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The hardest way to live: A Need To Fit In

We all fall into it whether we like it or not. One way or another you want to keep up with the Joneses. Perhaps, competition is the way to go. It is a gauge to see how much of a capacity you can become. The fact remains, there will always someone better than you. Someone who will up the level. Maybe, you are the one everyone is working so hard to beat in the game. You might be the Usailt Bolt that everyone wants to equal or better when it comes to running and speed. Unless you are one of the Wade van Niekerk’s of today, you will have to work twice as others ahead of you do.

You are working so very hard to look like everyone else out there, getting the best gadgets all people own. Most of it all you want to look affording. The greatest challenge and difficult way of living your life. Being a copy of someone else. Everything you do is attributed by the heart of a passion to seek outward approval. The way you dress is someone else’s own style. Nothing wrong in adopting a certain style in anything. If it fulfills, it is advisable you try but remember you don’t have to fake it until it happens to seek approval. We rely on what other people have in defining what success is in our lives. All of us believe that each person is unique but we seem to be bought in one person idea on what is a real success. Unique as we are we need to have a way to define success as individuals.

If it is a need to own it, go ahead because your life depends on it. For example, my ex-colleague was working at another restaurant in the evenings. She came back one morning telling me she will need to have an iPad. It was because they need to carry gadgets around to take orders nowadays. I am sure you are saying that has been going on for a while now. Wondering where I’ve been in life. See for me, the need was to own a laptop hence my other one got stolen. I need to write anytime, watch and read without having to be on my phone to do all of that. My point is she needed an iPad. She owned it so she can keep her job. She was not keeping up with anyone for approval. It looked so fancy and really suit her in all aspects. She looked so smart. If you can afford something, yes you can go ahead and you don’t need anyone’s approval. If it is just to fit into the circle of friends, neighbours, and colleagues. Some of these people don’t even care much about you. They worry the most about themselves on how they can simplify their lives. They can afford but you are making so hard for yourself trying to keep up with them unless in order to socialize with them you need to equal them with material possessions. If material possessions to define wealth, happiness, fulfillment and achievement and success to you relies on that then go for it.

How I found it as the difficult way of living is by the time you catch up they have already moved on to another level. It might be that they can afford anything in life. There is absolutely nothing wrong in affording that’s what some of us want. Financial independence without always being in deep into debt. I had to pay off my debts first in order to even get a proper diet at the grocery stores. I couldn’t afford to buy proper healthy food at some point because I had one goal to get out of debt first. I did not really get out completely but there is a bit of a relief now I can easily focus on getting some of the necessities. I mentioned “healthy” on purpose because I found it difficult if I will get all the money and things I need in life yet my health is not looked after. Because tomorrow I still have to work to earn more, but if I not healthy nothing will bring about change in my family. We will be stuck in the life of mediocre.

I think it is about time one lives a unique life in such a way that others will admire and seek for advice as to how to get where you want to be. It is ok to have people you look up so that you can fulfill your own assignments in life. Trying to fit in as a goal is just a waste of life and time for me. I don’t want to live life according to the Sams, Joneses, etc. Unfortunately, I have learned such a bit late in life. But it is never too late to make up with my own life.

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Malibongwe Sithelo

I'm a freelance writer, a runner and a public servant in South Africa. I write about everyday life experiences.