I made apple crumble a few hours ago. And I want to bake cereal cookies right now. I want to. The supposed 15-minute preparation time is staring at me, convincing me that it’s perfectly doable, tempting me to go downstairs, stick my arm in the refrigerator and pull out some all-purpose flour (yes my mother keeps that in the fridge). Take out the mixing bowl. Slam the spread on the worktop. Take out a spoon, carve out a chunk, weigh out  200 grams. Blah, blah, blah.

I’m frustrated, bored, disillusioned, and lonely, 44 minutes away from the witching our, and I need to do something. Which is why I am typing into this bland, silver-bordered white box and hoping that articulating my crazy, disorganised and irrational pre-menstrual (yes, this is probably very much a hormonal thing) thoughts will do me some good.

Sometimes I get these erratic, very irrational, and deeply depressing bouts of inferiority complex. I have a tendency to compare myself to other people using the most superficial and harshest of bases. It’s a really unhealthy thing to do, I know.

But when your friends are securing all these glamorous, overpaying banking jobs, when you see glimpses of people with perfectly shaped arms and hair, when it’s so late at night, and the sweltering weather is creeping into your skin, and there’s nobody around that you really want to converse with, and the people you truly want to converse with are far away, unavailable, or not speaking to you, you cannot help but sink into a sad, self-pitying state and wonder how far you have actually come in this world.

And when you answer the subsequent questions that swim in your head, you tend to use the most superficial, most socially predominant of benchmarks. Notice most of the time that is actually the same thing. Superficial and socially predominant. So you measure you life based on these socially predominant benchmarks, and then you wrongly and stupidly come to the conclusion that you have failed.

It’s always a struggle between these two, isn’t it? What you want to be, what society expects you to be. It’s so easy to get the two confused, mainly because most people don’t actually know very well what they want to be or what they really love to do, so in the end you just take the typically trodden path and convince yourself it is your personal goal. Because after all, if you have all these obligatory achievements, people look up to you. People nod their heads agreeably, and say, yes, this person has come far in life, as he or she has achieved this particular contrived version of success. And then when people do that, you are also led into thinking, yes I am successful, because society says I am.

I hate that. I hate entrenched expectations, and deep-seated prejudices against the non-conforming or the unusual, I hate how one action can be completely misconstrued as something completely different.

But that’s what society is all about, right? Structure. Assumptions. Routines. Because if there were none of these, people would have to make snap judgments all the time. There would be no right or wrong if everything was subjective. People just can’t take that much uncertainty. We need to set rules, set a clear black and white, categorise things into what is acceptable and what is not.

Sometimes when you study some course material they tell you everything is subjective. But they don’t tell you that that only applies within a boundary – and that boundary is fixed, and objective, because society has fixed that boundary there, and there’s only so much deviation people can take.

Advertisements