[dropcap]“I[/dropcap] don’t have to do things I don’t want to do just to fit your social norms.” As I heard myself saying that sentence, I realised how far I’ve come in the past few months.
As a kid, I was always buried in my books, not very interested in whatever was going on in the outside world. This despaired my parents a lot, who were always on my back with sentences like “Go out”, “Make friends”, “Look at them! They’re having fun! Don’t you want to play with them?” The truth is, I didn’t. I was genuinely not interested in whatever kids my age were doing.
But, when puberty hit, I started feeling the social pressure of doing those things I was told I was “supposed” to do. I started becoming that person that everyone else expected me to be.
I became obsessed with always looking good, going to the “right” places, doing the “right” things. What people thought of me became more important to me than my personal fulfilment.
I was genuinely unhappy with myself and had many identity crises. I had those two sides of me constantly fighting inside of my head and it was not pretty at all.
This summer was a summer of rediscovering myself, of reaffirming my identity, of taking back control of my life and the way it was going. I guess I just realised that life was too short to go around living someone else’s life.
Partying was always such a torture for me but I forced myself to go out in order to be included and to be “cool”. The dancing, the drunken haze, the sweatiness, the hangovers were definitely not my jam.
I’d much rather chill with some friends, read a good book, go to a concert and do those things that I thoroughly enjoy. I haven’t drunk for 2 months (except for the occasional glass of wine), and I’ve never felt better.
I am now completely comfortable being the huge nerd that I am, and I’m done pretending and putting up a show.
I’ve even changed degrees from Economics to Sociology. I have always wanted to study Sociology but when I used to say that, people’s reactions were always “How are you going to make a living? What are you going to do with this degree? Don’t you want to make money?” My answer to them now is “fuck you.” I am not letting anyone dictate my life and choices anymore.
Am I now completely free of any kind of social pressure? Certainly not, but I’m working on it. And to you, out there, know that it’s never too late for a fresh start and to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be.