It’s funny how many people, including Yours Truly, spend the majority of their lives trying to be like someone else, to assimilate and merge. Some succeed very easily in fitting into the worldly standard – being fit, wearing fashionable clothes and makeup “on fleek”, finding a romantic partner, having a “respectable” albeit often boring white-collar job, having children, taking them to school, watching TV in the evenings, going out with friends on a Friday night for drinks – you know the sort of life I am talking about. And there’s nothing wrong with it. On the contrary, many of those things are good things in themselves. The problem is that they are pinnacled as the only possible standard of worldly bliss and anyone who isn’t able or doesn’t’ want to have this kind of life is left feeling that they are somehow lesser or, plainly speaking, weird.
I remember a period of my life when I originally started writing this post and I was nearly in panic because I was afraid that I was becoming more and more “standard” in the sense I just described. I was becoming “worldly” in a sense that for me was almost unbearable. As someone who has always hated routine and had a great longing for creativity and adventure, it has been rather hard for me when I just graduated from University and took up a very much routine receptionist job at a hotel. I always thought that I wanted to be “normal”, “standard”, but when I actually settled into this routine and abandoned my creativity for a while, I became very scared. My plans to go to drama school at that stage seemed unreal to me and I wasn’t passionate about anything else enough to put in all the hard work most fields require. Therefore, it started seeming to me that being a receptionist or a manager and abandoning my creativity and sense of adventure is what my life was heading towards now. I know many people to whom “holidays” means going to some warm country and spending all their time lying next to a Hotel pool instead of going around and seeing crumbling old churches, beautiful narrow streets, breath-taking nature and meeting other like-minded creative and spiritual people. Again, I feel that there is nothing wrong with people who take the opposite stance from me, the problem is that people with one type of lifestyle in our society are made an ideal, and others, artists, nerds, spiritual, and many other types of people are made to feel like they are lacking if they don’t purse this media lifestyle, even if it’s not what they truly want. They’re marginalized in the most subtle way but it hurts them and their inner artist child to the point of wanting to give up their dreams and become someone they’re not.
Even now that I’m learning to embrace my individuality and quirkiness, I still struggle to be myself when I put on my work uniform. I look at myself in a mirror and I don’t see myself. I see a receptionist. I guess I always found a lot of my self-expression in the clothes that I’m wearing and I feel that every time I put on my black receptionist’s dress I suddenly feel and behave as a whole another person. But it’s not me. I struggle with appreciating my true identity, I struggle with loving and appreciating my “differentness”, yet my soul was clearly not made for this “standard” life. Maybe one day I’ll find enough people like me to make me feel less alone in this world and we will start a little quirky revolution.