Uniqueness in a society with established norms.
I remember sitting at my desk in my first job at the start of my career. Not my first office job, or even my first professional job, but my first job in the career I had worked so hard toward. I was grateful. I was so proud to be making a better paycheque, to be contributing, to be challenged. I felt great. Truly.
Soon after though (months, weeks, years) things did change.Feelings began to creep up inside of me. Feelings like doubt, dissatisfaction, but most importantly, feelings of “am I worth more than this?” All of those beautiful feelings of gratitude had been real. But I had never stopped to question if I was settling. Or, if I let my imagination run here, perhaps that authentic gratitude for where I was actually opened up in me a new opportunity: the ability to value myself even further, to reach even higher goals!
So often in society, we are asked to follow norms. It’s starts when we’re really young. Listen to authority, don’t wear this colour in this season, get perfect grades, go to University, find “the one” and then get a “good” job. But norms are just that….standard normal behaviour. I wanted more. I needed more. If I had of chose to stay in a place that didn’t continue to challenge me, I wouldn’t have been feeding a part of myself that truly valued progress. Now, let me be clear, I stayed for a while to check some boxes. But I valued the possibility that I could create a path for myself that was completely unique, true to myself, and not appeasing anyone else. I believe everyone can do that. There are costs and benefits, as with every risk. But the benefit I found to be more impactful than anything else, was the feeling of peace that I was moving through the world as myself. I wish that for everyone.