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When You’re Trying To Be Free In A Society That Wants To Keep You Locked

Posted: March 8, 2021
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Dreams come in all forms. It’s high time that society stop judging us for what we want, and what we do. We need to break free!

Everyone has their own dreams. For instance, someone wants to become an engineer, someone else a scientist. But, achieving these dreams is far more complicated and difficult than having them.

The ones who achieve these are considered successful, by the societal standards.

Dear Society, everyone isn’t the same

But society fails to understand that dreams come in all forms. Everyone might not want to become a doctor or an engineer. Some people might have dreams like reducing weight, coming out of an abusive relationship, learning a new skill, travelling, reading a new book and so on. Being able to do these, the ones without capitalist worth, is also an achievement.

But, most people around us are far from understanding this. They don’t see such dreams as success, and often end up ridiculing us. They can’t understand that for some people, getting up from bed and going to work is an achievement. Everyone has their own set of problems. Society is simply quick in judging people before getting to know them!

We live in a society that has already set its own standards. It expects everyone to be the same. This is fit into our minds at a very early age. When we are young, people compare our grades with our peers, sometimes even with cousins in the family. If we scored above average, the question is, why didn’t you score more? The appreciation and validation is reserved for the times when we are either toppers in the class or complete some superhuman tasks.

When will the ridicule stop?

Appreciation for considerably ‘small’ things is important. It encourages children, friends, or even colleagues, motivates them to perform better. Yet, as a society, we have failed at it. If someone wants to study something that’s not a mainstream subject or is seen as ‘not having scope’, they are ridiculed.

People always try to make you feel like a loser if you don’t abide by their expectations. They also make your parents’ life hell if they support you wholeheartedly. I have been called crazy for my decisions in life, but these decisions made me happy. People didn’t understand this. They called me selfish, and occasionally, a coward. And, I know that this has been the case for many who chose to be rebels and followed their heart.

The ridicule doesn’t stop. There’s an opinion for everything, even things like getting a haircut or a tattoo or a piercing. The judgment gets worse if one chooses to be single or childfree. For the life of me, I don’t understand why I need permission to be happy! Family, friends, and relationships are important. But, if they are being physically or mentally abusive, then it’s high time that we break free from them.

Breaking free is challenging, let’s do it anyway!

Most of us cannot imagine doing something like this, given the emotional blackmail we are exposed to on a daily basis. It is difficult, I agree. We have been brought up in a way to spend our entire life depending on others. It’s much more challenging for women. Any woman who values happiness and independence over her family is judged and shamed for doing so. Yet, we need to break free from this prison.

Such judgment stops women from leaving their family behind, even when all it does is make them miserable. However, I repeat, the choice of being free is much more important – free from opinions, traditions, and everything else that society wants us to be.

Everything is not meant for everyone. Some people want to be married or stay single, some want to be parents or childfree. Some people need time to decide what they want. No one should be pushed into doing something they don’t want to do.

If someone breaks a stereotype they are made to feel bad about it by their own family. If someone doesn’t want a second child, the pressure to have one is an emotional trauma inflicted on them.

Prioritise freedom, choose happiness

Society will always want us to be in a cage. It’s a very challenging life for many of us who walked out of it. And, there are many people who are still trying to get out. Yet, we should walk out because life is beautiful when we prioritise our happiness and love our freedom.

It’s an intimidating journey but we find many communities to support us, like book clubs, or travelers, or feminists. The list goes on once we start looking for it. People should be able to live without the fear of judgement for their choices. For this, we have to create a society that breaks the set standards.

Image source: a still from The Great Indian Kitchen

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A Research Scholar, Bibliophile, Atheist, feminist and an introvert.

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