If there’s one thing I hate, it’s been judged for my “lifestyle.” Or, rather, for my lack of lifestyle, as seen through the eyes of some others. I don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, don’t go out clubbing, and rarely drink, and because of that–as well as the fact that I’m a hard worker and dedicated to school–many people assume I have absolutely no fun, no life, and could not possibly be happy.
I don’t understand the people who think the only way you can have fun is if you’re drunk. Sorry, but that’s just not the case for me. I have much more fun when I’m sober than I do when I’m drunk, but that could be because I absolutely detest the bitter taste of most alcohol. My close friends and I prefer hanging out, chatting, going out to lunch/movies/bowling/museums, etc to going clubbing.
What spurred this rant was an emailed conversation between myself and one of my coworkers, J. J was “concerned” because she felt I was missing out on life since I’m “always at work or school and never do anything else or hangout anywhere else.” Then she started listing famous places in New York that I’ll “regret not going to since I’ll have lived in New York City for years and not experienced anything.” Sorry J, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
Yes, I spend a lot of time at school and work, but I have Friday evenings and the weekend to do whatever I want. I go to museums, parks, touristy-spots, basically anywhere of interest in the City, including the outer boroughs and even Jersey. I google search every weekend to find something I haven’t done that I want to, and it’s getting incredibly hard to find anything. I do have some casual acquaintances/friends outside of my coworkers who I hang out with when our schedules mesh, and just because I don’t tell her about every single thing I do doesn’t mean I do nothing. She kept on lecturing me in her “mothering voice” about how I should be out “experiencing life and going through a wild child phase, or else I’ll regret it,” and it really pissed me off. And then she continued by asserting that I was alienating myself by never socializing, and would be very sorry in the end because I would forget how.
As far as a “wild child” phase, that just doesn’t appeal to me. There were several weeks in college when my first roommate and I would go out clubbing or go to frat parties or floor parties, and I hated most of it, so why would I want to try it again? And alienation? Just because I prefer a group of 8-10 close friends to countless acquaintances doesn’t mean I’m alienated. And how could I forget how to socialize when I do it with her 40 hours a week, and am constantly facebooking, emailing, texting, or skyping with my friends from back home, as well as going out with friends from up here? This point is an epic fail for her argument.
Amazingly, I’ve heard this whole “you’ll regret it if you don’t live life the way I think you should” argument before. Many times, in fact. I don’t expect people to understand my mentality–since it is different from many people my age–but I do expect them to respect the fact that I have a different mentality and am perfectly happy with my life. So I don’t live life the way they did/still do. So fucking what? I’m not them and I don’t want to be.
What really irks me about being judged is when the person doing the judging should really be focusing on their own lives. I love J, but she should not be lecturing me. She just screwed up a great relationship with a great guy because of her fear of commitment, and constantly uses her child as an excuse not to better her life or move outside of her comfort zone. Maybe I’m being a little harsh on her, but if she’s going to judge me, she should be prepared to be judged herself. The only difference between the two of us is that I will never tell her to her face that I think she’s wasting her potential and will look back in a few years with regret, because I’m not her, so I could I possibly know that for sure?