#goals…our society gazes in awe and eagerness at the ideals and molds it places on us. Constantly, our mind is fed with opinions (not truth) on what is the right ____ or what fits the mold.
There’s a right way to post on Insta, a right way to wear Chaco’s, a right way to talk, do college, and a right way to have a family just to name a few examples.
Recently, my eyes and heart have been opened to this:
Often, a certain “mold” of this so-called “right” ideal is created. Sometimes, it is by celebrity influence and other times it is super random (see also Regina George from Mean Girls… “I saw Regina George wearing army pants and flip flops so I wore army pants and flip flops”).
No matter the cause, the “right” soon becomes blazingly evident (you start to see army pants and flip flops everywhere and then Nordstrom starts selling the “original” for $200—okay, fictional, but you get the idea), which, in domino effect, causes those in the “wrong” to cower in shame and uncertainity (wait, army pants and flip flops are a thing…I did not get that memo…I’m still wearing the last Regina George trend: 2 holes in my shirt).
Let me paint a picture with an example from my life and hopefully this will help explain this concept better.
When I was heading off to college, I heard the phrase “College is the best four years of your life!” many times from well-meaning individuals. Furthermore, I saw the “right”/”mold” college experience through the lens of Snapchat, Insta etc. (truth? No.) and heard the “right” college experience first-hand from current freshmen—proclaiming the famed life of “up-until-2am-with-a-bunch-of-people-every-night-super-happy-loving-life-and-never-alone” and “loving-my-school-always-and-never-second-guessing-my-decision”…the movies and TV reinforced this expectation of the
“right”/”mold” I was about to experience (apparently) until I soon realized the “right” is a façade.
I have been talking with girls entering their freshmen year and have told them how nobody instagrams themselves in their dorm room alone, but I don’t know a person who has not experienced that. But, you see, we don’t proclaim those kinds of college (common) experiences, so when we naturally experience them, we feel we are the only one and we are in the wrong. But we are not alone and we are absolutely not in the wrong.
For me, I have not fit the “right” mold in my college experience. I have not stayed at the same school and I will most likely not graduate in four years. I committed to a school my senior year of high school, changed my mind 2 weeks before move-in day that summer and proceeded to move across the country to California to start my freshman year, 1 ½ years later I came home and was not medically cleared to return to school mid fall semester so I stayed home while I recovered and finished school from afar, many months later I chose to apply to a school that had not been on my radar before which I will attend this fall (I am super pumped about it though!)…now that is not portrayed in the movies I’ve seen haha!
Disclaimer: I am not discounting or degrading those who feel college is the best four years and have loved their school and will graduate in four years. That rocks too!
It is easy to feel uncertain and ashamed of an experience that does not fit the mold. For you, maybe it is something different…you’re adopted and feel your upbringing is so different that you feel ashamed of it. For others, maybe you are struggling to become pregnant and nothing seems to be working. Maybe your kids are fifteen years apart and you can so clearly feel the uncomfortability of “breaking the mold”. Maybe you were injured as a child and look different (and yet beautiful) than others in that “right” mold.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret…
breaking the mold is beautiful!
Wouldn’t it be so boring if we were all the same?