“Life is a state of being and whether we are living our best life or not, it’s us who know at a personal level.”
It has been a good day, and as it comes to an end I am drawn to reflect on this common inclination we have as a society to perceive others not doing the very things we consider fun or important as falling back. Often times you will hear someone being told to get a life like they stopped living. Unless they say they are not happy with the life they are living, you are in no position to determine whether they are or not. It is therefore a subjective and personal matter. I am drawn to this subject matter by two incidences. The first case is from a “Homo Deus” by Yuval Noah Harari where he states in our subjective and the growth of humanism as a religion of its own, personal experiences and feelings have gained dominance to a point right or wrong may be weighed based on whether we are happy with it or not. ‘Does it make you happy?’ You will be asked this from time to time. Other times you will be told that provided it makes you happy then you have nothing to worry about. This is the era in which we are in with our experiences giving meaning to life. It is a post religious era where the promise of afterlife and heaven guided our conduct to a greater extent.
The second account is from a discussion I had with a friend, where it is evident that we put so much weight on what others perceive as to be making us happy or not, or rather what is considered right. In a world where marriage is considered an achievement, there is a tendency to be encouraged to consider settling down especially if you are a lady. Whether you have a child is another thing altogether. Such are standards that hold you back rather than help you lead a fulfilling life. Having to go through different phases because it is considered right does not make it right by you. It therefore means that if at all you settle for it to fulfill a social construct, you will be pleasing others at the expense of your own sanity and wellbeing. Is that a worthy choice for you? And if so, what makes it right?
I am accustomed to staying within my lane and doing the things that matter to me, make me happy and from which I derive my fulfilment from. Writing this blog is one of them and as it so happens, we live in a world where hibernating to study extensively, being focused on work and staying aloof is considered boring or rather unhappy in most contexts, yet it is what gives others happiness. This is based on an experiment I did on myself in various instances. I would go out with people, do all the “fun” things but in the end it never really made me happy as I had hoped it would. In comparison, doing the “boring” activities, not only made me joyful, but also made me feel whole as I thrived in it. So why do we work so hard to make others do things that conform to what we consider fun? Because it helps us justify our actions as right, rational and gives us the validation to keep on. Unfortunately, in an era where individual feeling has its own weight, I wonder why it would be of interest to get external validation on anything; especially what should make you happy when it is all inherent in you.
Anyway, we live in a world with different socialization patterns and we adopt the ones hailed to be normal even when we know it does not serve us, provided it is acclaimed by the people we care about and considered important to us. Stay woke, focus on what really matters to you and let the chaff go with the wind. Ultimately it will. Most importantly, stop prescribing your lifestyle for others, it ain’t theirs to live.