Break Old and New Conventions, Just By Being You
By: Beren Sabuncu
Some people prefer tea, and some coffee. This is one of the simpler decisions in life. We are faced with many.
Should I wear jeans, or shorts? Should I get soup, or a salad? We go about our lives, changing the course of events one little decision at a time.
Are soup eaters better than those who prefer salad? The mere question is ridiculous, and inferring the superiority of one individual over another just from a preference is absurd.
As a society, we tend to group people based on their preferences. Career-oriented people are seen as the sharks of our society. The alpha male and the alpha female are often times portrayed as those adamantly working long hours, overlooking personal relationships and with eyes on the corporate prize.
Those who are familiar with alpha-beta human models know that you cannot tell what type an individual is just by their job. An Alpha could be a mechanic, a teacher, a musician or an athlete. He or she could be staying home.
Assertiveness has nothing to do with career aspirations, and everything to do with what type you are. You are not better or less than other people for any aspirations you may have. This needs to be very well understood. We need to empower each other, not bring each other down. Now, empowerment is a strong word.
All genders, and all individuals should feel empowered. Self-confidence does wonders for one’s life, and it is blatantly obvious why an empowered individual would be very self-confident. Once a person feels good about their life choices, and who they are as an individual, they are more driven.
It is a positive cycle. Empowerment leads to confidence, which then leads to empowering others. Sadly, there has been a faux-trend of empowerment lately. This faux-trend cloaks itself, thinly if I may add, as empowerment. It is in fact “othering,” and “belittlement.”
How many times have we seen career-oriented people portrayed as better individuals than those with different values? It is “in” to have career aspirations, and while that is indeed amazing, those with different plans are looked down upon. Truth be told, what really looks good on an individual is happiness.
We harshly judge people. Women are “real” feminists if only they want to work. Men are not “real” men if they want to stay at home. Why is the society we live in so hell-bent on controlling its members lives?
Destroy conventions. Destroy the old ones, and the new ones. Don’t marry or have a kid if you don’t want to. Have several, if you please. Work as a waitress, as a lawyer, as a referee or don’t work “professionally.”
Your aspirations are your aspirations, and please realize that the opinions of others do not mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Your happiness depends heavily on whether or not you realize your aspirations.
It does not matter what you want to be in life, you are successful as long as you’re genuinely happy. People need to realize that there is no norm. There should be none.
We are the tailors of our own happiness. Relying on what society’s idea of “fulfilling” is simply illogical. Don’t aspire to be anyone or thing other than yourself.
Nowadays, we are so worried. We are worried about what we should be, what our parents want us to be and what the more respectable profession is. We are more concerned about what people would think about us than we are with our own aspirations when it comes to choosing a life path.
What does my job say about my personality? Will this job make people respect me more? Will I be seen as a bum for not working and just being a parent? Stop. We absolutely need to stop. Life is precious.
Life is more than what others will say. Life is more than people’s impressions of you. Life is more than the gender role you’re expected to play. Life is more, and way too short. Be who you want to be. Be where you want to be. Be what you aspire to be. Be you, and be unapologetic. Your job does not define you, you define it.