Conformity is a tricky thing. Being oneself is truly something that is frowned upon. Up until the last few years of my life, I fell into the pattern of the “norm”. Conforming to principles that were supposed to be instilled in the mind and heart of every child, with which the child would grow up with, desperately wanting and desiring to obtain.
A few years ago I asked myself if I were really, truly happy and the answer was no. I gave everything I had to a job that was going nowhere, where I was told to obtain a degree in finance to further my ambitions, told I wasn’t smart enough and that my experience counted for nothing in the grand scheme of the employment hierarchy. I gave the best of what I had to a marriage that was going nowhere with a man who resented me because I had trouble conforming to the religious, cultural, and societal norms he’d been taught to hold onto. I wanted to be a part of that because I was taught that stability is important. I always rebelled the thought in the back of my mind, but felt conforming was the easier route. I really tried to change for him. I thought that I could be happy with a life such as it was. However, a big part of all of that hard work into conforming had more to do with the type of life I could give the next generation I would raise. Then all those dreams came to a halt at the discovery that I couldn’t have children and that my life now had to be lived in a way that only I could be proud of. We had aligned our lives to be perfect for a family. We had the house, we had the “supportive” friends, who were having children of their own. Maybe that’s backwards thinking in some ways, but I truly felt as though I wanted my children to have a more “normal” upbringing than I ever did. It was a blind hope, being lead by the darkest scars of a troubled childhood and teenage life. The truth is that I was living a life I knew I wasn’t proud to be living. In opening my mind to the potential of a peaceful life, I found it didn’t include the trappings of that lifestyle with the house, the kids, the house payment, the car payment, and the jobs that come along with maintaining the things you can barely enjoy.
There is a confused haze about this world. We’ve always been told and taught and molded into what a crazed society wants us to be and believe. It’s too much sometimes. A direction always needs to be had. A sense of purpose in life is amazing. I have decided to live my life for the betterment of others and how they feel mentally. I cannot always be whatever anybody expects me to be because I live within the confines of my own heart. I get to set the boundaries on any relationship I enter into. I have the power to define everything in my life on my own terms. Some people will like those terms and some people will not. Love will be found and love will be lost.
Someone I know asked me to define myself. I’ve often said, “I felt like the truest version of me. I understand who I am.” These are in the best moments of life lessons and discovery. Well, this someone said, “And who exactly is that?” I felt so put in a place because I couldn’t define myself in that moment. The truth is, I enjoy being sans definition. I am creative. I am beautiful. I am damaged. I have learned far too many lessons the hard way. One of those lessons is attempting to be what everyone else expects me to be. When I attempt to put myself in a perfectly formed container and slap a label on it, I feel some inner drive to BE that and I really put myself down if I don’t make it happen. That’s when I find myself to be at my unhappiest. When the truth is, I want to live a life where I experience a lot of things from my own perspective AND the perspective of others. I love to learn new tidbits of a lot of things, never really truly mastering but a few passions. I love to see vicariously through the point of view of others. I enjoy leading and I rarely follow the pack. I’m not usually into what’s “in”. Even my clothing selections and combinations, they’re far from reflections of current fashion trends, nor are they specific to any certain “look”. And they will always be that way. I have better things to do with my time than to put on a fashion show. I know how to dress to impress, I just don’t like to put the time and effort into becoming something that everyone thinks I should. I’m an odd mix of realities. People have called me bipolar (I’m not), a doctor “diagnosed” me with PTSD, and others (not doctors) jokingly call me manic depressive and (then not so jokingly) tell me to seek medical help because I’m highly emotional with occasional highs and lows. I am very sensitive and my emotions are crazy insane at times. I feel things very deeply and I’m unapologetic about it. I know there is medication for that. Hm. I’m just done with those who are only comfortable lumping me into a category so that they can understand me or medicate me into normalcy. I’m unique, I’m a challenge, I’m determined, and I get things accomplished in the best way I can within my abilities. I’m far from perfect, but I expect myself to be. I like a challenge.
So, conformity… I have no desire to be anybody or anything except for myself. In being true to myself, I understand that there will be people who think I’m quirky, strange, odd, and may even downright not like me… or my views, or my opinions and beliefs. But I have a feeling a lot more people will appreciate my candor, my happy and positive outlook, my honesty, and respect that I’m true to myself. Oh and also, that my pace is what it is, sometimes slow, sometimes frantic. I look at it this way… the best things in life, often take time.
That includes my writing. At times it will be mindless babble. At other times it may make sense. It may never apply to you or you may find yourself smiling and nodding, or maybe you’ll be a little sad, relating far too well to something I have to pour from my fingers as an overflowing of wine from within my heart.
Happiness is at the center of my being. Great things are happening in this world I live in. Optimism will win out. It’s been proven in so many ways. Believe it and you’ll receive it.
Key words today: Expect/expectations… if you quit expecting people to be something, and look past your belief of what ALL people should be or do, you’ll really see the truth for what it is, rather than what you think it is. The truth is kind of liberating.