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I have been thinking a lot about the direction I would like to take this blog lately. Something that keeps coming up not only in my life, but also in the lives of the people around me is the idea of perceptions.
We as humans (but especially women) are expected in our society to act a certain way, or to follow a certain path. I am very much not following the “path” expected of me, and I love that about myself…now.
However, I constantly feel as if I’m either defending myself, my choices, or sticking up for friends who are also not following the “correct” path.
What is “perception”?
According to the Cambridge dictionary, perception is a noun, and is defined as follows: a thought, belief, or opinion, often held by many people and based on appearances.
What bothers me so much about this concept is how much we allow external factors to dictate and/or affect our lives on a given basis. For example, I’m currently 35, a grown ass woman, and definitely a recovering people pleaser.
That said, l feel like with every passing day l care less and less about what I’m “supposed” to do. I find myself caring more about what makes me happy and actually makes sense for my life. If I upset people along the way? So be it.
I have enough trouble keeping myself under control on a daily basis what with anxiety, mental load, household things, work, remembering our entire household calendar (again, mental load), keeping track of the animals, what has to be ordered, what we’re low on…the list goes on.
A very smart cookie (aka THE Windy Lawson, check her out here) said recently “if they ain’t paying your bills, they don’t matter”. This is very loosely paraphrased, obviously. This was a MAJOR lightbulb moment for me! This idea, along with the general way I’ve been feeling in general lately led me to dream up this post.
A New Hope…I mean Direction
(I let my geek flag fly in that heading #StarWars.)
Anyway, what I was trying to say (before rudely interrupting myself with a Star Wars pun) is that going forward I’d like to write about perceptions. I make choices on a daily basis that many people don’t agree with. I have short hair, tattoos, and own a pitbull. I’m in a long term committed relationship and living with someone, but not legally married. And I’m sure the list goes on. See related posts here, or here. Or any of my other posts in this category.
Pertinent side note: I like to say that I have an anthropologist in the back of my head. You see, I have a bachelors degree in anthropology. I never did anything to pursue it after college because I didn’t want to go into grad school debt without a clear path. So, the anthropologist in my head has been quietly observing society’s perceptions of women especially, and she’s pissed. It’s hard enough to be a decent human without society putting unnecessary and burdensome expectations on a person. And if you dare be a woman or other human who doesn’t follow what you’re “supposed” to do? Blasphemy.
I want to explore the perceptions I observe in our society, and explain my objections to them. As a result, my experiences and the experiences of my friends will be coming up more in here.