Where to? Tokyo has long been on my list…
By Caitlin Kelly
In your teens, 20s, 30s and 40s, life tends to follow fairly predictable patterns: finish your education, find a partner, marry, have children, buy a home….if you can even afford them, as so many can’t now thanks to crippling student debt and stagnant wages.
If you’re lucky enough to remain healthy and keep finding good jobs, you might be acquiring capital for retirement and watching your income rise. Nothing guaranteed, of course!
But my point is that, for a good long while, the trajectory — traditionally — seems fairly clear, and usually, upward in terms of acquisitions, growth and success.
My old dreams, thankfully, have been realized: to own my own home; to have a happy marriage; generally good health (and access to good care); lasting, deep friendships. I was lucky enough to have three staff jobs at major newspapers, doing work I enjoyed, and several magazine editing jobs, and then published two books to good reviews.
I’ve traveled widely, to 41 countries, including places in Africa and Asia. I love to travel and am debating disappearing into a Paris rental apartment in 2020 for months. I love Paris and I miss hearing and speaking French.
We only get so much time….
The next bit, if I am lucky enough to remain healthy and solvent, is much less clear to me. Many women my age are corporate warriors earning a fortune, too busy for friendship, or doting grandmothers, cooing over their family. I’m in neither category and that is sometimes both disorienting and very lonely.
I still have to bring in money to meet our exorbitant health insurance costs, although I’d happily hang it up now. I still enjoy writing but have been chasing writing income since university and am heartily sick of that.
New dreams include more global travel, possibly writing a few more books, starting a business of PR strategy and another to sell my photos to interior designers.
Will any of these happen? Who knows?
It’s a luxury, I know, to have achieved so many of my younger dreams.
It’s a challenge, now, to think of new ones — and to gin up the requisite enthusiasm and energy for some of them.