You Don’t Own Me

24 Nov

You Don’t Own Me by RZAWU

No matter who you are and where you are in life you’re most likely ruled by the same thing that rules us all, expectations. It is as if everyone understands exactly what is expected of them and once we accept those limits as valid we are effectively restrained within them. It is a commonality of the human condition that almost to a person we accept while simultaneously yearning to be freed of. Expectations on a macro level is the glue of our society. We are born and told to go to school to be considered for a job that will make us marriageable at which point we are to find a mate settle down and have children who, if you did everything correctly, will replicate the cycle. This is the mature and sensible path and we are told that it is the definition of true meaningful happiness. Even people who are viewed as abnormal by our society are judged by this metric of sensibility in the long run which is why the debate over gay marriage is as passionate as it is with both supporters and opponents rightfully understanding that an acceptance into the institution of marriage is the last step towards long run normalization.

This is why we appreciate artists and eccentrics. The best of which do not yearn for fame or money but to live their lives on their own terms. It takes an incredible courage which goes unappreciated even among their fans. If you went to Thanksgiving dinner and told everyone you decided to be a painter, poet, or photographer you’d be laughed out the room. Recall your reaction to every aspiring rapper you know. This reaction doesn’t stem solely from a sense of irresponsibility on the part of the artist but also from what is taken at least on the subconscious level as an indictment on how we live our lives. I know personally I also feel a sense of jealousy because I wish I could disregard my set of expectations and do what I feel.

Acknowledging this I want to take this moment to personally challenge myself to follow my path as well as I can. I also want to challenge you the reader as well. I’m not encouraging you to abandon all responsibility but remember in your daily grind and long-term planning that we are blessed with free will and if you have the ability, do what you want.


Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Daily Distractions



3 responses to “You Don’t Own Me

  1. realist23

    November 25, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Everything you love to do doesn’t have to translate to a career path. I love to write poetry. I have a whole book that I could shop around and try to get published, but I don’t want to. I’m completely content with it being a hobby. Honestly, if I got paid to write, my love for it would wane. I see my career path and my hobbies are two separate entities.

  2. Typo-Critical

    November 29, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    This is arguably why I’m half tempted to pursue a career as a full-time writer. But I know my ambitions are not solely rooted in writing.

    “I’m not encouraging you to abandon all responsibility but remember in your daily grind and long-term planning that we are blessed with free will and if you have the ability, do what you want.”

    ^ on this note, really… our generation (80s babies) are spoiled. We’re not as bad as this new set of kids from 1999 on up, but we are spoiled. We want to be able to have a job that fits what we want and our leisurely “loves” because we equate that as an occupation where it’s work that feels like play. Those that came before us – our parents and grandparents, especially – did not have the option to do what they loved. They did what they HAD to do, worked at a job they had to work at to provide for their families because they didn’t have a lot of options, but they did have a lot of responsibilities (that’s why many grandparents are still stuck in dead-end jobs today, working until they’re in their 70s). I think it’s both a gift and a curse that our generation has the luxury/option of being able to do something we love and make a career out of that.

  3. Spacely Sprockets

    November 29, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    Yes but what is the point in their sacrifice if generation after generation merely continue to follow them into those dead end jobs? My grandparents and parents did what they had to so that hopefully I’d have a better life, at least that is what they’d like to see. I feel we are selling ourselves short if we limit what we can do for the sake of “being responsible” simply for responsibilities sake. If you have children and mortgages then its one thing but those of us blessed with the agency and ability to craft our own future have a responsibility to do so. With the barriers to independence being as low as they have ever been historically through the advancement of technology it would be foolish to volunteer ourselves to be the workers when those before worked so hard to place us in the position to be the bosses. Don’t get me wrong I’m looking for a job to provide for myself while I work towards my dreams but I can’t be satisfied with staying in the same generational spot. I come from working class roots and it breaks my heart to see how hard my grandparents worked only to have to leave retirement to continue to maintain themselves.


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