No, you don’t. This is not about rebelliousness or disobedience.
This is about empowerment and enrichment in ways that honour one’s truth.
Society, conditioning, expectations, the statements of others, peer pressure, generational tendencies, media trends and public messaging and marketing all say or direct, infer or call us to do something or be someone.
They may say:
You have to get married.
You have to have kids.
You have to have a 9–5 job.
You have to have a degree or education.
You have to work in a particular industry or profession.
You have to have this much money.
You have to have this kind of job.
You need to live in this suburb.
You need to eat these foods.
You need to be this weight or have this look.
You need to own these things…
You need to have this amount of sex, or of friends, or of clothes, or of brands.
You need to meet up to this level of success, status, symbols of whatever…
And on and on, and on it goes.
Ridiculous. Simply ludicrous.
You choose your life. You are the master, the architect, the owner, the boss.
Go with what feels best, right and true for you and there may be no rhyme or reason, no rational basis or notion, but it is still your truth, and be governed by what feels right not what another says you ought or should do, not even what is written here should dictate anything either.
Many a person has lived up to expectations and opinions imposed on them, spoken and unspoken, only to end up miserable or in a state of suicidal despair.
Wise counsel is good to keep, but ultimately that flows or follows from clear guidance we receive from within. If we let that be muted, overridden or sidestepped by outer demands or egoic pressures, we simply betray ourselves and potentially live a life that is suboptimal. However, we are always free, at any point, to choose again and to embrace a life that is full and fulsome at every turn.
The definition of success and of having made it is warped and irrelevant, and when we see what sacrifices some have made, or who they have become in the process, it seems more like a story of failure and heartache no matter what isolated elements may look like.
If success or things are obtained for their own sake, we lose ourselves and we feel empty and unfulfilled in the process for we have subjugated our truth and denied our essence in the process. Staying true to ourselves is about allowing a higher order to prevail and a deeper truth that resonates with our spirit and in those moments success achieved is felt and received by all those party to the situation for it benefits without burdening, it enhances without detracting, and it feels right.
Growing up is about realising who we are and holding the power in our lives and that is what matters.
Your life is yours, and you have choices in each moment.
Be your wonderful self. Be you.