Society expects a lot from us, in always-increasing amounts. It sets out a path for you from the moment you’re born, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. It defines success and aspiration for you, something that will guarantee approval from your elders, young-ers, and peers.
If you follow that path, you will be rewarded, or at least, escape punishment.
When you make a conscious effort to live your own life on your terms, however, there will be infinite push-back. Workaholics will lambast you for prioritizing your health over non-urgent deadlines; people who hate their socially-sanctioned relationships will warn you about the horrors of prolonged singledom; and rich & lonely “mavericks” will lord their wealth over you.
I am sick to the back-teeth of relative strangers projecting their limitations of what’s possible in my life. I have made a well-thought-out decision to cultivate joy in my life, and that is not a decision that welcomes criticism, commentary, or adjudication from anyone else.
If they were so happy with their choices, they wouldn’t insist on keeping me in-line.
As a matter of fact, you can do everything right, and still be miserable.
As I get older, I’m realising that more and more people have no idea why they made the choices they did; adults are walking around emotionally dys-regulated and mean-spirited and spiteful. I also realised that’s not my problem.
Empty vessels make the most noise.
I haven’t written for an audience in so long, because I’d gotten bogged down in others’ expectations, and tried to “power through” pain and sickness. My body did not thank me. My mind did not thank me. My soul did not thank me.
I spent so much of my life being “resilient” and over-achieving and always reaching for the next accolade. I know what that’s like, and I was using my accomplishments to cover up a deep-seated sense of sadness & confusion.
For the first time in my life, I’m happy.
Happy, because I no longer place stock in what other people or society finds prestigious or impressive. Happy, because I deserve to be happy, even if I hadn’t achieved anything. Happy, because I have innate & intrinsic value.
Happy, because I’m finally living my life for myself.