Part of my job involves asking questions and gathering bio data. This same part of my job also revealed an internal acquired bias that I am learning to unlearn.
This is a story of personal growth.
I remember moments in which I would be questioning a female, and amongst other questions I would ask for her marital status. Almost like clockwork my mind would cross-match her answer with her age, and I would find myself subconsciously trying to ascertain if her age fell under the “she should be married by now” bracket.
You know what I mean.
It never affected my judgement or demeanor towards said person, it was just a “random thing” my mind would wander to, sometimes when she was sitting across from me, other times when she was not.
It took me a little while to be aware of the fact that this was happening to me. With that realisation came a sense of embarrassment and ,oddly enough, a sense of understanding. I was not happy with the way I thought about people, bare strangers I may never meet again, but I wouldn’t say I was surprised from these thoughts creeped out from. From the time my eyes were beginning to see the world from a mildly mature standpoint, I saw it. My awareness of it heightened with age; these standards that humans have set for ourselves.
A lot of the “milestones” and “life benchmarks” that we aspire to live by were self-imposed, and many of us work ourselves to the bone, enduring in toxic situations because we are trying to scale this ridiculous ladder. Who typed, printed and circulated the so-called timeline for tying the knot anyway? No one knows. Yet so many of us carry those expectations on our heads.
Everyone’s journey in life is different; I wish more people could understand and live by this truth. Please live your life in your lane, concentrate on you and your growth, while you rejoice and celebrate with others. You and I have no right to ever impose our personal timelines on others, or look down on others because we think we have “arrived” and they haven’t.
I am learning, by God’s grace, to be someone who is not unhealthily bound to concepts, traditions or religion. I have to unlearn (I am in the process already) this unproductive and negative mindset, I hope more of us do too.
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