Living the unconventional life?


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Shouldn’t you be living a 9-5 life?  It’s not as if you’re a teenager any more…

If I gave a pound for every time this insinuation has been levied in my direction, I’d be a poor woman.  And it’s mostly from family members.

You’ll have seen from my About page on this site that I describe myself as an “unconventional British lass, living in an unconventional country…”.

Why is it, when someone decides not to work in a 9-5 career, not to get married and have kids in their 30’s, they’re ‘tut tutted’ at by society?

I posted the Header picture on my Facebook page and it prompted the following comment from a fan:

A very apt poem by Cavafy (translated from Greek by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard) An Old Man

At the noisy end of the café, head bent over the table, an old man sits alone, a newspaper in front of him. And in the miserable banality of old age he thinks how little he enjoyed the years when he had strength, eloquence, and looks.

He knows he’s aged a lot: he sees it, feels it.
Yet it seems he was young just yesterday.
So brief an interval, so very brief.

And he thinks of Prudence, how it fooled him,
how he always believed—what madness—
that cheat who said: “Tomorrow. You have plenty of time.”

He remembers impulses bridled, the joy
he sacrificed. Every chance he lost
now mocks his senseless caution.

But so much thinking, so much remembering
makes the old man dizzy. He falls asleep,
his head resting on the café table.”

The picture and the comment sum it all up: I’m not leaving it until I’m too late.  I’m not going to live the life people want me to.  And neither should you.

Don’t leave things until they’re too late.  Don’t feel guilty for being happy with a life you’re leading, even if it doesn’t fit others ideas of how to live life.I’m an EFL teacher.  I love teaching kids, they teach me so much about myself.  I love living in Greece; this country’s taught me so much about myself too.And as for being unconventional?  HELL yeah…and proud of it.

What’s your experience?  Agree/disagree?  Share in the comments below.


    • Thanks – it really makes it worth writing pieces like this, knowing someone’s come away and taken something from it.

  1. Yes, a million times YES! Let’s not wait until it is too late because it makes more “sense” to do the conventional thing now. Let’s not wait until we can “afford” living the dreams. As my Brazilian friend just told me, it feels good to be vulnerable while making a change, to seek help when in a new environment, to reach out when in need and help others as well. Waiting until one has the money and security to live the dream will rob you of experiences that are best experienced while being open and still susceptible to influences. This is how we grow, this is how we connect -authentically.

  2. ‘Living the unconventional life’, yes, I like that ! Agree with you on all points and it’s something I’ve always aimed for. And you’re right that ‘Prudence’ can be a devil ! Happy travels !


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