Think Outside the Box

Well, for those of you who do not know, I am stuck in the District until tomorrow afternoon. Things just worked out better to leave tomorrow afternoon. So I have had about two days in the District by myself to do some musing, thus I have done just that. Therefore we not share my thoughts. 

Today, I have been thinking of stereotypes and general paths you are expected to follow. I am a White, Upper Middle Class, Catholic, Male who enjoys sports, politics, fashion, music, running, design, movies, books, a great drink, good friends, and awesome conversations. What stereotype do I fit in to? Am I a republican? Should I watch sports center every morning? What about CNN? Am I gay because I like fashion? or because I like movies?

Stereotypes are so old fashioned. So worn out. They never fit anybody. I get how they can be “easier” and sure maybe identify someone as a stereotype, but it is wrong to lump them into that and not allow them to prove you differently. Something I forgot to mention I love country music and cheap beer, well then I must be a southern boy. Also, I have cowboy boots. Yup definitely a country boy right?

Well you could not be more wrong so stop trying to label me based off a list of my interests or anything else. Give everyone a chance. Guess what you will like some people who might surprise you and some will fit the stereotype exactly. 

I had a friend in college who I did Model UN with and gave him his tour. I once asked Duffy why he did not tell people he was gay. He shot back, why don’t you tell people you are straight. There was some truth to that question. It did not matter if he was gay or straight, he did not fit any stereotypes. He was Duffy and that is all that mattered. Therefore, why should he tell anyone what he was when it was a given. PS he is a republican too, I know busting the stereotype all over the place. He taught me a lot that day about not assuming anything about people or expecting everyone to act the same. 

Not that I do not abuse stereotypes, my friend Daniel, fits the exact description of a hipster on the surface-total music snob, tight jeans, and lots of plaid. Thus, I love to give him shit about being a hipster. He really is not at all, but it is fun to watch him squirm a little. Daniel loves Pittsburgh sports and can drink a good cheap beer like the rest of us. Yet, he still has some hipster tendencies. What it comes down to is that he is a great guy, but fun to tease. 

Nothing wrong with a little stereotyping, but let us try to do some more to find out about people before we lump them into some preconceived category. 

Another problem I have with people is assuming there is a given path you must follow. Once you graduate from high school, then you have four years to make it through college, then you get a job, and get married before age 30. I can tell you, that is not the path for everyone nor is it healthy to zero in and focus yourself on that path. Some people will follow that path perfectly, but plenty will stray. It truly irritates me that people assume there is a path you must follow. 

I will give you a hint, there is no path. I am off the “path” that people have said I must follow. At 18, I did not know what I wanted to do exactly for the rest of my life. Well, at 23 I think I have an idea, but I could be way off. Oh yeah, I am not ready to get married any time soon. Sure do I have people I like, I like quite a bit, yeah, but that does not mean I am ready to marry them. I hope to get married, but if I don’t then it was not meant to be. Also, if i do not do it by 30, then there is nothing wrong with that. I may have followed everything else pretty well, but I am no willing to stay on the path if it is not right for me. 

I love my family regardless of whether they have followed the designed path for them or not.  I just want people to be happy, especially those I love and if it takes 7 years to get a college degree or they do not marry until 55 or if they do not do either of those, who am I to judge? 

Let us all do a little more to ensure that we do not put people into the box. It is wrong to force someone into our idea of what the best path is. Let people make their own choices and let us not assume that we know who they are nor what they must do to be happy. 

Well, until next time, be safe and make good decisions…

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