I have spent the last six months trying to fill myself up with so much enjoyment, so many experiences only to find myself back at home feeling completely unfulfilled. I guess in reality I have spent my whole 22 years of life doing that, but these last 6 months were the crux of it. I wanted. Wait. I needed something new, something to blow my mind so that I could feel that all my endeavors so far had not been in vain. You see I have had a good life so far according to the western definition of a good life. I have had the education, the nice family, the upper middle class upbringing. I have money and graduated with a pathway into a successful career as an accountant. Practical right. Yes. I was raised on practical with a mum as a bank manager and a dad as a solicitor. Practicality runs in our veins.
So I had just graduated and was due to start my career a month later. I say career, but it is more than that isn’t it? I was due to start my steps down the path to adulthood with the intention of success. Yes, the path of wealth, family, white picket fence. Nice car, something a little sleek. I was due to start down that path and where I should have been feeling an excitement about starting the path to achieve and peace & satisfaction that my life was working out (unlike so many other people I knew) instead I was instead feeling…..empty. This emptiness had been growing. As my graduation became closer, the emptiness did too.
“I know” I thought. “I need to go and experience the world a bit.” I had been so focused on school, then uni, then getting a job, I just needed to take some time out, go live a little, have some fun and come back feeling all refreshed. Now this didn’t go down the best with those practical parents of mine. They shook their heads and told me how disappointed they were.
“You have a fantastic job waiting for you” said Mum.
“And a lovely boy” piped in Dad (I had not yet told them that he was going into the empty pile too).
“We thought we raised you to be a bit more practical than that Katherine.” returned Mum (note the full name use, usually called Katie). “What is it with you kids these days? Always running off, traveling. Off in bloody fairy land.” Finished dad.
I didn’t really have much to say. I could hear what they were saying. They were the same thoughts that I had when I was making this decision, so I could understand their point of view. But I did feel a little crushed. That’s the thing with my parents, they love me and want the best but they can also stifle any little bit of stepping out of the box.
I had made up my mind so off I went a week later and man I went for it filling my senses until they were bulging.
I squeezed every drop, every ounce of anything that I could from that trip and now here I back at home have to admit that I still feel as empty as I did when I left.
I signed out and stared out the screen for a moment. I didn’t really feel like crying again. I mean really what was I crying about anyway? No one had died. What I really wanted was just for this emptiness to go the fuck away or for someone to please explain how to make it go away.
I knew I should go and see mum and dad. I had been back for 24 hours already. My mind began to wander off to a myriad of what ifs, imagining my life in these scenarios searching for happiness in them. But they all returned the same conclusion. Maybe I should have visited somewhere like Nigeria or Papua New Guinea, somewhere where they didn’t have everything and see how they stay happy. Do they strive for the same things as us, just on a smaller scale, I wondered? What and travel the whole world trying to fill your emptiness? I scoffed at myself, dragged myself out of my shoe-box apartment and over to my parents place…. will it satisfy me?
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