Untraining Societal Norms

Growing up, I always had the idea that I would go to college, get a job, get married, and have kids all before the age of 30. BOY WAS I WRONG! I don’t think that I had an idealized vision of life, I just think that I used the information I observed from people around me and built my expectations off of other’s experiences. I don’t want to blame society for everything, but there is some truth in the fact that people my age are battling between being notable, independent individuals, and assimilating to the norms of society. 

I now live in a different society where getting married, let alone having a stable job at 25 is NOT the norm. In Spain, people tend to settle and get married much later. Having a Spanish partner has caused me to really slow down and examine my thought processes. 

All too often I find myself looking at other people’s lives and comparing mine to theirs. Close friends from high school and college are getting married and having kids already. Almost every week I get a new notification that someone reached a new milestone in their life. While I couldn’t be happier for my friends, I inevitably compare my “success” to theirs.

It’s funny, because I have always prided myself on being a free spirit and independent thinker, but I still feel the slightest twinge of disappointment when I realize that my childhood vision of success hasn’t been carried out. 

The definition of success that I built for myself as a little girl is no longer valid. 

I am in the process of untraining my expectations. Success for me is actively pursuing that which brings me joy. I am learning to not compare myself with other people’s milestones. The fact of the matter is: I am happy. I am content. I am fulfilled. I am stable. I am healthy. I am good. 

That’s it. That’s the post. I feel like I had to get these thoughts out to the world, just in case they can help somebody.

Thank you, as always, for reading and interacting with the Spain in Color Blog. Follow me on Instagram @spainincolor so I can get to know you more!

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