture. Complaining that all their friends are getting married. Since when were people so judgmental about other people’s visions of success? Whatever happened to caring about others?

I liked to travel and I still do. I liked to have sex and I still do. I liked to try new things and I still do. Like most millennials I’m working at a job that wasn’t in my original career plans, but I’m working hard at it the same. It’s a lot of work to build something and each step is important – including continuing your passion of cooking with a damn fine set of knives. 

So feel free to rage in an ecstatic state of youth until 5 a.m, just don’t mind me when I’m in bed by 11:30! 

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5 Responses to On Living Your Own Life

  1. Eva says:

    Well said! 15 minuti di applausi ;)

  2. Amanda says:

    Woof, I literally felt a pang in my stomach when I read “my marriage” and not because I’m critical of people our age who are married but because its new, exciting, terrifying, weird, aging. It makes me miss being kids and makes me excited and envious to build something of my own at the same time. I have definitely made the occasional “if I see one more ring or baby picture, I swear I oughta’…” post but I will also be the first to admit that I update my entire wedding almost as often as my facebook status ;) Can’t wait for this weekend. XOXO

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