Being yourself is not illegal.

I’ve been the person who has gone home for the holidays and unwillingly listened to my extremely nosy relatives nag me about if I have a boyfriend, when I’m getting married, or when I’m having kids?

The assumptions are all there. And there’s little to no room to refute these social norms.

First of all, whose business is it when I’m having children? I still don’t consider myself to have completely transitioned into adulthood. How am I supposed to raise a child with a $600 paycheck every two weeks? I’m not. So if you’d like me to be an irresponsible parent, then by all means, please…continue.

Anyway, If I attempt to change the subject to something else it now becomes a discussion about my studies and what I plan to do with my life. As if I’ve got it all figured out down to the outfit I plan to wear to my first big kid job or the kind of 401 K plan I want to adopt.

I know what I’d like to do. And I know the steps I need to take to get there. But of course, if I don’t have a solid response they’ll think I’m just wasting my time. That I’m not capable. That I should have a practical job. Or butt in about exactly what I should do. This all coming from the people who never stepped foot on a college campus.

Secretly I laugh. Because I know who I am. I know my goals. And I know I’ll achieve them. Maybe not in the way that “they” deem right. But I’ll do it.

So this brings me to my Minor in Sociology that I’m finishing up this Fall. I’ve been fascinated by the way society interacts for some time now, and every sociology class I attend makes me understand a little more about why our “families” pressure us so much.

Because I’m not doing life the way they think I should, I am labeled “deviant”. It’s funny. Because to me and most of the sociological world, being deviant isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can be anything from dying your hair blue to walking in a gay pride parade. And what I believe to be perfectly okay, isn’t always the case for redneck conservative family members. And that’s completely okay. Because they don’t run my show. They don’t walk in my shoes. They sit comfortably in their worlds that they’ve created for their families. And that’s fine. More power to them. But just as I don’t try to control their lives, I guess I’d like a little of that in return.

I try to understand, as a sociology minor, why people related to us have the need to intervene in such a nosy way.

I took some time off of school for about a year. Because of that, I was treated differently by some of my relatives. Relatives that I don’t frequently talk to thought it was somehow their business to tell me where I should be living and what I should be doing. They stated their disappointment, as if that actually mattered to me. But I’m the kind of person who tries to keep the peace, for the most part. Especially about things that don’t really matter to me. And their opinions certainly do not. But of course, the second I returned to school…after feeling refreshed and motivated to finish my degree, they expressed their approval. And of course, I didn’t need it…but I found it strange.

When the lights go out, when the shit hits the fan, when you fall down a steep hill. The people that are still standing are the people you know you can count on. And I can tell you, the people who went out of their way to insert their social norms into my life, they weren’t left standing. So to me, their disapproval or approval is not validated. It doesn’t matter. It cannot matter. It’s just another opinion floating around.

I’m not deviant because I choose to do things my way. I’m certainly not a bad person for choosing to go to college over having a husband and children right now. I’m not going to hell for wanting to focus on myself. I’d rather buy a bottle of wine than a case of diapers. So I figured if my priorities are not about putting other people before myself right now. I have no business having a husband or children. My dog is enough responsibility for me right now.

Who knows, someday I might want to settle down and have children. If and when that day comes, I’m sure those nosy people will want to insert themselves back into my life. But just because we share a last name or blood. It doesn’t mean I want to share with them those milestones. You don’t have to invite everyone to your wedding. You don’t have to send announcements out that you had a kid. You don’t have to wish people Happy Birthday when you don’t mean it. You don’t have to surround yourself with people who only make you feel like crap. And you don’t have to live a lie just to keep the peace. Because lying to others does not actually provide your soul with peace. It hurts you more than it helps you.

I guess this post is directed to those of us who feel like we need to suppress or hide our beliefs just to make others comfortable. We don’t have to do anything that we don’t want to do. Being our true authentic selves is not illegal. And I think so many of us forget that. We make it harder on ourselves by trying to please those around us. We nod our head in agreement just to not start any conflict. You don’t have to agree with others. You can be an adult and get your message across without being nasty. I think we forget that, too.

It’s okay to be yourself. And I think we forget that the most.

#beyourself.

 

 

The box we don’t fit in.

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Conformity is a disease. It’s a viral explosion of social depravity. If you ever find yourself on social media or in public and notice familiar things and ideas that don’t shock you…you have encountered conformity. We like to use the world “majority” and tell ourselves it’s okay. That’s it’s popular. But it’s something that has attached itself into our society and is a living breathing thing that is constantly changing its mind.

We often see conformity as a way to “keep the peace”. But what we don’t want to see is how it’s slowly and surely destroying our sense of creativity and imagination. The fear to reach outside of conformity is literally killing mankind.

The idea of paving a new path is terrifying. The unknown is an ugly abyss of rejection. We don’t want to speak up about a new idea, propose a new direction or create a new color for the fear of being completely and utterly outcast.

We also don’t like to voice our opinion. We don’t vote. We don’t burst into song in the middle of the street. We suppress our emotions. God forbid we be genuinely excited or unfortunately sad about something.

We don’t color outside of the lines.

There is this box. It’s an extremely tiny box. And for the majority of the world. Our society. Our community. Our friends. Our family. We live inside of it. It is our zone. It’s the place where there is little to no room to make a mistake. Where we fit in. (barely) Where we can somewhat control our emotions. Where we can live “peacefully” but dangerously dull.

We are all guilty of conformity. And for most of us, we call ourselves “content” by doing so. But in all reality, we are limiting ourselves by what society tells us is acceptable. We are society. We are telling each other daily by our actions that we can and cannot do certain things. What we can and cannot wear. What we can and cannot eat. Who we can and cannot talk to. Where we can live. Who we love. Who we vote for. Who we judge. Who we praise. Who we shun. And what we are capable of. Can you imagine the kind of people we could be if we would allow ourselves to be different. To be disobedient. To laugh a little louder. To cry a little harder. To breathe and little longer. To support each other by not limiting one another.

I know I am not alone in this idea of rejecting society. It’s no much easier said than done. But the box we don’t fit in is getting smaller and smaller. And I’d love nothing more than to break the box and be apart of a world where I’m not afraid of myself.

Miley isn’t Hannah anymore.

My favorite thing in this world is to listen to others express their opinions about celebrities. I get a kick out of how passionate people get.

I think people forget celebrities are famous. With fame, comes pressure. With pressure, comes insanity.This is no excuse for celebrities to become bad influences, but that is all very situational. What one person thinks is a bad thing, may be the coolest thing to another. I think people often believe just because celebrities are put on a pedestal they are automatically responsible for behaving perfectly.

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They are human.

With the recent events of Miley Cyrus, the word is out. She’s a “slut”. She’s a “whore”. 

Let’s take a step back. Madonna. Elvis.

I’m not in the slightest comparing Madonna (or Elvis) to Miley Cyrus. They are complete opposites. They are all their own people with all their own personality and talent. I simply bring them up because they were once looked down upon as Miley is experiencing now. Madonna and Elvis were both considered music of the devil. Sex icons. Whatever. And now…classics.

Fads change quicker than a baby’s diaper. People are going to love something one minute and hate it the next. That’s life. That’s the pressure celebrities encounter. They evolve with society and do the best they can to keep up and get the views they need to stay alive. To stay known. To stay famous. But also, to keep their fans excited and passionate.

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So hate to break it to you…but Miley isn’t Hannah anymore. She hasn’t been for a long time. Get over it. Do you think she cares if you call her a slut? (by the way, pretty sure slut means someone who sleeps around, her and Liam were together for at least 2 years) She’s so wrapped up in her own passion, changes ,etc. She doesn’t have time for haters. She thrives off them if anything. You are giving her motivation to keep going. Not keeping her from doing what she’s going to do anyway.

Yeah. She looked ridiculous on the stage at the VMA’s. She knows that. She doesn’t need 50 million Youtubers telling her it over and over again and adding derogatory terms on top.

And about her recent music video, that hit a Vevo record (by the way), it’s unique. Sure. It’s not what we are used to, or looking for half the time. But that’s not up to us to decide. Listen to the music, watch the video (or don’t) and shut up. We get it. You hate that she makes out with the sledge hammer. You believe because she’s naked that it’s artistic. Or you think it’s disgusting, either way…at the end of the day – your comments won’t make her change it. It got the views it needed to to be successful. Her name is in your mouth. And she’s getting even more famous. What did she do that was so bad? Did she commit murder? No. So I’m pretty sure she can be let off the hook. 

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And let’s be honest. We’ve all seen worse. Anybody watch TV? It’s filled with sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. So instead of freaking out about music, music videos or one damn performance at the VMAs – worry about the amount of television your child is watching each day, or the things they see and hear at school. Things you can actually change.

Thanks for hearing me out.