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White Picket Fence

This week Hayley talks about dreams of a white picket fence…

As nice as that white picket fence image is…can anyone actually afford one these days?

This weekend I was talking to my friend Shirelle. Her and her boyfriend have been together since forever and they’re still madly in love. I had always taken their relationship for granted and classed them as one of life’s “happy people”; a couple destined to be together.

It turns out there was more to the story…

Shirelle told me how much she hated her secretarial job but stayed in it because it paid the bills. You probably know what that feels like if you’ve ever been stuck somewhere because it keeps you just-over-broke. Her boyfriend works in a similar sector with similar dissatisfaction but also hangs on in there for similar reasons.  Usually these stories really bum me out. I always think people need to fight for their dreams while they’re young and energetic instead of selling out. But did I feel disappointed in Shirelle for “selling out”?

Not at all.

It was pretty simple for her… “I want us to get married. I’m just saving away for a deposit on a house. Then we can start a family.”

This was the girl who, in another life, was the number one party animal. I’d never recognize the woman she had matured into and it struck me just how much love she has for her man. It was moving to hear her talk highly of marriage, babies and family and it made me reflect on the last few years of my own life.

After the end of a two-year-long toxic relationship it took a while before I could carry on “doing me”. But fast-forward a year later and I am happily set up with my beau. My priorities in life have changed. So Shirelle and I were definitely on the same page when it came to envisioning our futures.

I am pretty sure 90% of the population wants the same thing: stability, love and happiness. After all, the appeal of the good life endures for a reason. I’m still in my twenties and have several years of my career ahead of me. But the more the years fly by and the deeper in love I fall, the more I think about the next chapters to come. I’m starting to see that safety nets don’t always mean you’re selling out but instead just saving up. Shirelle views her job as a means to an end and although the commute sucks and the boss is a jerk…well, she has that white picket fence to buy.

And that makes the journey worth it.

I think Feist sang it best when she wanted to make a “home from a rented house”. I hope my friend gets to transform her house into a home too, because sometimes we can’t always afford reality but we can always afford to dream.

Until next time,

The Just Singles Team.