The Pressure to “Be Grown Up”


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Me enjoying being out on a beautiful Fall day.

About the last things you want to talk to me about are family and houses. I shun everything about “traditional stability” in American life, and i’m quite happy to live a more enjoyable existence, for me. I do realize that is what some aspire to though, and I can totally respect that. It’s not that I’ll never want that- it’s that I have no interest in it today.

I recently was somewhat cornered on this by a family member, and it didn’t go well. I felt afterwards like I dissed a friend of mine, in private at least, and that bothers me a lot. Basically a comparison was drawn between my life and their’s, and I basically said I’d never want to live that boring life of their’s. It kind of just flowed out and happened, and given that the family member I said this to had followed a similar life path, I basically put down their lives too. It was awkward for me, and not terribly comfortable. While I don’t want to live that life, I hate to put someone else down, even in private, for them doing what they want.

I have no interest in the expenses and headaches of home ownership. I have interest, just very weak interest, in having a wife or children. The problem is that I increasingly feel like there is pressure to do these things. It is becoming the norm for some friends of mine, and I’m just not feeling it at all. I also don’t respond well to some sort of assertion that domestic life is a “success” of some kind. Success is an achievement, not a relationship. I feel like this pressure is straining other parts of my life though, and other relationships in my life. I don’t like it. I have never been one to conform to many norms, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for me as I try to navigate my own paths around what appears to me to be a lifestyle i’m not really feeling. I’m struggling with it pretty hard, and perhaps what’s bothering me is less a desire to live that life, and more the feeling that i’m almost pitted against people I care about because i’m basically rejecting their values and existence.

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One Response to “The Pressure to “Be Grown Up””

  1. Well said. I agree.

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