Conformity4 min read

It’s amazing how much pressure there is to conform. I’m in an odd situation right now where I am between jobs by choice. I am also not pushing too hard into my next endeavor. I have no reason to. In every conversation I have with someone, I feel a societal pressure to not state I am just taking time off. I feel that pressure to not say that I may end up becoming a writer. I may end up becoming a politician. I may end up becoming an activist.

I generally just say I am working towards a business. That’s the primary plan and one that may coincide with any other plan. It’s not what I want to talk about, but it is a safe topic. Anything else would reveal too much on any follow up questions and may make those I am talking to uncomfortable.

If asked what I would write as a writer, I would say I want to blog, write books on politics, and write books in the horror or suspense genre. Although an interesting conversation, I think it would put off around 70% of the people I would have it with.

This conforming extends to almost every aspect of my life. I appreciate the friends where I can be some version of myself without being concerned with their feelings. I appreciate my wife for being that with every version of who I am. I appreciate my daughter for growing up to be a tolerant, strong 9 year old. My brother is also a similarly safe person for me.

Outside of my small circle, I always feel like I should do everything I can to inclusive. I don’t want to be excluded or made to feel something negative, so I won’t do that to others.

I’ve entered a challenging time right now for myself. One where I wake up and have a general sense of being upset. It’s something new for me, and I know it is because the election of Donald Trump repudiates my entire belief structure and who I am as a person. If Donald Trump is the desired norm, what am I?

I am someone who believes in the potential for humanity to achieve a Utopian society. I want to see everyone live as one collective that supports each other. I believe that we’ll eventually reach a point where we no longer feel financial greed and envy as we will have the ability to produce an almost infinite amount of goods. I believe that is the future of humanity. I don’t know if I will see anything close to that in my lifetime, but everything I want to do today should get us closer to that reality.

A hope for a better world drives who I am. The threat of a worse world terrifies me.

I hold these beliefs deeply. Even though I hold those beliefs so deeply, I can still talk to someone for hours on end without revealing that.

I wonder what it is like to be someone who has had your very person rejected by the actions or statements of government.

What is it like to be a woman when Donald Trump is president?

What is it like to be a black or Mexican person in American society?

What is it like to be a Muslim in the world with ISIS defining what so many people view you as?

What is it like being trans-gendered when you can’t use a restroom without carrying your birth certificate with you? Will those who you show it to still judge you and call you a pervert if they are feeling particularly brazen?

I can hide who I am. I am told I must do this. I have been yelled at by family to do so. I have been yelled at by coworkers to do so. I have been yelled at by friends to do so. I have been yelled at by people I don’t even know to do so.

How can I do so any longer? I need to be brave. I need to be annoying for some. I need to be myself.

Make the choice to be yourself. There are many who don’t have that choice. Those people with no choice feel the same pressure you do. They just don’t have the option of waking up and conforming that day.

Accept those around you. Support those around you. Try to understand why they are the way they are. If they were born that way, that shouldn’t be that fucking hard to understand why they haven’t changed.

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