My, my, my, how times have changed!
Once upon a time it seemed as though there was a traditional route to life, a 'standard' to follow: you know, you studied (or partied!) your butt off through school and possibly university or college, embarked on the mission of finding a career, married, and before long, produced children - ta-dah! LIFE!
And then along trotted a myriad of other options (thank heavens!), and all of a sudden the ''rules'' of life as we knew it appeared to be broken - or at least, changing. And much like the belief that the most delicious accompaniment to crumpets is strawberry jam (no! Peanut butter is equally as enticing!), some of these so-called ''rules'' are truly EXCELLENT to have evolved from or modified. Here's four of them!
What?! It does? No, it doesn't! Now, obviously there's nothing wrong with wanting to obtain a university degree. (Gosh, no!) And yes, in some professions, it IS a necessity. (For example, arriving at a hospital equipped with a thermometer and a ''guys, I'm ready to start wooorking here!'' sing-song attitude is unlikely to earn you a job interview!) But for the love of pencils, if your passion is weaving silk dresses for dolls made out of erasers or painting portraits of extraction fans, can three years of additional study really help you to hone that talent? Is possessing one the be all and end all to success? University ISN'T a one-size-fits-all system, and while there's certainly nothing wrong with being a part of that system, there's no shame in not giving a flying textbook about it, either! You don't have to launch yourself head first into a degree just because it seems like the 'done' thing. There are many different paths to success - why not spend three years befriending donkeys in Peru, sauntering around the Greek Islands, or waitressing in Italy while working on a side project that you love until you've established one of your own?
What a dangerous notion to preach to anyone! There's tantalizing cocktails to be created in bars! Gardens to be pruned! Jingles to be produced for commericals! If you thrive on a 9-5 corporate lifestyle, BRILLIANT, but if thumping out statistics in front of a computer seems like the furtherest idea of 'natural' to you, don't subscribe to the theory that it has to be!
You could choose to be single for the rest of your life! Date three people at once! Fall in love with a cactus! (O-u-c-h!) Only date men with moustaches! Only date women with moustaches! It's really quite exciting.
Sure, like anything, there are benefits to owning a property - if that's what you're interested in - but is buying a home honestly going to catapult your happiness levels more than renting a series of glorious apartments in the middle of an exquisite city would? Do you want to invest all of your spare time and coin in renovating a three bedroom home, or is waking up in a new location in a caravan each day that much more appealing to you? What works for one person doesn't necessarily have to work for you!
Drinking coffee in the evening instead of the early hours of the morning? Bucking the Glee trend?! What are some of your favourite ''rules'' to break?
P.S. Did you know that you can become a fan of pot plants on Facebook? You totally can! But you can also become a fan of Frock & Roll on there, too, and obviously one of these is the superior choice. (*cough* It's the pot plants *cough*)
by the by -
the last picture is of one of the five adorable Italian villages on the northwest coast called "Cinque Terre"
[so Angie, it would make an awesome painting!]
They're little isolated fishing villages that are now part of a national park and you can visit each town by a hiking trail if you so choose.
I got to travel through Cinque Terre this spring on a backpacking trip...through a University study-abroad program. (paid for by scholarships) So it's definitely possible to marry the free-spirited ideals of new opportunity and live outside the norm, while adhering to a few expectations of the conventional "rules."
Thanks for challenging the white picket fence expectations, and I wish you the best!
where is that last picture from? cause i seriously need to live there!
love the advice!
Wow-WEE. Thank-you all so much for your comments, interesting thoughts and general loveliness, everyone!
Nicola (Pointy Pix) - I WISH they were my photographs, but they were actually sourced from We Heart It (www.weheartit.com) - and since so many people had uploaded them numerous times, it makes it enormously difficult (scratch that: impossible!) to find the original person to credit it to. (If anyone knows who the images belong to, please let me know and I will credit them!)
Rose - Completely! 100%! I couldn't agree with you more - the intention of this piece was to remind people of exactly that, and when I mentioned that these were excellent rules to break, perhaps I should have clarified that that's IF you want to break them! ;D I don't have an issue with 9-5 office jobs - I work in an office three days a week, and I love it there! - but some people DO, yet are made to feel like it's their only option, which I think kind of - well, MASSIVELY - sucks. I also live in the middle of Sydney (I'm on the Northern Beaches!), and view marriage and children as wonderful things that I will eventually want - I definitely didn't mean to sound like I was opposed to any of these things! What I love is CHOICES, and I like to remind people that we a) have them; and b) that it's OKAY to have them! :) Thanks for giving me the nudge I needed to clarify this.
I agree that people need to take control of their own lives and do what they enjoy. We shouldn't feel the pressure of society to follow a 'normal' life path.
I am only 18, so I am still deciding what I want to do with my life. I cannot see myself in a 9-5 office job long term (I am starting to get stir crazy if my current job, which is a short term office job, and I've only been here 2 months!)
And in the area I live, buying a property is more of a dream than a reality (I live in the middle of Sydney), so renting is actually the normal thing to do anyway.
But I also think that you can't completely dismiss these paths of life or the people who choose them. My mother (an incredibly intelligent, passionate woman) has been working in a 9-5 office job for the last 10 years and it suits her. She says that having that structure with a job that is confined to those times gives her the freedom outside of those hours to do what she loves and relax. She doesn't want a lifestyle job, she just wants something that she can get some sense of fulfillment out of and that doesn't take over her life.
Also, although I have had to put uni off due to illness, I do really want to attend and I have a plan to do so. We shouldn't see having a degree as an accomplishment in itself, but the process of learning and the lifestyle of university is something that I personally think I will love. My father has had one year since he left school where he hasn't been studying something, because he loves to learn and university (even distance) suits him.
I also love the idea, personally, of getting married and being devoted to one person for my life. I want to have lots of kids (not 2.5, more like 8-12!) because, again, that is the kind of person I am. I don't care if I don't get a career, I want a family and to be at home to raise them.
So, although I love this article because it makes us think and expand our ideas about what we want out of life, just because something is a 'rule' doesn't mean we should dismiss it out of hand. Living is about finding who you are and being true to that.
A lot of those "you need to ___" are pushed on us because they benefit someone else. I thought I needed to go to college and get a desk job that I didn't actually want if I ever wanted to be comfortable or successful, because colleges want your money. People forget that colleges are BUSINESSES and they do some pretty good marketing to convince us that we need them.
I always kinda wondered why they threw in the .5 with the 2 kids. I'd rather have 3 whole kids that a half one.
Another great article. I haven't always adhered to the rules, didn't go to Uni, didn't work 9-5 initially, but life has a funny way of throwing the odd curveball and for the last however many years I've found myself losing the will to live in one office job after another. However, despite not being the youngest chick on the farm anymore, I believe it is never too late to be what you might have been - I'm an artist at heart and with some determination on my part maybe my art will take off and I can leave the office behind!
I'm with you on the married with 2.5 kids - I am getting married in November (for the 2nd time - shit happens!) but have never felt the need to add to an already over populated world by having sproglets of my own - if more people actually thought about it maybe there'd be less unwanted kids in the world.
Btw - are those your photos as I really really want to paint the one of all the gorgeous little houses on top of the cliff - but want to check the whole copyright thing first!!
loved this! i actually drank coffee at 8 PM yesterday so... rules? hahaha! ;)
great post! the most important to me is the one with the 9 to 5 job. i keep telling people there are ways to avoid that lifestyle if you want, but most of them won't listen. anyways, i am going to hustle so i don't have to do the 9-5 thing. freelance, baby!
Hey hey! I think you might have missed (spammed? lost?) my comment on your post about being happy with what you have... and I can't find your archives to check.
Anyway, you can use that as a blog layout tip.
Now on to this post...
#1: Please and thank God! My bipolar stopped me from getting a degree, and I can't do much in this world. But I made money blogging before the recession and I shall again. I love it. I wish I could find something for me in another field, but in many I like, degrees are required. NOT to trump on your idea, you're not wrong. I learned that back in older days of tech, degrees weren't so required and I'm sooo jealous. My beau's father had a good tech-related (not sure on details) job without a degree. Now there are those fields that require 'em even if they don't need 'em (I know more grammar than grads, please!) but there are new fields evolving, kind of like in those days. Whew!
#2 thank heavens again! Totally.
#3 Breaking it. :-)
I think people who blindly have kids are potentially dangerous parents and unhappy individuals.
#4 My BF and I agree. We will probably buy a house someday for our own reasons; 1 being that we want a garage partially so he can build furniture and stuff. Apartments are limiting, but we don't think they're financially bad. However I dream of renovating, haha. We just won't "do it for the money." Bah.
You're always hilarious, btw! I've finally linked to you. (It takes me a few visits to add them.) You FROCK!
... But you make me hyper. :-\ LOL
I feel like I'm breaking the rules in my family by going to university -- no-one else in my family did so doing so was a big deal for me. I am breaking the rules by choosing to live on my own though -- I've always preferred to be alone and a partner let alone marriage has never appealed to me.
Well, I'm basically following those rules at the moment, because I want to. Degree in mechanical engineering... hopefully will be leading to some hands-on work so that I won't be stuck in a cubicle all day.
I do like breaking the traditional values that all those super religious folks preach, though with limits. Because I find that many of them aren't amiable people and are hypocritical, and I have a better and happier life than they do.
i have 3 uni degrees...i was unemployed for almost a year. uni is not a necessity.
i'm also unmarried & no kids and LOVING IT.
Oh my gosh, the idea of a 9-5 cubicle job terrifies me more than almost anything else! DEFINITELY not something I want out of my life.
Great post, and I totally agree with all of these! Although I am in college, but I'm just a dork who thinks school is fun! hehe.
I love this! I am going to stick some of these on my wall as a reminder (they do slip my mind somedays) Thankyou so much for the lovely comment on my blog, you are too kind. I am feeling a little better today :)
Agreed, agreed, agreed. I hate the expectation that there should be rules and that society makes anyone feel like crap for going against them.
I am SO glad I read this...recently I've been suffering from "no interest in university" guilt, and feeling like there's something wrong with me. So many years of studying something I'm not even passionate about just holds no appeal to me right now, and I'm sick of being made to feel ungrateful because of it.
Unfortunately, I'm not much of a rule-breaker, so I probably can't contribute much to the list. Except food-related rules. No carbs after 7pm? Screw that! Bring on the pasta! ;)
Thanks for your lovely comment, glad you're having such a good month.
And if you live an unconventional life, you can't measure your success by conventional milemarkers.
Happiness is the only goal one should strive for, really.
all so very true. sometimes, i do need to be reminded though. thank you.
Couldn't agree with you more! There are no hard fast rules to life, except to do what makes you happy and live on your own terms. Great post!
SO agree with absolutely everything! Love this post. x
I never watch TV programmes that are "in fashion" - I have never seen Glee, Desperate Housewives etc etc... I only caught on to SATC when it was nearly over! I like how I don't live my life by TV programmes :) Love the pics on your blog btw :) x
thanks for the lovely comment hun!
the pictures are stunning
My dear, you need to check out Frank Turner's song 'photosynthesis' - it's exactly about all the things in this post! How his friends all seem to live by the old standards and want him to follow through with it and his response ;)
"I won't sit down and I won't shut up and most of all, I will not grow up!" :)
What an adorable post - with beautiful pictures!
Great post! And ooh I love the photos you used. Beautiful.
I'd love to have my own property once I can afford it, although that's a personal thing. It's silly of people to try and enforce their beliefs on others. As you said: what works for one person wouldn't necessarily work for another.
I don't know about what rules I like to break...
But I know I do NOT want children...
And I constantly have to justify myself on why I am so against nature... o_O
I definitely break the rules in that one of my main life goals is to spend large amounts of time backpacking and just living. Also, despite being what people sometimes consider a "model student" I'm planning on taking at least a year off when I finish high school because I have no idea what I want to do, so I'm just going to work and think and create and figure it all out.
Other than that, the main way I'm different is that my goal is not to die rich, but to die knowing that I accomplished and created and brought good to the world instead of feeding into the system unthinkingly.
I like to eat dinner for lunch. Or breakfast. I like to eat lunch for dinner occasionally too...
On a more serious note, lately my life has pushed me into making decisions that break so many of society's rules/expectations. It's tough and feels like uncharted territory but it's exciting and liberating too!
I'm all for having real state in many places and being able to have somewhere to arrive at when you travel.
The thought of working 9-5 in a cubicle terrifies me and while I might have to do it just for the cash, I certainly don't want to do it forever.
As for uni, I think that if you're convinced and passionate for what you want to study then it's a yes. Otherwise, it's better to take some time off and find what you really love instead of wasting your energy and money in something you might actually end up hating.
Raquel - The odd thing is that so many people DON'T get that! But I suppose that they're just working off their own belief system, and what THEY'VE been taught.
Kathryn - Me too! It's scary and sad to see/know so many people who launch from degree to degree, simply because they have no idea what they want to do but are convinced that as long as they're at university, they're doing the 'right' thing. It's expensive and sheesh, if you're going to throw so much money towards something that you're not even sure that you're interested in, why not invest that money into travelling and at least creating amazing memories?! And I am DEFINITELY with you on the TV thing, I almost never watch it!
I'm totally against uni degrees that don't serve a purpose. Back in the days of free education, I could see why ppl would spend 3 years doing a degree just for the sake of it but nowadays if you are looking at $40,000 + lost earnings for 3 or more years it's really bad financial sense just to go to uni because you don't know what else to do with your life.
I'm a big fan of taking a few years off first anyway. Few people really know what they want to do when they finish school so why invest a couple of years doing something you are going to ditch down the track -- get some life experience instead and see what really makes you happy.
One of the life rules I break is by not watching tv. People think I'm strange but I can't stand most of the shows that are on and the good ones - I'd rather watch on dvd when I decide when I want to watch them rather than time tabling my life around a tv guide.
Recently had a discussion with my mother about how I'm never going to buy a house/settle down/have a 'real job' and so on. She's thinking of transferring the deed to one of her houses into my name for some sort of tax reason.
Me: "But I don't want a house"
Her: "Why on earth not?"
Me; "Why WOULD I want one?"
Her: "The rent makes good money!!!!"
Me: ".....but I don't want money???"
I don't think she quite understands. Luckily she's all good with the never settle down/get a real job notion.