My perfect life


This evening in a local supermarket I observed a young couple loading kitchenware into their trolley. I thought to myself: “Imagine that was your dream when you were 28 or 29 – to be married and to start a family of your own.”

Not too many seconds later, I remembered it indeed was my dream when I was in my late twenties.

There was a problem though. I had no confidence in the process of making yourself useful, pleading or begging for a job, or smiling eagerly enough or performing your tricks well enough to be employed by some company or commercial enterprise. (And then, when it suits the company or enterprise, or when they want to go in a different direction, or when you start costing them too much, they throw you out in the parking lot with your box full of sharp pencils, Tip-ex, and a picture of you and your wife and your two children. And a dog and a cat. Waiting at home not knowing new money won’t be coming in at the end of the month.)

For the next fifteen minutes I focused on my groceries, walked out to the parking lot, got on my bike and rode home.

As I was pedalling, I again pondered the core of the marriage-children-work idea. By the time I got home, an alternative opinion had formed in my mind: If I had wanted badly enough to be married in my late twenties and to start a family of my own, I would have tried harder to get work in my own country. I would still not have trusted the process, but like most people I would have closed my eyes, jumped, and hoped for the best.

The truth is, I did want to get married and start a family in my late twenties and early thirties, but there were other things that were more important to me. I ended up pursuing these other … dreams, these other ambitions.

Eventually I did get married – to a woman who is my partner, who understands me, and who loves me. And although we don’t have children, one fat cat with character and his eccentric cousin complete our family portrait.

And for me, that’s perfect.