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Thread: Not Wanting What Society Wants for me

  1. #1

    Default Not Wanting What Society Wants for me

    Something which vexes me much of the time at the moment is what I actually want/need from life. I don't want to reproduce/have kids, I don't desperately want to get married (I don't want to be totally alone either) and I don't want a big career (I work to live and hope the things I enjoy can make money at some point).

    This is a problem for me after recovering from a depressive setback quite well. What am I actually aiming for? I think I've spent too much time assuming I wanted what everyone else does.

  2. #2


    In terms of those things, I'd say just do what you want to do. Obviously don't quit work if you don't have another source of income, but otherwise if you don't want a family or to get married, don't worry about it. Especially at 23, I don't think anyone is going to act like it is a big deal you don't have any kids or aren't married and if they do, well personally I think there views are the issue.

    I don't think it'd be hard to find someone else who isn't concerned with having kids right now or getting married, even finding someone also not interested in kids and marriage (I don't think it is that unusual).

    Digressing but anyways, just sit down and decide what you want to do in the short terms, maybe long term (Personal opinion I hate making long term goals, hell even short term sometimes, but it can help) based on what you want, not what someone else says you want. Then just go from there and I'd expect it will make you happier then doing what others say you should. It's your life in the end (I mean there are some things you shouldn't do, but it doesn't seem like any of them are things you are thinking of/about).

  3. #3


    There is nothing at all wrong with not being concerned about money as the primary factor in your job choices.

  4. #4


    By the way society dosent want anything for you, the want everything from you. If they want something you enjoy providing congratulations. If not you still need money.

  5. #5


    Society has no real expectation from you so do what you want, plenty of people have gone through life without a big career and the typical nuclear family and there is nothing wrong with that. Providing you aren't a criminal and drain on the system I doubt anyone would look down on you for the choices you make in life. The beauty if life is that what you do is entirely up to you regardless of what others say so go out and grow up the way you think is best for you.

  6. #6


    Congratulations on figuring this out before you made commitments and decisions that messed up someone elses life in addition to yours.

    You are what and who you are. Don't assume that's going to change. Yes, you are in control of your destiny and your moment by moment decisions, but don't think that your basic nature is going to change.

    I was always kind of a loner, happy with my own company. I got along with people fine, and lots of people seem to like me (for reasons I can't fathom), but I didn't (and don't) really feel the need for companionship. Aptitude tests in high school said I should be a fire spotter or forest ranger out west. Alone.

    I looked at that as a weakness to conquer, so I became a salesmen. Hated it mostly, even though I was smart enough to figure out how it worked and get good at it.

    Everyone around me was getting married and having kids. I had no particular desire to do it, but I figured that it must be something you grew into, and I was horny, so I did it too. 30+ years, kids, and grandkids later, I haven't grown into it. I'd like to think I've done a decent job of meeting my responsibilities and raising my kids. They seem to have turned out fine, better than me probably.

    All things considered, I should be sitting in a tower somewhere in Wyoming with binoculars. Alone. And I'd probably be happy doing that. But I'm here in a basement in the Chicago suburbs typing nonsense to you idiots. It is what it is. Hope that helps.

    P.S. I'm actually happy with my life. I'd probably be long dead without my wife. But I do have a healthy sense of self-irony.

    Fortunately, my wife is an independent sort like me, so we sort of have an understanding. Stay out of my stuff, I'll stay out of yours, and if the kids need anything, that comes first.

  7. #7


    I just read an article today saying that many younger people are opting for less paying jobs so that they have more leisure time, or just personal time, so I don't think you're alone. The desire for personal space and an independent life is common. My son who is turning 36 is only now seriously dating. He has enjoyed his independent lifestyle, and our feeling has always been that he is the one who must be happy.

    I'm like Maxx in that I decided to marry and have children, and I too have seen my children become more successful than me, and my grandchildren brighter. It's a good feeling. I could have chosen otherwise for my life, as I was with another guy all through college, but I too believe I would probably be dead by now had I not married. I suffer from the occasional bouts of depression, and life is not perfect, but it could be worse. I think we tend to expect too much from life, probably because of movies and television, but it's always a jungle. You have to make it work for yourself.

  8. #8


    You have already been given some wonderful guidance on the topic of being yourself.

    Part of what you might be experiencing is an inner conflict between two competing ideas. Many children will strive to fit in, I draw similarities between themselves and others, and find an internal drive to be like others. They find themselves susceptible to peer pressures and, at some point, even look forward to societal expectations.

    The other concept is that of individuality.

    So here is are, contemplating what it is that YOU want out of your life and even the path you might take.

    I remember as distinctly as though it were yesterday, my best friend in high school making choices that I did not agree with. Instead of following along I realized that what I did was literally my choice, and that I should not feel pressured to do something I was not interested in doing. Later I found myself having to explain to my parents why it was that I should be allowed to hang around my friend despite his poor decisions. I literally told them that peer pressure worked both ways, and that I was applying the pressure I my friend and not the reverse.

    I was beginning to learn the value and power of being an individual, and for the first time in my life I even started to believe in myself just a little.

    What it really comes down to is that you are the one that has to live with the choices that you make. So why would you want to fit societies mold or meet the expectations of others? Quite literally you own your own destiny.

    There are social and societal norms, but as I have aged I have also discovered that what is normal is really a range and even more important what is acceptable to you. A quick example, high percentages of high school children cheat on tests at some point. From a strict interpretation this would mean that cheating had become normal, but what about the kid who had more self respect and knew that cheating would only be cheating himself and his education?

    So I submit that individuality, personal choice and even personal responsibility are powerful attributes in self definition. Attributes that have the power to shape our lives and to create greatness.

    Leaders are not followers, they are the individuals who pave a new path, do things a little differently and who have the balls to choose for themselves.

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