Expectations vs. Reality: Why It’s OK To Break The Rules

For as long as we can remember, something was always expected of us and if we’re being honest, none of it ever matched who we truly are. The older we get, the more we see it, especially while we try to forge our own paths. For most of us, expectations never match up with reality and that can often lead to low self-esteem and the never ending questioning we put ourselves through day in and day out if we’re doing this whole life thing right. Then suddenly, it hits you: there is no one set path to take. It’s time to break the so-called rules and live your life on your own terms!

As a writer, I hear it all the time. I’m constantly judging myself based off of the judgement of others. Am I following the status-quo? Am I doing the writers before me an injustice by creating my own path? Maybe the naysayers are right? While the answers to most of these questions tend to vary depending on the day and mood, one thing is always certain: I have no one to please but myself. If that makes others uncomfortable, then so be it. I’m not going to sacrifice my happiness just to make others feel comfortable in their little bubbles.

I try to incorporate excitement and personal anecdotes in my writing when applicable. I feel it gives my pieces life as opposed to keeping everything serious all the time. Let’s be honest: that’s boring and there’s enough of that going around. This, however, seems to upset people who follow the rules with little to no legroom or imagination to enjoy what they are writing about. I’m not aware of any handbook but if I was, I’d avoid it like the plague. Breaking the rules gives me a rush. How are we supposed to enjoy what we do if we follow a play-by-play of everyone who came before us? Just look at everyone you admire today. Are they doing something different from their predecessors? You bet they are and they aren’t sorry about it!

Breaking the rules sounds dangerous. What if you’re judged for it? The truth is, people will always judge others no matter what they do. Later on, you’ll find that those same people who ridiculed you are jumping on your bandwagon. Going against the current won’t hinder you; in fact, it will push you further into who you are meant to be. So go ahead. You know you want to.