Obsessed with Stereotypes

My entry for the 'Keeping it Real' competition.

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1. Obsessed with Sterotypes

Stereotyping is the way of the world these days. One cannot pass a street without being judged. Wear a short skirt or a really tight top and be prepared to marked as a slut; or wear a half sari or a burka and be classed as a very traditional and probably even as a submissive girl. If you have not started on the road mapped for your career by the age of 15 then you are not serious about your future. If you read too much you are a nerd; if you don’t read you are dimwit. If you are not married before the age of 25, then something is got to be wrong with you. If you are obsessed with the colour pink, then you are feminine, else you are a tomboy.

The society at large is yet to understand that one doesn't need to achieve great things before a certain age or belong to a certain gender to have self worth. You don’t need to have jobs that the world considers respectable to enjoy the work you do. It’s okay to work at a job you enjoy, that doesn't make you miserable, even if it’s a career that most women would not dare to choose.

You have intrinsic value above and beyond your perceived utility to other people. You don’t have to tolerate anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or unpleasant. You certainly don’t have to keep anyone’s love or good opinion of you. You don’t need to be in a relationship. You need you. Your time is your own and it is finite. So be crazy to your hearts fill. No need to keep up false dignity and stand on ceremony.

Your life may not be picture perfect or as thrilling as a mystery novel. It may not be leading to anything, there may not be many overarching thesis. This is okay. Not everybody is a wizard or a secret agent. It does not mean that your life is without purpose or meaning.

Remember that there will be bad times, maybe lots of bad times, but not only bad times. Love will not heal the wounds in your soul, but it can give you the strength to begin the work of healing yourself; and this love may not be the affections of a lover. It could be family, friends, maybe even a complete stranger. 

Life might be a long series of starting over, but that’s alright. You are still alive.

You’re really cool, you’re really beautiful and you’re really special. Really. Not to everyone, but to a lot people at different times and I’m really looking forward to the day the current generation become grandparents. Can’t think of cool-er old people than us.

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