I make my decisions, you make yours. I believe buying houses and having children are giving up freedom. If it makes you happy, great. I’m not here to tell you how to live. But stop with the, “Must be nice,” when you hear about MY lifestyle. I forgo the traditional trappings of adult life to maximize my independence. If you want freedom and flexibility, stop making choices that limit it.
I rent an old apartment in a very desirable part of town. I not only have access to every amenity I can think of within a few steps of my door, I also don’t devote every weekend to home improvement projects. I’m also woken up over and over by drunken yelling and the constant sound of traffic on the busy street. I’ve gone to your house where it’s quiet and tastefully decorated and I’ve thought, “Must be nice.” But I’m not willing to pack up and head to suburbia because overall I like city life.
Living below my means and not having any responsibilities to upkeep a house? Being able to split town within 30 days’ notice, no strings attached? It’s awesome. It also has a lot of downsides, like the fact I do my laundry with quarters in a leaky basement on crappy communal machines. But it’s preferable to having to give up a planned vacation in Maui because they’re broken. They are not my problem, and that’s exactly how I want it. But you can do your laundry in your underwear in your own place. Now that is definitely the high life and it must be so nice.
It is the best thing in the world to do whatever I want whenever I feel like it. Children are a choice that like no other will severely hinder your freedom for two decades. You have your reasons for having children and I definitely have my reasons for not. I think parents do have a hard job and it’s one I never want.
It’s not that I don’t want a beautiful house, a shiny car of my own and to buy all the latest fashions and gizmos. I’m just not willing to do what it takes to buy all that stuff. Kids? I would have them if I wanted to, but I don’t, so I’m not. It’s all an exchange. We give our time and effort to things and people we hope we in turn will fulfill us.
I had a job that paid pretty well for fifteen months. I was utterly miserable. Each day I returned home completely spent. I had no energy for writing. But I was making good money, why wasn’t I happy? When I took another look at my pay, I realized it didn’t even matter. All the fancy cocktails and expensive shoes were not a good exchange for the despair of my life draining away for what I considered useless work with cold-hearted people. There is a cost to having a job. I didn’t want to buy a house, although I could’ve afforded it, because I would just resent the house and the awful job it took to buy it. I turned my back on perhaps the “best” job I’ll ever had to pursue a different path.
I immediately found a part-time job working for a cause I believed in after I quit the terrible job. After two months, I was laid off and now here I am again with the unforeseen gift of time to write. I need to find another job but I’m not panicked. I know how to buckle down and live very frugally. I don’t have to worry about keeping children fed and the mortgage paid. I don’t feel like my life is crashing down, even though I am sorely disappointed I lost my job. Must be nice? Yes. It certainly is. I built my life that way.