In this day and age, where social media has taken over the world, it’s almost natural for most people to feel the need to conform. To follow the same path of life as your colleagues. To like the same things they do. To think the way everybody tells you to think.
We all get lost reading lifestyle articles, following into our parents’ or friends’ footsteps, and believing every single word we read, that we forget the most important thing.
We all have a different set of values. We all want different things. We all look different. Therefore, there’s no way for us to follow the same life advice.
I have fallen victim to this myself, I must admit. It’s extremely easy to do when all this false guidance is being shoved into our faces every day in the form of Instagram posts, Facebook notifications, or even those 15 second commercials before YouTube videos.
And I did it without even knowing. Subconsciously, I started adjusting my life to the norm, even though there’s no such thing. I applied to university solely because that’s the path all my friends took, and even though it wasn’t the right choice for my career. I suppressed my openness and confidence when meeting guys, because girls are told to be shy and reserved. Because if they reveal too much, the mystery is gone and the guy is gone with it.
Since childhood, we’re all being told how to live our lives as if there’s the one and only right way to do it.
There isn’t one.
It’s understandable that sometimes everybody needs this type of guidance, so we seek it and in the era of the Internet, it’s just one click away. However, it’s also vital to know that it’s supposed to be just that. Guidance.
A manual for life doesn’t exist simply because there are over 7.5 billion of us, each one fully and utterly special. It would be ridiculous to assume that what works for your first cousin or next-door neighbor works for you.
I’d be lying if I said that I don’t look at other people’s lives and wonder why mine is not going as well as theirs. It’s so easy to compare myself to my friends and even strangers, filling myself up with shame and contemplating whether my life is a pile of disappointments. I’m trying to get to a place where I’m so focused on living my life and moving forward that I don’t pay attention to others and how far they’ve come. I’m working on it, and I must say it’s been freeing and rewarding so far.
So, I’m urging you all, I’m begging you, stop looking for an already created path of life. Ignore all those articles telling you how to dress, learn, love, and live. Because the best things happen when you do what’s right for you.
Not your parents, or friends, but just for you.