I’m Hungry and Foolish

I watched the movie Young Adult last week and it kind of left me a little unsettled. In case you aren’t familiar with the premise, the main character, Mavis, who writes books for young adults and just happens to be stunningly gorgeous, returns back to her home town to chase after her married high school boyfriend who just had a baby. Although she left the small town and became successful in the big city, she’s an absolute mess. She’s a depressed alcoholic who pulls out her hair.

Whoa.

I was never the most beautiful and most popular girl in high school like this character, and I was always certain that I’d surpass my high school self by leaps and bounds. That wasn’t the part of this movie that stuck with me. It was the rest. The “leaving the small town, becoming successful as a writer in the big city, depressed alcoholic” part that got me. When she goes back to her home town, there are people there who admire her for what she’s become and there are those that are married with kids stuck in suburbia who look down on her and just feel sorry for her.

I’ve undergone bouts depression and loneliness several times since I’ve been here in Toronto. I’ve experienced episodes of hopelessness, confusion, remorse and regret. I’m not doing anything the easy way in my life and sometimes, that can really get to me. For one thing, rather than give up on the love of my life because he moved away, I stuck it out in a long distance relationship with him. It would have been easier to call it quits. But I’m doing this because I know it/he is worth it. I know he’s the one and I know we’ll be together. But it’s been fucking HARD. I’ve cooked a lot of sad meals for one (sandwiches). It’s been especially difficult seeing all those smug couples from high school get married off and pop out a billion babies and plaster their happiness all over Facebook while I sit  in a one bedroom apartment and watch Rogers on Demand on Fridays.

I don’t have a 9-5 job. I work as long as I have to everyday and while I collect a paycheck, my job is not a 40 hour a week scenario. I’m neck deep in a bundle of startups right now, all of which I own a percentage in and it has been one of the craziest experiences of my life. I’m my own boss and every penny I make goes back into the businesses I’m apart of. So while my friends are buying houses and going on vacations, I’m sacrificing a lot of fun times so I can build up something I can hopefully be proud of one day. And rich. I’d also really like to be rich.

While I know the things I’m doing and the paths less travelled I’m taking are going to bring me all the rewards I want and more (I hope so anyways), it can be really difficult sometimes to watch people who have gone the more sensible route in life while they marry their high school sweethearts, get mortgages, work steady 9-5 jobs for the man and have everything in life planned right down to retirement.

I sometimes wonder what people back at home think of the things I do. Do they feel sorry for me like the people in the movie feel sorry for Mavis?

I would never marry any of the guys I dated in high school, I hate working for other people and the phrase “house in the suburbs” kind of makes me ill. Even though it’s sometimes harder and I experience troubled times, I still think I’d rather do life my way than the sensible way. If you are planning on diverting from the road everyone takes and blazing your own trail, take it from me, it’s not easy. And you will definitely find yourself envious while the sensible people around you achieve certain things quicker and easier.

But is it worth it? Hell, ya. Because every success you have has been achieved through your hard work, devotion and passion. I’d rather live with passion than just go through the motions. Even though it’s harder, it’s definitely an experience you won’t get doing things like everyone else. I want to always be hungry for better, I want to always dream big and I want to always stay foolish enough that I will avoid sensible and safe life decisions. Because at the end of it all, no matter what the result is, I did it for me and I did it my way.

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  • http://twitter.com/jessdenomme Jessica Denomme

    I really needed this today. Thanks :)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Jessica for commenting :)

  • Patricia

    I loved this Val. But how do you/we know that the people in suburbia living the so-called sensible lives are not happy? or not passionate or devoted? For many people raising a family is their dream. I moved to Toronto at the age of 21, while my best friend at the time got married (she actually got married at 19) and started popping babies. I used to judge her, and I’m sure that she judges crazy ol’ me; but at the end of the day I realized that we are both doing something that we love. There’s a lot of risk involved in according to “the plan” – the risk on missing out on opportunities, as there is a lot of risks in living off the beaten path.

  • http://twitter.com/sarah_nazim Sarah Nazim

    I just saw this movie last week too! I could relate to the main character in so many ways; we often look at other people’s lives and compare that to our own. I can also relate to your post as well. It’s weird because while most people have found love or a steady career, I am still struggling with both! It can be really hard at times to stay positive, but I have learned to live for today, not tomorrow. I believe in following your passion, as opposed to settling for a miserable job! I think we are all meant to take different roads and paths in life….at the end of the day, we have to do what works for us, and what makes us happy :)

  • Anonymous

    First of all, you’re nothing like Mavis – you’re healthy, ambitious & motivated & you own your life choices. I doubt that anyone back home feels sorry for you. If they do look down on you then it’s probably because in some way they feel threatened by the fact that you had the courage to take the road less travelled.

    I think this is one of my favorite posts you’ve written because I totally know where you’re coming from. As someone who’s also taking the road less travelled I can totally identify with the feeling of satisfaction that comes from working for yourself. You do have to sacrifice some things at first but I think the pay off will be worth it in the end. I’m banking on it 😉

  • Anonymous

    First of all, you’re nothing like Mavis – you’re healthy, ambitious & motivated & you own your life choices. I doubt that anyone back home feels sorry for you. If they do look down on you then it’s probably because in some way they feel threatened by the fact that you had the courage to take the road less travelled.

    I think this is one of my favorite posts you’ve written because I totally know where you’re coming from. As someone who’s also taking the road less travelled I can totally identify with the feeling of satisfaction that comes from working for yourself. You do have to sacrifice some things at first but I think the pay off will be worth it in the end. I’m banking on it 😉