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Reason #1: Ambitions

March 4, 2011

Some women go straight from high school or college right into marriage and motherhood. I believe there needs to be time to explore yourself and the world. As a child, I spent a lot of time reading and learning about the world through the experiences of others–even if the stories were fictional, the places were real. A magical otherworldly paradise could be Mauritius or the Mayan Riviera, a land with tribal people could be the Amazon, if you use your imagination.

I have a huge list of things I want to accomplish in my life, and to be honest it ain’t cheap. I’m 21 years old with the world in front of me, and I see no reason to take that away. Who knows how long these places will be here? I want to explore them before capitalism takes away the best of life.  From getting a second degree in women rights to traveling to Peru, Singapore, South Africa and Europe and continuing learning other languages (I have taught myself German so far), I have a long list of things to do. Some may seem more important than others but finishing “War and Peace” by Tolstoy is just as important to me as going camping in Algonquin Park and fishing–two things I’ve never done. Why?
Because I come from a family where a young single mother with three kids didn’t have the resources to afford her children these experiences. I’m not complaining though. I now have the resources to do these things and have the privilege of DINK (Double Income, No Kids) coined by gay author Dan Savage whom I love. It’s true though, when you’re a DINK, you can squeeze so much more out of life. You can order a Baileys Irish Cream chocolate cheese cake without glancing at the price (hey, I’m a student–these things are still luxuries!) and you can afford to upgrade your car every 5 years or 300,000 km. You can book last minute flights to Cancun and slow down and REALLY smell the flowers,  and buy souvenirs.

You can afford steak outs and barbecues and buy drinks for your pal’s birthday at the bar, if you’re so inclined. Being a DINK affords you to have fun, be free and follow your dreams. I never had a dream to live in a suburban house in a small town near a pristine school in a safe neighbourhood. I mean, the safe neighbourhood is a good aspect but hey, I can hold my own. I’m a creative soul–I’ve always dreamt of a loft with red brick walls, exposed beams and piping and the original concrete floors in an open concept setting with industrial windows. I imagine the paintings I collect from around the world on the walls and an area with all my instruments–piano, guitar….you name it. My dog Benji would have a portrait above his dog bed and we’d have a beautiful wine bar and an amazing stack of music (ahem, which I do).

Yes, having a DINK lifestyle affords you all the ambitions in life. But most of my ambitions are not materialistic and having to do with cars and lofts. Those are just the icing on the cake. It doesn’t even have to do with my career (I’m a journalism student) or with my education or academic achievements.

One time while visiting my sister for the weekend, I came upon a man who had two extraordinarily beautiful dogs. They were a short-furred breed, probably American bulldogs. Anyways, one of the dogs bumped into me as I left the building and the man proceeded to “teach” the dog a lesson by repeatedly kicking him in the face. It was pretty traumatizing to see this helpless dog cowering from his abusive douchebag owner.

Since then, I’ve become an animal activist and enjoy spending my free time volunteering and helping abused dogs. Reading about puppy mills in my province and the lax laws and the “Michael Vick fight dogs” in the United States has only further helped me realize I want to change the world for dogs. And spending time with my own dog and giving him a good life is a start. There is so much people can do for animals and I want to help bring that change around.

I’m not saying you cannot do these things with kids, of course women have had kids and received a degree or visited the Amazon and Europe. But I’m saying the likelihood of me country-hopping and backpacking Europe and rallying for gay rights protests in San Francisco against Prop 8 and fostering dogs while juggling my relationship, work and motherhood is not likely! I get excited every day when I wake up because there is so much out there, and I don’t want to settle down into a life of lucid mediocrity.

To be fair, there is a lot of women I admire who are mothers like Tina Fey and First Lady Michelle Obama, to name a few. Some women are meant for motherhood, like I said. Some women have a strong drive and can multi-task and handle all the crap that comes with their different roles. I like my life simple. I enjoy long car rides and plane trips, I am comatose until around noon and I like to live my life unstructured and free which is why I’m into the liberal arts and journalism. To each their own, but for many women they can echo my sentiments. We are women and we have dreams, and we reject any attempt to tone us down and mold us into something we’re not! I’d like to end this with Katherine Hepburn’s famous words:

“Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world but if it doesn’t interest you..don’t do it–I would’ve made a terrible mother”.

 

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