Perhaps it’s because I’m more rebellious than most, but for whatever reason, I have always refused to conform to what society expects of me. I always have, and likely always will, refuse to settle. I won’t take a job that means I’m stuck in the same place for the rest of my life, or commit to anything that hinders my free will. When I marry (IF I ever marry), you can be assured that I will have an extremely unconventional wedding with an extremely unconventional man. And if I ever have kids, I’ll probably be that crazy parent who lets their kids drink when they’re 12, go to unsupervised parties and have no curfew. I just recognise that all of the strict rules that surrounded me growing up were of absolutely no benefit to me at all – except for the fact that they made me realise that that is not how I want my hypothetical children to grow up. I think that people should be encouraged to think and act freely, and that behaving in such a way actually brings out the best in (most) people. Giving people freedom forces them to act responsibly. Restricting their freedom simply encourages them to figure out ways to get around their restrictions (aka, moi!).
I have always had a burning frustration within me that, when I was younger, my parents put down to me simply being their most difficult or obstinate child – especially compared to my older sister, who was the perfect picture of obedience and who revelled in any opportunity she could to make my parents proud. I was the complete opposite. Impressing my parents was very low on my priority list, if it was on the list at all (and it wasn’t). I remember my dad always telling people, “Meghan walks to the beat of a different drum.” If I was ever asked to do something, I would usually do the exact opposite of what was asked of me and my parents would always say in frustration, “You always have to be different, don’t you?” I would always try to negotiate with my parents on things that they didn’t consider to be negotiable. But really, I was just refusing to accept what I considered to be very limited societal expectations. I wanted out of ‘the system’.
When I entered my teenage years, I remember feeling distinctly frustrated and unhappy with the prospects of what life had to offer. The daily hum drum of school every morning in the same place, with the same people bored me to tears. Not that I wasn’t smart and couldn’t do well, I just didn’t see the point. I remember crying in frustration to my dad when he forced me to go see the college counselor at school – something we were all required to do at my private ‘college preparatory’ school in London. And something which I adamantly refused to do. I just didn’t see the point. I was so frustrated and disappointed with what I thought were life’s limited offerings. I was only happy when I was partying with my friends or travelling (things I still very much love). The thought of studying more, just to get a job, so that I could buy a house, settle down and have children absolutely terrified me and had me constantly questioning the system. I didn’t want to get a stupid job and take orders from someone. I also didn’t want to be stuck in one location for the rest of my life – something I had experienced with school and I was (and still am) very opposed to.
Until fairly recently, boredom, rebelliousness and frustration made up the core of my life story. Then I took a leap of faith. I quit my job in May, I flew to LA to freelance for the summer, and no more than 3 weeks had gone by before I was given the opportunity to join an amazing start-up in Baja, Mexico. I, of course, seized the moment. Start-ups are the epitome of rebelliousness and opposition of the system. They are a culmination of brilliant minds, all working together to prove that things can be done differently, in a non-corporate environment. I love it!
I encourage all of you to get out there and find your voice. Take a leap of faith. Don’t just sit around wallowing in your own frustration and bitterness. If you want something to be done right, you have to do it yourself! Take your life into your own hands. Get out there and start doing it right – or someone else will. Which probably explains my all-time favourite quote by the amazing Eleanor Roosevelt, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” They don’t. Well behaved women (and men) are usually forgotten. And I don’t know about you, but I intend to do it right, and not be easily forgotten