In the past few days, my history teacher has told me two great things. The first thing is that “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen is stuck in his head.
The second thing, and the thing that this blog post is about, is the reason I love being human.
Most bald men would rather have their hair back than have money or friends. Most kids who are cyber bullied won’t tell their parents. Most gay teenagers who lose their lives lose them due to committing suicide.
From these statistics, we can infer many things. We can infer that bald men are insecure about their lack of hair and allow their insecurities to take precedent over other important things. We can infer that kids who are cyber bullied are afraid of telling their parents because they don’t want to be seen as weak or scared. We can infer that gay teenagers, because of the taunting and teasing they undergo, are depressed and miserable and hate their lives.
But truthfully, we can’t assume those things. Maybe a bald guy just doesn’t like money that much and doesn’t care for keeping friends. Perhaps the cyber bullied kids will tell their parents, even if they don’t want to be viewed as feeble and in need of protection. And it could be that gay teens will learn to love their lives and overcome all of the obstacles they have to face, irrespective of how gay individuals in the past have acted.
What I’m trying to say, and what my history teacher told my class, is that we always have a choice. As human beings, we possess the power to do the things we want to, and to do things the way we want them to be done. And that even if you do decide to do something, that that decision does not keep you chained to whatever you’ve done – you can always break free, and be whoever you want to be.
Lately, I’ve been questioning a lot of my motives and actions. Am I going to be defiant and rebel just because I’ve been raised in a strict, abusive household? Or will I grow up too dependent on others and too compliant? Is my love for independence solely the product of the way one of my parents has treated me? As a junior in high school, shouldn’t I always focus my thoughts and aspirations on college and grades? Even one of my other teachers told me that as a male, I should try to be buff, when I told him that I wanted to remain skinny. Am I in the wrong?
But I’m not regulated to any one role. Just because I’ve been abused doesn’t mean I’m going to be too malleable or too irresponsible. Just because I crave for independence doesn’t mean that I’m letting my past control my future. Just because I’m a junior in high school doesn’t mean that I have to let supposedly objective measures of success, such as the college I get into, consume every thought that I have. Just because I’m male doesn’t mean I have to fulfill the stereotypical qualities set up by society.
And if you are a junior in high school and you do think about college quite a bit, that’s fine. If you’re male and you enjoy working out and beefing up, good for you. As long as you’re not hurting anyone because of the choices that you choose, then, go ahead and choose them.
Just know that, in the end, you are more than what other people think of you and more than what you’ve done in the past. You are everything that you will do, what you will feel and think and write and love – you are indefinable. Because there is no definition that can be given to something as great, and something as powerful, as someone with a choice.
Thoughts? I’m sure many of you have made choices or have done things would be classified as contrasting with the norm, or have regretted not doing things that you wish you had done. I just felt like throwing this post out there after some paradigm-changing events in my life, as well as after listening to my history teacher and reading this post by Cassandra Clare. Now I must go do homework and study for my final exams next week… wish me luck!
6 responses to “Choice”
Thomas, you are such a brilliant person and I truly mean that. This post is just the jewel to such lost and stressed teenagers. It is so immense and so profound. You have truly captured the essence of living life! I could not have been smiling any more than I already have from reading this post. Keep it up!
Thanks Rebekah! I am honored that you have taken the time to read one my posts – you are glamorous and you are a fierce TV critic! Looking forward to tomorrow. (:
Have you seen the video of Obama singing Call me Maybe? Hilarious!
I have! It was quite funny. Apparently there is a string of videos with him singing various songs, I need to check the other ones out.
You never fail to astound me with your posts Thomas! You are right what makes us so unique is the ability to choose. Because you’ve done something in the past doesn’t mean you have to let the past dictate our future.
I think you bring an interesting point on people’s measure of success. I know for me personally it’s been hard not to look to society’s definition of success and though I do understand that there has to be measures (i.e. grades, work experience etc) I feel as though I may let it dictate my life too much. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Anyways there was so much good stuff in this post, and thanks for linking Clare’s post. I hadn’t seen it before and I think it was an insightful and well written post that needed to be written.
Yes, I do suppose society’s definition of success does serve as a guiding force at times – grades, work, and experience are all important, but as you’ve noted you can’t let those things get in the way of what you truly want out of life.
Cassandra Clare has some great posts on tumblr! There’s another one about whitewashing in Hollywood (it’s about Magnus) that is fantastic. She is such an inspirational person.
Thank you for reading and commenting!