I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day about life. This conversation revolved around society’s norms and expectations. For example, go to school, go to college, get a good job, buy a house, get married, have kids, the list goes on. Contrary to my belief, the other participant stated how all of these norms are expected and how people can not do what they want to do. I thought about this for a moment, and then I strongly disagreed.
I believe the only reason people abide to these rules is because people are conscious of the opinions of those around them. In my opinion, it is a very unfortunate way to live life. Through material purchases or a work title, people can justify their life and sense of being. At various social functions, conversation mainly revolves around work and relationships. These conversations create the need for an appropriate answer. It is quite shocking actually, how some live their lives solely to justify their existence.
I know plenty of friends who dread family functions because they are asked various questions about relationships, school, or careers. If some one is single, the conversation runs dry. If someone did not attend college, they are often asked “now what?” These conversations and the responses can really have a strong impact on how we live our life.
We must have the confidence in ourselves to deny any negative reaction from others regarding a life different from the norm. You do not want to go to college? Don’t. You do not want to get married? Don’t. There is really no need to do what others do just to satisfy society. If you have a different idea, that puts fire in your heart, go for it. Do not sit back and roll with whatever everyone else is doing. You were put on this Earth for a reason and only you can find out what that reason is. People who live “normal” lives do not make history.
Timing. Timing is everything to this life, this life where you CAN do anything. When I first graduated college, I was offered a position in hardware sales. I traveled across the country to meet with the company. It was perfect on paper- I could do it, I knew I could. I did not want to though. I woke up in the middle of the night with a thought that “When I was little, I never wanted to do this job when I grew up.” I actually wanted to be an olympic gymnast and a scientist (both of those ships sailed).
So, I quit. My mom backed me up 100%. She is a firm believer in trusting your gut instinct. Others were not as accepting of this idea and were shocked that I would pass up on this opportunity- “Why would you quit? You should at least give it time.” (Yes, thank you for instructing me on how to live my life.)
After quitting, I honestly could breathe again. I took some time to myself. I worked a few different jobs to see what I liked. I tried the office life- I HATED it. While working various jobs, I was approached by an older woman. I am not sure if she was having a bad day or if she just wanted to pick a fight. I was working in field marketing as a brand ambassador (which actually pays very well so I definitely recommend trying it!). She approached me and asked about my life. She asked if I had a boyfriend, if I went to college, etc. I told her yes I graduated from college with a business degree and yes I did have a boyfriend. She replied, “you graduated from school and you’re doing this?! My grandson is single and doing well, I can set you up with him.” I was taken back. Why did she think she had the right to tell me how to live my life? Why did this random stranger want to put me down? Did she really think,after I just told her I was in a relationship, that I would be interested in her grandson? I stepped away from the situation and reflected on how I felt. I was hurt, but more so frustrated. I was frustrated that people really think they have a say in how others live their lives. This is something that needs to change, especially if we want to grow as a society. We have to learn to trust one another, we have to learn that everyone grows at their own pace, we have to accept those who take a different path.
After 6 months, I was offered a marketing position perfect for me. This position came at a great time- I was ready for a serious full time job. Life can surprise you like that.
To conclude, I trusted my gut. It said no to the first offer, second offer, and said yes to the last one. The last one ended up being perfect. If your gut is telling you no to college, marriage, your place of residence- trust it. Do not trust strangers or even family members who try to make you feel like you are doing something wrong by not following the common path. You do not HAVE to go to college, you do not HAVE to get married or have kids, you do not HAVE to live in one place. You do HAVE to trust your gut and have the confidence to pursue whatever makes you excited.