Dear Oprah

 

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I know you are a busy lady so I will try not to take up too much of your time. As the days go by I am being pushed further and further outside of what I like to call the “societal box”. When I refer to this I am speaking to the confined space in which I feel society deems the way everyone should live their lives. The pressure of this, I believe, really begins as soon as high school is completed. Below is a brief run down of what I am talking about:

What university/college are you planning on attending? Oh you chose that one? Well this one has better program…

Ok you have graduated that now, in a reasonable amount of time hopefully. So now go on – Choose your career and get a big person job. I know you make a lot waitressing but that isn’t a job which requires education….

Good, now pick a partner and get engaged…. No, no not him you haven’t been dating for that long….

Ok time to get married….. Have you been engaged for the recommended amount of time…

Perfect, you looked beautiful… the food was ok… Now time to start the house hunt…

Ooo I remember that area growing up… bad place… cheaper housing though….hmmm you only bought a two bedroom? Well its just your starter home right….

I’m sure married life has been great this past year, but everyone is still asking daily when you are going to start having kids…. So get to it already you are not getting any younger….

Just popped that one out.. Congrats… Are you planning on having more?? How soon.. Don’t leave it too long you want them to grow up together right?

From here it continues but now with your children – type of food you feed them, their education, clothes they wear, activities/sports they are signed up for…

So my question for you Oprah is – How did you continue to socialize with all your friends when these points are the leading topics for most conversations? I am choosing not to live my life by what society deems appropriate. I do not feel the need to buy a house just yet, because I do not want to live in the same town for 5+ years. I am choosing not to have children. The thought of a wedding with a full day of all the attention on me gives me anxiety. So I do not want that either. However these three major milestones in people’s lives are all anyone seems to want to discuss these days. I am happy for them. Those are their choices and they are proud and want to share. So share for a bit… but then isn’t there so much more to talk about in this world? You my friend (Is it ok if I call you that now?), are the perfect example of someone who has gone against the grain and is very happy. No one would ever look down on you and think they are better because they have the marriage, house, kids… To this person they think they have it “all”… and whoever does not they almost feel sorry for.

Well I feel sorry for them. Their entire life is being lived in this cookie cutter world and they have no idea what life can be like if you just step outside the societal box for a time. And really who are they kidding… Everyone knows their perfect life on Facebook is a sham.

So maybe this letter isn’t a call for help/advice but more of a thank you. Thank you for living your life outside the box and becoming my perfect example for it to be ok. No one in their right minds would think they have a better life than yours, so therefore they can’t about mine either.

Xx

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3 thoughts on “Dear Oprah

  1. Erica says:

    You know how I feel about the ‘narrow definition’ people put on life. There is no formula anyone needs to subscribe to, and those who think there is are usually the 100 pictures on fb per day prove their life ‘fits’ inside of it.

  2. Breeeeedon says:

    I had all these exact same questions and thoughts years ago, about the time I was going back to school. It’s so much “noisier” with facebook constantly feeding you what your peers have achieved, that amazing job they got, who they’re engaged to, what their new place looks like, all the babies they’re having, and how CRAZY, AMAZINGLY, and PERFECTLY happy they are. All this was in my face at a time when I hadnt achieved much in school, hated my job, wasn’t pining for marriage or babies, and was about to drop everything for part-time work and full-time college classes with a bunch of 18 year olds. The whole “life plan” society had tried to impose was thrown out the window. Screw it!

    You’re completely right about society’s “cooki cutter,” and for some that may be exactly what they want, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But in all the “be who are,” “never give up on what’s important to you,” “you can do anything you want to do with your life,” it can sometimes feel like we’re being lied to. “We” (as in those of us who aren’t following the traditional norms) end up getting pissed on for the decisions that make US happy. We’re selfish for not having kids. You’re just wasting time if you’re bever going to get married. And why don’t you have higher career aspirations?

    Now I’ve reached an age where I should “hurry up before it’s too late!” – I’m 31. I’ve been told (by a very prominent, cookie-cutter lawyer) that it’s every women’s imperative to have children (it took everything not to slap him). My mom finally stopped asking about this same subject when I adopted my four-legged, furry baby girl (my dog). I had to actually TELL my family to back off on the never ending conundrum of “why” I’m not married yet, and to STOP asking my boyfriend. YES we’ve been together for eight years. NO were not married. If we do decide to, it’ll be on our own terms. Why is this so important to everyone else, but us?

    I’ve reached this amazing point in my life where I don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks about my life. I won’t let others dictate my happiness. I don’t WANT to be the CEO of some big shot company. I don’t want to have kids. I may never get married. I value the time I have with friends and family much more than achieving the milestones of society’s “plan.”

    Jamie, you have my absolute support. Your life is just that: YOURS. No one else’s. No one can tell you how to live YOUR life. You know what makes you happy, you have your own damn reasons for doing things the way you want to, and it’s no one else’s busuness. But you’ve always known this, and have always been a headstrong woman of her own convictions. Roar on, girl! Xoxoxoxo

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