Who you are does not have to be so rigid that you force yourself to be defined by ticking several boxes and sticking to them. You can be one thing today and another thing next week.
So often we go through life trying to find ourselves and figure out who we are so that we can settle into ourselves. Yet in doing so we end up limiting ourselves because maybe who you thought you were or wanted to be at 20 will be very different to who you evolve into in your 30s.
We focus on things like having a career that we work towards from our teen or even pre-teen years. We assume that the plans we made 10+ years ago won’t change. And even when they have changed we struggle to let go because it opens us up to changing and exploring ourselves once more. We aren’t always ready for that because there is societal pressure to figure yourself out and settle down.
You’re told that you need to have your life together by a certain age which sometimes leads to you making choices to do things that you don’t even really want to do. And if you get to 30 or 40 and you’re still exploring you’re considered somewhat fringe, unconventional and even looked down on.
But maybe you don’t value the things that other people value. Perhaps you’re very aware of the life that you could or could have lived but you’ve chosen another path that has lead to a deeper exploration of life and self. Something you’d have never had the option to do if you had chosen to give in to expectations of the way that life should be.
The way your world operates would be quite different if you lived in another period or in another country. You’d be living a life made up of slightly or even totally different systems to the ones you currently know.
That’s something that may have crossed your mind multiple times.
But, do you ever take it one step further?
What if the systems upheld in our current society, that contribute so heavily to what we consider important or even real, were given an over haul.
Maybe some of what you consider to be ‘just the way things are’ could change and become something different, something better.
It’s worth thinking about, not to inspire you to overthrow the status quo but because this is your life.
Many times we get so caught up in the way the world is, that end up placing the most importance on the things that matter the least.
Sometimes it can feel like regulations don’t give us the freedom that we desire.
Then suddenly, when there’s chaos we call out for the need to be regulated.
The truth is we only want to be regulated when it suits us and that usually corresponds with our safety.
What’s the need for rules when no one is at risk?
But what is often overlooked is the overall benefit that comes from everyone having two follow certain rules and go through certain process. As much as they can be frustrating, they often benefit us much more than we realise.
I recently came across a short story that got me thinking about the way that we live. The gist of the story was that other people will try to convince us that instead of living a simple life that we are happy with now, we should be working hard so that we can live a simple life that we are happy with later.
We’re told that we should chase money and success until we can chase no more then we should settle down and enjoy life, finally reaping the rewards of our hard work.
But what if you could enjoy life right now.
Many people want a simple life but they’re taught that it’s not enough, they’re told that they should want more. And so they they sacrifice internal happiness for external validation and then they end up on a path that they don’t truly want to be on. But they plough on and on with the hopes that one day they can break free and live life the way they always wanted to. Often that time is retirement when you’re no longer required to work.
But if all you want to do is live in a little house by the coast and grow food and flowers in your back garden, why wait until you retire. Why not do it now instead of later?
We often get caught up in expectations of the way things should be. But in many cases we’re simply taking on the expectations of others.
When you’re surrounded by people living a certain type of way, you’re less likely to trust a path that leads to a different life. The reason for this is nobody wants to be separate or other.
You might even convince yourself that what you want is no more than a daydream. Furthermore, when others don’t see the vison for the path you’re carving out you’re likely to encounter backlash.
The backlash can be so challenging that you might end up thinking that it’s easier to push your wants aside. Nobody wants to be criticised for being themselves.
We often measure up how well we are doing in life against societies expectations of what we should be doing at certain points of life. However, these expectations leave very little room to experiment and wonder which are the very things you need to do in order to figure out what you want.
There’s a well known phrase that says ‘Rules were made to be broken’.
In many cases I don’t agree, rules are put in place to create boundaries, keep us safe and so on.
But in some cases rules can cause us more harm than good, disadvantage the minority and are for the benefit of things we don’t support.
In those cases when it doesn’t feel right to comply, breaking the rules might be the right thing to do.
If you go through a period of stress or anxiety, something that can work wonders is taking a break.
It might seem counter productive and you might feel like the better thing to do is pull yourself deeper into what ever has gotten you off balance.
But further exposing yourself to thing that isn’t making you feel good is probably not going to make you feel any better.
What you might need is to take a break.
In this day and age, in our go, go, go society it can be challenging to really take a break from your day to day life.
And so I think it’s important to figure out what helps you rest, reset and refresh your mind.
It could be a walk in nature where you’re away from buildings and cars but surrounded by greenery and wild flowers.
It could be a massage, something that forces you have to stay still and you have to put your phone away.
And once you’re done you’ll know that it worked when you can go back to thing that had you feeling stressed but you now feel calm and at peace.
That’s a phrase often used when you’re in a defeated mindset. It is often followed by something that we don’t think is possible.
e.g. In an ideal world we would be able to overcome these injustices.
If in an ideal world us as society, as humanity would be able to overcome the injustices then why can’t it happen.
It’ll take much more than a day or 2 but if you cared enough to think it or to say it, then maybe it’s worth trying.
We as people make the world what it is collectivley, it’s not so seperate from us that we have no impact.
As The Drifters song goes ‘you just have to wish to make it so’. It takes much more than a wish alone but it doesn’t mean that, that’s not where change can begin.
Some things in life are difficult to solve.
There are lots of factors to consider, plus you have to find something that works for people that don’t think the same way.
What works for one won’t necessarily for everyone else. The great idea you had might not work.
And that is not just my opinion but instead some thoughts relating to some of the challenges we face as a society.
The solution isn’t to try and please everyone. I think the solution would be to do what feels right and focus on how you can make a positive impact.
Through challenging times it’s always helpful to find ways of boosting morale.
A common way of doing this is through bringing people together.
Very little compares to the feeling of people being united for a common cause. When that cause is gratitude, it really can help people feel connected to each other.
Right now a lot of people are becoming aware of the contributions that particular people make in society.
Despite everything that is going on there is this sense of ‘things aren’t particularly great right now but there are people showing up everyday that are helping to make things a little bit better or easier and I’m grateful for it‘.
I think just knowing that there are people showing up even though it’s difficult is enough to make us all feel a little bit better.