You only got this one life, break free from constraints

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 6 May, 2024 07:00 | 2 mins read
Stressed young woman. PHOTO/Print
Stressed young woman. PHOTO/Print

A friend recently asked me what I would do if time and money were not objects of consideration. I could not answer as time and money are indeed objects. Our lives are like funnels — we have the opportunity to make mistakes and jump out of the funnel of any decision we make when we are young. As time passes by, we move deeper into the funnel and find it harder to back out. So, we stick with it and end up living life by default rather than design.

Thing is, there are no rules to how old a rookie should be. There are no rules about how old you should be for you to do certain things be it start a career, start a business or even get a life partner. All there is are societal standards, which summarise findings of what has been normally happening, which we unfortunately take as rules rather than suggestions.

Many people get married by 30, finding not a rule, a suggestion. So feel free to get married at 30 or not at all is the caveat— the fine print that no one ever reads, the caveat that is normally rapped out fast in audio advertisements so no one can hear it. Society tries to further enforce these suggestions by coaching them and celebrating people who conform. Our aunties back in the villages will call about so and so who got married and at such a young age too. Our newspapers in the cities will come up with high-achievers lists and by age too, thereby celebrating achievements of youth and denouncing any other achievements at whatever age immediately by default. This makes it harder for people to experiment or to live authentic lives as there is an external metre they have to account to.

Truth is, there is always time to jump out of the funnel and start something new despite what society says. But we never consider what we truly want as we have internalised the rules about what we should do at a certain age as set by society. But isn’t society a composite of all our beliefs? Wouldn’t the rules change if a few of us were brave enough to step out into our truth rather than stick with what we were taught is expected of us.

But we were taught to look outwards, to others, to know what we want. Strange, isn’t it? So we stifle what we truly want and sacrifice it at the altar of what society wants. We could maybe start that biashara or switch to that career or divorce the husband in another life? In a different life, we would make different choices. But don’t you have just the one life to live anyway? There is no spare life where you get to live all of your dreams that you stifle in this one. You only get this one life.

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