I’m lying on my couch, scrolling through Instagram.
There’s the amazing writer living out of her van, sleeping under the stars in the desert. There’s the woman who backpacked all over the world, each day a new country.
I scroll through posts that talk about ditching the nine-to-five, that talk about being wild and free. As I scroll, I glance over at my calendar at the playdates, and doctor appointments; I’m relaxing after coming home from my nine-to-five, and I’ll head there tomorrow as well. My house isn’t a van or a yurt—it’s just a house in a suburb.
I’m living a life that so many are talking about ditching: the suburbs, the kids—and there’s actually a minivan in my driveway (a car I said I would never own).
In case you are wondering, minivans make shuttling three kids and two dogs easier than the cool SUV that is also parked in my driveway for those weekend getaways and hikes on the trail.
Yet I know I’m living a life that so many people my age have declared boring and uninspired. I’m a weekend warrior who loves to write, hike, and kayak, but have fit that into my traditional life with my career, my marriage, my family.
As I scrolled through Instagram, I wondered if I was settling—was I somehow failing my generation by caving and living the white picket fence existence?
I found my old journals, the ones where 16-year-old me writes about my dreams of living in a little house in a town I can make memories in, of walking my future daughter to school, of being married. I realized I am living my dreams, the ones I carved out for myself. I became a mother 10 years ago by choice, and my three little ones make every day an adventure. I wanted the white picket fence, that holds in the ones I love, where our weekdays are filled with school, work, meetings, and chaos and our weekends are when we hike, swim, explore, and be wild.
I love my life. It may not be as glamorous as the van lifer or the world traveler, but this is my dream, my best life.
I think sometimes as a society we fall in love with an idea or an image. Especially lately, ditching the nine-to-five, packing your belongings into a van, and heading into the vast unknown has become a dream for so many. I think that’s awesome, and I applaud anyone who has that dream and follows it. Yet I also know that isn’t everyone’s dream, and that’s okay—some of us love being moms, it’s our greatest dream and adventure come true. It’s okay to love owning a house and enjoy the stability of a nine-to-five.
I remind myself as I scroll through Instagram that those people are living their dream and I’m living mine, complete with the dog who’s drooling on my lap as I write this and the kids running through the house.
This chaos, this stability, this life, complete with my very own picket fence, is actually where I want to be—and that is all that matters.