It is a truth universally acknowledged that listicles can diagnose, treat, and prevent the problems of the world.
As such, I wanted to contribute to this mounting body of wisdom and warn you all about the dangers of independence, cultivating your own priorities, and taking strategic risks.
It’s a scary world out there, folks, and we need to cultivate compassion for the nervous systems of others.
[Also, I’m sorry that this post is a day late. I’m going to try to get my fantasy-oriented post up tomorrow, but my day job has been nuts lately. I usually work on blog posts on my lunch break of my writing job, but that hasn’t been the case this week. Anyway, onto the list.]
The Seven Tell-Tale Signs That You’re Too Independent:
1 – You’re happy with less stuff and make awesome memories.
And it makes people uncomfortable to see you happy with less. You’re messing with the established status quo.
Furthermore, your joy in taking strategic, bold risks that pay off in life (be they in relationships, friendships, or your adventure sport of choice) is not actually joy. It’s fool-hardiness. Your excitement is misguided.
If you’ve struggled with mental health and find joy in your current way of life, it’s probably because you’re still weird, if not a bit crazy: not bold, kind, or adventurous.
If you still struggle with sadness or anxiety on occasion, well, it’s because you’re prioritising the wrong things (not because of the state of the world, the environment, politics, or, like, hormones).
If you’re happy, joyful, or sad, it’s because you’re doing it wrong.
Speaking of wisdom…
2 – People say your priorities need to change, but seem unhappy even as they offer you such sage advice.
Just accept that wise people are unhappy, okay? It’s because they know better. Wisdom makes you grumpy and the Bible says so (Proverbs 2:10). The reason that you place new clothing, new vehicles, or new technology below adventures, honing skills, trying to find a satisfying long-term career path, and spending time with friends and loved ones is because, well, you’re immature.
Hate to break it to you, but you need to grow up. Clearly.
3 – You place progressing in your particular skill-sets and building meaningful relationships over immediate rewards, “looking good on paper,” or short-term gratification.
Your willingness to “be poor” but still get by as you progress in your creative skill-sets, intellectual pursuits, or athletic endeavours is a problem. While it might lead to creative breakthroughs, legitimate contributions, or just simple happiness, it’s not leading to immediate wealth or ideological conformity, and it’s probably making some people around you feel uncomfortable.
You acknowledge and try to work on your flaws, but you’re also critical about the flaws in our social system, and you have your sites set on achieving meaningful change.
You continuously think about the impact you want to have on the world, what you want to create, and the kind of family you want to build someday. You’re willing to make sacrifices in the short-term to increase your odds of attaining your definition of success in the long-term, even if it means you look less successful for years.
For one thing, it probably leads to sleep deprivation, over-caffeination, and missing too many Netflix shows, clothing sales, or other cultural events.
4 – You’re frequently told that you spend too much time or money on the things that you love and with which you hope to make an impact on the world.
You pour yourself into what you love and into what you feel will help you be happy, bond with others, and make a positive impact, no matter how small. You’re also willing to do things that take time to get used to, stress you out, or make you feel uncomfortable in order to do what you feel you need to do.
You may also be told you don’t spend enough money on other things. In other words, your strategic resource allocation in the face of Not Being Super Rich is making other people feel mildly uncomfortable.
You may think that everyone has their individual spending habits, decides what’s valuable to them, and tries to work with efficiency to achieve their goals. You may think that you acknowledge your shortcomings (don’t spend too much money on wine or books) and try to work on them, like everyone else, and it’s fine.
You’re actually wrong. You spend too much time working on creative pursuits, too much energy on your relationships, or too much money on progressing in meaningful athletic pursuits.
Change. Sell your soul and learn how to prioritise.
5 – People tell you or imply that you need to grow up.
Your childlike joy in small victories, deep disappointment in the face of setbacks, sadness at the state of current politics, or effervescent confidence when you learn something new is just immature.
Genuine emotional reactions are not, in fact, natural responses that take time to understand, learn to deal with, and harness in order to produce thoughtful, creative, or just plain logical responses to the problems of the world: they’re just annoying emotions. You need to calm down.
6 – You get outside too much.
Your tan lines are weird and you need to slow down. Rest. Spend more time at the bar like a normal person.
Also, you’re too happy.
7 – You’re persistent and won’t give up.
While you may get discouraged or cry when you face failure or setback, you don’t get the message and quit. You know what you want and try to pursue your goals, even when you doubt.
Far from being reasonable and understanding that this just means you have to fit into the status quo, you take the setbacks as a learning curve, understand that failure is teaching you something, and catalogue the defeats as data for future use.
You even have the presumption to suspect that closed doors are God’s or the Universe’s or just plain life’s way of trying to get you to find the door you’re meant to go through.
In other words, you’re weird.
These are all clear signs that you need to stop and change what you’re doing immediately.
Alter your priorities and adjust your metrics of happiness and internal value.
Threaten ye not the establishment.
Conform to the status quo lest you transgress against or traverse accepted limitations: halt, for here be monsters.
But for real?
You do you. I believe in you. Send iiiit.