How are you doing? Are you exhausted? Like deep in your soul, exhausted?
I have some thoughts.
We made up that you have to text someone back.
We made up that you’re supposed to be positive all the time.
We made up that you’re supposed to eat three meals a day.
We made up that you need your own home.
We made up that people are better if they have lots of friends.
We made up shoes.
We made up that you keep your parents’ last name–and not even across the whole world.
We made up school and debt and school debt.
We made up that you should part your hair down the side. Then we made up that you should part your hair down the middle, and that if you part your hair down the side, you’re not with the times.
We made up that you should strive for career success. We thought we made up what success even means, but nobody seems to agree or be happy when they get there.
We made up that you’re boring if you don’t like going out.
We made up that you’re supposed to play it cool when you finally meet someone you have a crush on.
We made up that feeling sexual interest in others means you love your life person any less.
We made up that sexuality has to be strictly organized in an arbitrary way, and oh my goodness are we taking a long time to unmake that up.
We made up that you’re supposed to have a life person.
We made up that you’re supposed to work 40 hours a week.
We made up “boss.”
We made up multi-level marketing and product parties. We also made up corporations and weirdly pyramidy looking corporate pay structures. Either way, a lot of us are struggling.
We made up that kids need to excel in academics.
We made up that it’s vitally important that you show up not a moment late to your daily shift.
We made up that you should tough it out when you’re feeling like you’re breaking down.
We made up that you’re supposed to save hand-holding for your sexual partner.
We made up that girls wear makeup and boys don’t.
We made up the words for girls and boys and we made up how important those words were.
We made up that women are better parents and care-takers.
We made up that men are tougher and stronger and more apt to lead.
We made up that when you order the big ass Denver omelet, you should say “we’re going to volleyball tonight,” instead of “god I love food.” I did this yesterday, and I didn’t even play.
We made up that buttons on your shirt means you respect the people you’re talking to. Or a long strap of silk and polyester choked around your neck.
We made up that robes or bare feet are weird.
We made up that natural hair on your face or your armpits or your privates is anything besides “there.”
We made up the word “privates” so that genitals could be saved for shamey conversations and for powerful men to control in private.
We made up that you’re supposed to respond graciously when old men talk to you in a way that makes you feel yucky.
We made up that it’s somehow on you when you are hurt by people.
We made up that when you’ve been hurt, you have to forgive.
We made up that forgiveness looks like reconciliation.
We made up that family is for life.
We made up so many damn things about the word “family.”
We made up that it’s okay for people to bully, manipulate, abuse, and take advantage of you, as long as they’re related by blood. We refuse to admit we made that up, but we did and we’re shockingly loyal to it.
We made up that you owe anyone an explanation.
We made up that extroverted is better. And then we learned from some really thoughtful psychologists that that’s not true, so we make all sorts of posts about how awesome introverted is. But we still lowkey judge introverts.
We made up that it’s weird to sleep in a tent in your backyard.
We made up that sleepovers are only for kids.
We made up that kids have to grow up and leave kid stuff behind.
We made up stuffed animals, and this was a good invention that provides so much comfort, and then somewhere between the ages of “7” and “you’re not a child anymore,” we tell people they no longer need comfort.
We made up that you have to be good at dancing to feel confident doing it, and we enforce it by laughing and making fun and sharing videos online.
We made up that everyone gets roads but not everyone gets medicine.
We made up that you should go to college.
We made up that you need to have a clear life and career plan.
We made up that you will be happier if more people think you’re really awesome.
We made up that people think you’re really awesome if they pay attention to you online.
We made up that it’s childish to try to get attention.
We made up that saying things to the people in your life like “Hey I just need some attention right now!” is needy or obnoxious.
We made up that needy is obnoxious.
We made up that crying in front of people isn’t a thing to do.
We made up that you shouldn’t live in the woods.
We made up relationships.
We made up workplace structures.
We made up work.
We made up money.
We made up goals.
We made up purpose.
So if some of what we have made up isn’t quite working for you, that’s understandable. There’s a lot of it. It would be weird if you matched it all, and honestly the world would be pretty boring.
Which bits don’t work for you? And what will you make up for yourself instead?
Sending love and courage to be weirdly, honestly, colorfully you.
PS – We made up that dirt is dirty and that sand is messy and that messy isn’t the best thing in the world. But Junko knows better. I learn a lot from her.
How about you and I help each other stay off track? I’ll send you sparks of weirdness. <3