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July 20, 2022

Full-Time Jobs & Marriages do not Scream Maturity—This Does.

 

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Not long ago, I was telling someone about my life.

A perfect stranger, to be clear. And I was pleased by their bold and cheery attempt to strike up a conversation. It’s a rarity these days: two humans actually talking, face-to-face, out in the big, scary world. No screens. No earbuds. No distractions. Just genuine, old-fashioned chitter-chatter.

Being judged was not on my radar.

At the time, I was quickly approaching 38 years old.

I told this person that I’ve never been married and don’t have children.

I told them that I’d just quit my corporate job to pursue some of my passions full-time.

“Freedom,” I proclaimed. “I’ve always wanted freedom.”

I told them that I rent an apartment in the city.

I told them that I have a coaching business, a few blogs, and a book in the works. I told them that I love comedy and music and spontaneous road trips. I told them that I spend most of my days hanging out in coffee shops, writing.

“Interesting,” they responded. “But isn’t that all kind of…immature?”

“Well, it was nice meeting you,” I said, as I put on my jacket and stood up. “Have a great day.”

Maybe you think the same way.

Maybe you think that those who ignore cultural and societal norms—those who stray from the herd to take their own path—should be classified under “immature.”

Or maybe you question your own life.

Maybe you too have been judged, and you can’t help but wonder if the way you are living is immature.

Well, unless you (still) sleep on superhero sheets and flick boogers at your friends, I can tell you without hesitation that the answer is no.

No, it’s not immature.

You get to live however you choose.

Unfortunately, a good lot of humans tend to have a strange quirk: they want you to make the same choices they did, even if those choices didn’t necessarily work out for them or make them happy.

Now that is immature.

(Just my opinion, of course.)

Do you know what else is immature?

Living the way society, or your family, or your crazy-ass religion says you should instead of living the way you actually want to.

Do you know what else is immature?

Thinking another person is going to complete you. Actually, it’s not just immature; it’s also delusional.

Do you know what else is immature?

Marrying someone you don’t find all that attractive and don’t even really like that much because you think tying the knot is just what you’re supposed to do. Well, congratulations on your big, dumb, expensive ceremony. After you do the White Guy Shuffle to a couple of Van Morrison songs and open all of those useless presents, you’re going to be faced with a stark reality.

That’s okay, though.

You’ll just go ahead and have a few kids because you think it’ll strengthen your marriage, despite the fact that you don’t want to be a parent and you’re completely unfit to be one. Having kids is the next logical step, yes? It’s the mature thing to do, right?

No, it’s not.

Do you know what else is immature?

Staying in a loveless, sexless, depressing marriage for any reason—but especially “for the kids.” Do you know that kids internalize their earliest relationship experiences, most notably, the relationship between their parents? Do you know they see how miserable you are? Both you and your kids would be better off if you got a divorce and then focused on making yourself happy while co-parenting with your ex.

But that’s not going to happen, is it? You’re just going to keep doing what you’ve been doing, even though it isn’t working.

Nah, that’s not immature at all.

Meanwhile, you wake up every morning just to go to a job that you despise—a job where you sit in a dull, grey cube and spend the whole day staring mindlessly at a computer, trying to decide if you should staple your eyelids shut or stick your head in the office microwave.

Man, I’ve been there. So many times. And I know that your job pays the bills and you’ve got responsibilities, but are you doing anything to change your situation? Like, anything?

Anything at all?

No.

But who am I to judge? Your choices are your choices.

Anyway…

I guess what I’m trying to say is: if someone calls you immature for ignoring societal and cultural norms, for straying from the herd to take your own path, for trying to live life on your own damn terms…just tell them that you’re rubber and they’re glue, and they can leave you alone.

~

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