We are all bound by conventions - of one type or another. Our biases and our way of getting things done, manifest in multiple ways every single day, every single moment of our lives.
My problem with conventions - they were created as a mode of self preservation for someone from another time. Or they were products of a mass hysteria where a majority of the population realized, they could not do something a small minority did and decided to call it an anamoly. Or worse still, they were carefully squeezed into the system by a very smart minority that wanted the majority to remain dumb. The closet feminist in me screams that a lot of them were put in place by men to control women.
Now, I don't like listening to something that judgmental because the convention I choose to believe in, is equality.
Half the times, we cannot recognize that what we do is actually because it is conventional. An image of how things ought to be rather than how we want them to be. Social, personal, professional, familial conventions arise like invisible bars and imprison us from acting on our emotions. The emotions themselves are so carefully doctored in the first place.
Most of the conventions that I recognize, bring out the beast in me. Conventions about women being natural nurturers, conventions around how much of ambition is a good thing, conventions around who you ought to fall in love with and even when, who you ought to live with, even how you should interact with people.
When I was much younger, fresh out of school, my exposure to the world in general was limited. I have to admit, I was a pretty naive and traditional, despite my conviction that I was different. Spending time in a beautiful place that became my home for four years, changed my attitude and made me appreciate and embrace myself - the process of discovery was painful as I first had to get rid of a lot of my preconceived notions.
One of those - how you interact with men and who you befriend. People who have bad habits are bad. The problem was the person, not the habit (I still dont like smoking or drinking - think it exhibits a weakness, that will become a separate post by itself) .
The first guy friend I made, who I could confide anything in and not feel awkward about, made me realize that once you remove flirting from the picture, you can actually be friends with a guy. There are men out there, who are man enough (for lack of a better phrase) to know how to behave. Thanks to him and a few others I met, it is now very difficult to unsettle me with supposedly weird or inappropriate comments. After all, things are as appropriate as you want them to be. Who I am is much more than who someone sees me as.
Right now, I am looking to do something unconventional. I dont want to talk about it for fear of jinxing it. As I evaluate it, the one thing that I realize is, while conventions anger me, they provide a much needed solace to a few I have come to care about. So in my breaking free, I might cause some pain. Is the freedom worth the price of the pain? Am I being considerate? Or am I escaping from one set of chains to only be bound by a new set of chains, one far more painful as I can actually feel them every single minute of the day?