being expected by society to be doing something

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chris1989
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24 Aug 2019, 3:11 pm

I seem to frustratingly feel as though some people in society expect you to be doing something at a certain age, as though its a step by step rule book:

16 - you leave school (I left at 18)
17 - learn to drive (I didn't and started driving at 28)
22/23 - graduate from university (I didn't, I started at 22)
25 - have a career (which I still don't have)



love2connect
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24 Aug 2019, 4:31 pm

It's ridiculous, right?

I feel like a failure due to these rules.



Mountain Goat
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24 Aug 2019, 5:25 pm

It is something that about 10 or so years ago I suddenly saw through the folly of it all. What is life all about anyway?

Getting the highest paid job.. Why? It only brings missery to you or those around you.

Getting the highest qualifications? Why? It means you can be wasting your time getting the est job where you would have been happy where you are.

Earning the most money you can. Why? Money trickles through your fingers ad toes. You can't keep it. If you try it can suddenly become worthless.
Even gold can suddenly collapse. Nothings certain. Nothings secure. Why bother chasing after false hopes?

You are only respected in society if you have "Succeeded" in the above areas. Don't kid yourself. One mental breakdown or unfortunate event and you hit rock bottom. One accident. One mistake... People who value high fliers will suddenly drop you like you don't exist.

First. You are you regardless of where you are in society. You are the same person if you are dressed in rags and have nothing or if you have the best of everything and riches. You are the same person. If you are blessed, enjoy the blessings, but never look down on the yous who have nothing. As you can so easily be there as well.

So be happy whereever you are. Whatever you have . Wherever you live and wherever you're at. Make the most of what you have and enjoy! Find... Search... Seek out enjoyment in life. The simple things that cost nothing that make you smile and feel warm inside. Seek them out! They are far more precious then gold. They are the good things in life. They are the treasures! Go for them while you can. Forget riches. Go for the real life. Be you! Enjoy being you!


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ToughDiamond
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24 Aug 2019, 5:37 pm

I was always proud to fly in the face of that kind of stuff. Those values are common in mainstream society, but there are many nonconformists out there who aren't sold on such hackneyed expectations.

I did talk with one guy who, on hearing my views on such things, said that he couldn't think of anything else that could be interesting about a person except what they did, and that most people assume a lot of that is about standard activities, particularly paid employment. I'm OK with the first part of that - if I just loaf about all the time doing nothing, then clearly I have nothing of interest to offer in a conversation. But the stereotyped expectations of how we do things, I'll never accept that.

Identifying oneself by a vocation does have its downside. I read that retired people often end up unhappy because they can't cope with losing something that was such a big part of who they were. They'd frequently still refer to themselves as teachers or doctors or whatever, hiding the fact that they weren't doing that any more. My job didn't define me very much, and I was fine when I retired.



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24 Aug 2019, 5:49 pm

Interesting you say that. Many people seem lost after they retire and they don't live long.


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24 Aug 2019, 6:40 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
Interesting you say that. Many people seem lost after they retire and they don't live long.

I think that allowing oneself to be defined by one's job is a big part of the reason for that.
https://www.everydayhealth.com/longevit ... ement.aspx
https://www.retirement-online.com/after ... ssion.html
https://gentwenty.com/reasons-work-doesnt-define-you/



AnonymousAnonymous
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25 Aug 2019, 2:40 pm

love2connect wrote:
It's ridiculous, right?

I feel like a failure due to these rules.


So do I. However IMO, such rules not only come from society around us, but also from what people who believe in gender stereotypes expect.

18-I graduated from high school (perfectly normal)

24-Transferred to my current school from PCC (never obtained an Associates Degree in the process)

29-Have proper employment (even with the help of VR and Inclusion, I have yet to obtain proper employment)

I am often told that if I cannot find myself proper employment, I will be forced to work in a blue-collar field which is something I want to avoid in part because like many, I do not want to be a gender stereotype.


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26 Aug 2019, 10:32 am

I never felt like a failure because of any rules. I felt like a failure when I failed.

Divorced? Failure. I could not make the marriage work no matter how hard I tried.

Friendless? Failure. I could not make people like me, either.

Homeless? Failure. I did not prepare for the possibility of being in more debt than I could pay off.

Jobless? Failure. It is not enough to have good technical skills, I had to learn good people skills as well.

It wasn't any set of rules that caused these failures; it was my own stupidity and ignorance that caused them.

I wish I had known before them what I have learned since them.


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26 Aug 2019, 7:58 pm

I did everything in my life "late."

As long as you DO them, it doesn't matter WHEN you do them.

I hope you do read what people write to you on WP.



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27 Aug 2019, 9:20 am

Graduated from high school at 17 (because my birthday is in November, I was one of the youngest in my class)
Bachelor's Degree at 23
Master's Degree at 26
Didn't get a driver's license until I was 48
Employed at my current workplace for seventeen years

Fnord is correct. All my failures came from my own stupidity, not from any set of rules.



Fnord
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27 Aug 2019, 9:25 am

IstominFan wrote:
... Fnord is correct. All my failures came from my own stupidity, not from any set of rules.
Thank you. More people should be taking responsibility for themselves, and stop blaming everything on outside factors like "detractors", "luck", and imaginary "rules".


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“I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

— Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, in the Star Trek
episode "The Mark of Gideon" (ep. 3.16, 1969)