Having recently entered my twenties, I’ve found myself spending a lot of time pondering my future life plans for when I am a proper adult. Although I said goodbye to my teen years over 24 months ago, I don’t yet class myself as a ‘full adult’. I am more of an oversized eleven-year-old. Except with boobs.
Maybe this crisis about my future has been triggered by the fact I am about to enter my final year of university and it’s about time I start thinking about what I’m going to do afterward. In hindsight, perhaps a history degree wasn’t my finest life choice. I’m not saying I have absolutely no idea of what I want from my future, but I’m pretty sure I know what I don’t want – children being one of them (sorry mum).
When I tell older people that I don’t see children in my future, they brush it off with a disdainful, “you say that now, but you’ll change your mind in a few years.” There is honestly nothing more frustrating than this sentence. In disregarding this remark, in particular, my capacity to know what I want for myself is belittled, my agency as a young woman is denied. And the funny thing about this reaction is that it is, in my experience, unique to the subject of having kids.
Whenever I discuss my other future aspirations with older people, they hear me out with interest. Not once has my plans for my career, to travel or setting up home been skeptically dejected – though, thinking about it, my aunt did say my suggestion of adopting seven dogs was a bit far-fetched. Everything I know I want in my future I want so much, maybe too much, and yet when I say I don’t want kids, it’s “too early” for me to know what I want in life.
Well, here are five things I know I want in my future.
1. A Fulfilling Career
Having spent the last five years working my butt off studying September to July, and then spending my summers getting as much work experience as I can get my anxiously inexperienced hands-on, I’m looking forward to a future where all the hard work will pay off (in more ways than one).
Don’t get me wrong, my aversion to kids and in favour of career might suggest I don’t believe you can do both. Rather, I have an enormous amount of admiration for women that do both. That said, I’ve been jumping through hoops for half a decade and I just don’t fancy trying to scale the maternal wall before I’ve even got to the glass ceiling.
2. A Pinterest-Perfect Home
Whilst I wouldn’t class myself as a gamer-girl, I spent a lot of my free time designing and decorating houses in The Sims when I was younger. I’ve always been obsessed with interiors, something only encouraged by my Pinterest addiction. Naturally, having a beautiful home filled with a carefully curated collection of décor is something I’m really excited to obtain.
I’ve always wanted a small home, but an elegant one. It’ll feature a lot of white, delicate glassware and golden accessories… so I definitely don’t want sticky fingers all over it.
3. A (Little) Lush Garden
One of the best things about my room in halls was my chilli plant, so when I have a place of my own, a gorgeous green garden to grow some fresh ingredients is high on my priorities. Spring evenings spent planting out my favourite fruit and veggies? Yes, please. Truly free-range, ethical eggs from my chicken-children? Yes PLEASE (I desperately miss poached eggs on toast). But of course, I’m nothing if not realistic, so I’m willing to compromise on the garden for a few terracotta pots to home my tomatoes and courgettes for my saucy courgette. But compromise on the untrampled-by-tiny-feet flower beds? Never.
Buying plants and pots is a hell of a lot cheaper (and potentially more effective) than therapy, which I’d certainly need after popping out a few sprogs. Flower beds are the only things I intend on raising in the future.
4. A Life Well-Travelled
One of the big motivations for me to keep pushing through school, sixth form and then university is my plans to travel before I settle. My Instagram following list is filled with travel bloggers, and as cringy, as it sounds to say this, but I’ve got serious wanderlust (uuurgh).
I want a future where I’m not tied down to any one place, where I can relocate and see somewhere new and exciting without having to think about anyone else. Children, on the other hand, have a tendency to require stability, and I just can’t gel with that.
5. A Fur Baby (Or Seven)
I could hate the fact I’m a complete cliché of a girl when it comes to dogs, but I’m a big advocate for self-love and self-acceptance, so I’m just going to roll with it. Besides, if it wasn’t for dog videos then I wouldn’t be able to empathise with how my friends’ feel when they see a baby.
There are many reasons why dogs are better than babies, but the one that really matters to me is the fact that a puppy’s adorable lil whine is FAR preferential to the incessant wailing that comes out of a small human – I just want to know how and WHY such a sound comes out of something so small and incapacitated????
Dogs are made of nothing but love and don’t ask for anything back other than a belly scratch, and I’m always happy to oblige. Babies, on the other hand, are nothing but take, take, take. Spoiled, screaming little sprogs. I will have nothing to do with them. But puppies? I’ll take nine.