What do you want? What kind of life do you want? What kind of person do you wish you could be?
Growing up, I always wanted the life that I imagined every girl living in California lived. You know, the kind of girl who would surf all morning, then throw on a sundress and hop into a VW to drive around with their windows down and their hair blowing in the wind. These days, you see those girls on Instagram and in YouTube videos, traveling the world, living out of their vans, swimming in lakes and climbing up mountains. They go to Bali and Costa Rica and Bora Bora just to take selfies in front of waterfalls. They’re young and carefree and somehow seem to have lots of money, but no responsibilities.
I, on the other hand, am an overweight 39 year old, married, mother of three with a shitload of responsibilities. That kind of life is not for people like me. Overweight 39 year old married mothers of three don’t go to Bora Bora. They go on diets. They make New Years resolutions to go to the gym more often. They drive minivans to soccer games, with the windows up, because hair blowing in the wind means an hour with the fucking wet brush trying to get all the tangles out of their kids hair. Amiright, moms?
Unfortunately, yes, I am right. That is all true. But it doesn’t have to be true! This is why most people don’t live the life of their dreams.
Because they’re too busy living the kind of life that’s expected of them.
I’m an overweight, 39 year old, married mother of three and THIS is what that looks like for everybody else, so this is what it’s supposed to look like for me. This is just the way it is.
This is MY LIFE. This is MY STORY. I don’t have to play the part of the average, overworked, underappreciated mom because “that’s just the way it is.” I’m the writer of this story. I’m not fucking dead yet. The story of my life isn’t being written ABOUT me. It’s being written BY ME, right now. And if I want to be the main character – the girl in the sundress, who hops into a VW and drives around with the windows down, all I need to do is put on a cute fucking dress, hop into a VW and drive around with the windows down. “That kind of life” doesn’t belong to anybody. It doesn’t belong to skinny people or young people or single people. Anybody can make the choice to do any of those things. Want to start your own business? Want to go back to school? Want to quit your desk job to open up an ice cream shop on the beach?
WHY HAVEN’T YOU?
I think it’s because you’re comfortable.
Even when it feels difficult, living the life that everybody expects you to live is easy because they practically hand you a fucking script. As a mother of three, everywhere I look I see blog posts, videos, comedy routines, tv shows and movies that all show me exactly what “mom life” is supposed to look like. I know that I’m supposed to live in yoga pants, wear my hair in a messy bun, be constantly overwhelmed, definitely be too busy to take care of myself and drink copious amounts of wine. That’s the life society expects me to live. That’s the script I was handed.
Maybe your script is different. Maybe you’re a tall, blonde, 21 year old who’s expected to go out every weekend and take lots of selfies. Maybe you’re a 65 year old divorced woman who’s expected to knit sweaters and blankets and shit. Maybe you’re a 45 year old CEO who’s expected to work too much and drive a fancy car. There are lots of roles and everybody gets a script. Some people love their lives and happily play their parts. And if doing all the things society expects you to do makes you truly happy, by all means, keep on living that life!
But if you want something different for yourself … a new story or even a whole new character … ripping up the script you were given and writing your own story can seem pretty scary. And what if you screw it up? What if you try something new and totally suck at it? You already know you’re fine at playing the part you were given. Why risk change?
So you tell yourself to stop being difficult and to stop dreaming. Not everybody can have big, amazing lives. Not everybody gets to be the main character. And you keep on playing your part by living your normal, familiar, expected life day after day, month after month, year after year, until the very end.
But just before the end … you have regrets. They say the number one regret of the dying is “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself and not the life others expected of me.”
That is heartbreaking. And I refuse to make that mistake.
I am an overweight, 39 year old, married, mother of three. I’m also a pink-haired business owner who’s spent my entire life proudly doing whatever the fuck I want to do. Right now, along with my husband and kids, I’m a full-time, world-traveling writer and photographer, headed to the beach. In a blue and white VW, with the windows down.
I always thought I was such a weirdo for not living the life everybody around me expected me to live. But I’m really not a weirdo at all. I’m a regular person with regular problems, just like you. I’m just a regular person who realized that I don’t have to perform the script that was handed to me. This is my story. And if I want to be the star of this movie, I WILL BE THE STAR OF THIS MOTHERFUCKING MOVIE. Please be the star of yours. Especially if you’re not the type of person who’s normally the star. Please be the star. Please step out into the spotlight. The world needs to hear your story. The California girl on the beach? We’ve heard her story a million times. Every story is about that fucking girl. Perfection has been DONE TO DEATH. What we want to see now are stories about regular people doing really cool shit. Why are we living vicariously through other people’s lives when we could be making those kinds of lives for ourselves?!
You have one life. One very short, precious life that can end literally any second of any day. If you’re not living the life you want to be living, you’re wasting your time. And you’re going to regret it.
And fuck regrets. No more regrets. Death to regrets!