Societal Pressures and Expectations
“We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.” ~ Angela Davis
I think it is safe to say we all have been doing a lot of introspection on the ideals of society. The stereotypes, the micro-aggressions, the judgements, the expectations, and how harmful it can all be. How it can affect the world that we want to create and live in for ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors and even perfect strangers. As much as we get to choose, we are constantly fighting external elements trying to sway and dictate us one way or another.
It is especially difficult, when we are children growing into young adults, attempting to find our own path as we navigate our own minds, deal with insecurities, and figuring out right from wrong which isn’t always so clear cut. We are literally trying to figure out what we want with what seems like a million voices sitting on each shoulder yelling at us to do this or to do that. Telling us our dreams are stupid, or we will fail, or asking why we are doing this amongst a gazillion other things, because EVERYONE has an opinion and judgment. And in today’s social media world, we hear it.
At War With Myself and Society
I have thought a LOT about societal pressures and how it affected my self worth especially in my early twenties. Growing up in a small town everyone was on the same schedule, and while I am okay being different and wanting different things now, growing up it was a fight between fitting in or following my heart’s desire, and it constantly felt like I was at war, one I couldn’t win. Heck I didn’t even have a desire to fight it.
I didn’t go to college nor did I graduate when everyone else did, and most people in my town were getting married and having kids by the time they were twenty-four. I am by no means knocking it, if that is where your heart leads you, but it wasn’t where mine was leading me. Heck I already had had a gazillion careers by the time I was twenty-four and I was just beginning to figure out what I wanted to do and had just started taking classes at one of the top Universities in the country. It wasn’t that I was indecisive, but I knew life was way to short to just follow the trends and do what everyone else was doing.
The Extra Spinster
It wasn’t and still isn’t easy. I have been judged for being to girly, To extra, to much. And as much as I joke about being a spinster, I have actually been told that I will be one, if I don’t get married by the time I am thirty. It doesn’t matter that it is completely sexist, backwards, and just plain wrong. Or that I have done some amazing things with my life. Nope, because I don’t have a man or children, I will be washed up. Honestly I want to quote Cee Lo Green and say “F@#$% You.”
Honestly, I am kinda excited to be a spinster officially because then maybe people WILL stop asking about my sex life. Literally all these questions; Are you seeing anyone? When are you getting married? Are you having kids? I swear are just excuses to find out if I am in fact doing the horizontal dance and it really isn’t anyone’s dang business. Not only that, but the kid question is incredibly personal and hurtful. JUST because someone is single, does not mean they aren’t dealing with infertility. I have in fact been broken up with, and had dates end because of that very issue. And yes they were in fact assholes.
The Unofficial Time Table
Extremely rude and taboo questions aside, there is no doubt that society has an unofficial time table we all need to be following and if we don’t we need to go to the principles office. Let’s be honest I have never been a good rule follower nor have I been okay with the status quo. In fact confession time, I kinda get the inane urge to rule break when someone is dictating something so outlandish as to when people should graduate college, get married, have children and be successful. Mama doesn’t play by anyones rules but her own.
While society might tell us your life is over by the time you are thirty, this is NOT Victorian Times. And I am so grateful to have moved, been made and grown in a city that taught me life only begins at thirty, because it does. The past thirty years were years of growth. They were lessons from the basics of learning to walk and talk and basic manners to more mature ones as we got older of adulting, tindering, and learning Ramen should only come from a shop NOT the grocery store. Life is only beginning, REALLY beginning NOW And I am so ready for it.
Follow YOUR Heart
We, as humans make our own happiness and we need to live our lives how WE want to. NOT what society thinks and dictates. No two humans are alike, and yet it seems like people love a society that is uniformed. But we will NEVER grow and learn and change if we are all alike. I spent so long being torn in two and feeling inadequate because I didn’t follow the “Time Table” And you know what? I am STILL here. STILL standing. And what is even crazier? I am HAPPY!
Yes, 2020 might be trying to rain on that parade quite a bit, but despite the bumps, which let’s face it life is full of them, (something else that sacred “Time Table” doesn’t share with us) I am content with where I am. I am on MY journey, the Kate Journey, and it is definitely a crazy rollercoaster, but at the end of the day, I am in charge of which hills I am going to climb, and as a control freak? I wouldn’t want it any other way.