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Societal Roles

Once upon a time, many years ago, life felt unburdened by expectations. I was in my early teens, carefree, and just thinking short term. Wasting time playing computer games didn’t seem to matter. Sure, I had exams to pass and part-time jobs to attend, but the long term strategy wasn’t yet there.

But as you get older, there are certain expectations or societal norms that begin to weigh. The most obvious pattern of which is to:

  • Get a job
  • Buy a place
  • Marry someone
  • Have kids

I’m not sure what’s expected after that. Possibly retire, holiday and look after your grandchildren?

A younger me didn’t feel the need to conform. All that was on my mind was chasing girls and earning money. Now increasingly the modus operandi to attract women is to own (or at least rent) a house or apartment. This wasn’t expected in your teens (for obvious reasons) but as you get older it appears to become a requirement. Rightfully so really. The majority of women are biologically programmed to want children, and even from early on they are focused on creating an environment for themselves that makes this possible.

This can pose an issue for someone who wants to travel. Traveling by its nature is not conducive to owning and building property and possessions. Even though it’s now easier than ever to travel and work at the same time. Just this morning I was listening to a podcast between Tim Ferriss and WIRED co-founder Kevin Kelly. I found it particularly interesting because Kevin wasn’t crazy successful from his early teens, unlike a lot of my idols. Instead he spent a lot of his early years travelling. In fact he apparently didn’t get his first ‘real job’ until his mid-30’s. His rationale being that your early years should be used for exploration – something I can get on board with!

But yes, as time (and ageing) wear on… the pressure of societal roles is likely to mount.

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