One of the millennial trends seems to be rejecting traditional ways of life. Now, while I think that’s totally awesome, I also think we should stop judging people who don’t want to follow that route. There are these negative stigmas that come with saying or doing these things, and people just shouldn’t have to feel bad about what they want their lives to be about. The important thing is that we do have a choice (which is a different argument for a different day). So for now, 5 conventional lifestyles there’s nothing wrong with choosing for yourself.
1. Having an affinity for something physical.
Everything in moderation, of course, but the trend seems to be to not have any attachment for anything that isn’t metaphorical, mental or emotional, and sometimes we need more than that. Sometimes personal mementos of people who have passed or experiences we’ve had are really important. Attachment and enjoyment are two different beasts, by the way. The thing is, we seem to inherently judge people who are excited about buying themselves something expensive or high-end and we call them materialistic. There are people who are materialistic, true. But that’s not a label for just anybody who works hard and enjoys treating themselves.
2. Marriage at a young age.
Or getting married at all, for that matter. People seem to be shying away from the institution of marriage which I can’t say I disagree with, but they are almost judgmental of people who do choose marriage, especially at a young age. If that’s what works for you, you go for it. We need to find more confidence in going against the grain sometimes, and to not just do things when, conveniently, everybody else is. Someone else doing it doesn’t make it right or wrong for you.
3. Traditional gender roles.
They’re almost taboo these days. But the thing is: if you are most comfortable with being quintessentially feminine or masculine, that’s absolutely fine. The problem is when, as I’ve said before, we are constrained by these ideas. Fortunately, although we have a long way to go, I think awareness is at least being raised and we are working toward a better understanding of gender and how it relates to sex and gender performance. But we have to make sure part of it is enforcing the idea that any gender choice or expression is just as valid as the next.
4. Working a 9-5 job that you’re not passionate about, but it pays the bills.
The truth is that some people have to keep passions as hobbies and work during the day to support ourselves. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. There is no need to quit your job and pursue something that may not put dinner on the table if that’s something you’re not comfortable with. We’re all about everything exotic and fun but sometimes comfort and the sureness of being able to feed families is better than that. People are not lesser for not pursuing their dreams because they chose something else.
5. Institutional, classic religious beliefs.
I don’t conform to the religious beliefs I was raised by, and I feel as though many people are moving away from organized religion but kind of judging people who aren’t. Here’s the thing about religion and spirituality: it has to be what works for you. What aids you best in your time of need. What helps you understand the universe and your place in it. Just because someone believes something you don’t doesn’t make either of you inherently right or wrong… just different.
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