Much of your suffering comes from society’s voice telling you that you should be a certain type of person. You should have a certain personality, and certain demeanor, depending on what occupation you are in. You should have a certain house, a certain type of car, a certain amount of money in the bank. You should be a certain age. All this is rubbish and is society’s way of trying to push you or sell you on something. Society, especially modern Western Society, places so much value on superficial things and wants all its citizens organized and working their hardest and most efficient.
I remember once while working part time while I was in school driving a taxicab. I recall picking up a lady named Mary from a bar who had turned 47 years old that day. As I told her “Happy Birthday”, she just went on a rant about “Honey, there is nothing pretty about turning 47” and so forth. She told me how much the guys loved her when she was 25 years younger at 22 years old. She was so stuck on that. How guys would buy her drinks and how much she felt desired. Society is partially the cause (I will refrain from using the word blame here). Everywhere you go, the magazine covers and billboards and movies showcase young ladies in their early 20s.
She was just responding to the reflection that society had given to her. That experience greatly saddened me and started my belief that society was hell. By setting the sights up higher and higher and pushing its citizens harder and harsher, society accomplishes its goals at the expense of its citizens. It is all very toxic and poisonous. All this starts so easily from when you were a young child. You were told to act this way or that way. You were told how to be cool when you were in high school as cliques started to form. If “society” (in this case the student body), thought you were a geek and told you to act more “cool”, that was the start of your insecurity and your inappropriate behavior (like underage drinking, smoking, reckless driving).
If ever have any questions on what to do with your life or what to do in a particular situation, ask yourself who you really are. Never fight with yourself. It should be the easiest thing to do… to be yourself. But it is so hard. Why is this? This is because society is telling you what it needs and wants you to be. You are already the person that you are. Why the heck should you try to be anything or anyone else? The reason it is so hard is because of society. Society around you is the problem.
When you try to be someone else than yourself, it creates a fiction that will bring incredible sorrow to your life. You will end up lying, cheating, stealing, or just end up acting like an idiot or jerk. If you don’t want to end up working in a hospital as a doctor, then don’t pretend to like what you are doing if you are studying pre-med courses in college to your mother.
If you are a homosexual, don’t be ashamed of it either. It will all come out sooner or later in your life. If you hate sports, don’t pretend to memorize the starting lineup of the New York Yankees so you can pretend to be a cool sports fan during homeroom in your 8th grade. Don’t look at others, just look and pay attention to yourself. At the end of the day, who do you go to bed with…yourself. Who do you ultimately need to please? Yourself. So don’t play society’s game and makes yourself unhappy because you don’t hold up to their expectations (or measurements).