In the previous post, a lot of people (who don't know me or my background) made some pretty severe accusations and were unnecessarily defensive about something I assumed nearly everyone has experienced. In an attempt not to get my own feelings involved in their battle on Blogg, I'd like to recognize a pattern which I thought was made clear from the previous post:
How is it that we allow our cultural stereotypes to create assumptions that are directly contradictory to our reality?
Case in point- We assume that most people are married with 3 babies by the time they're out of college, and that something is wrong with us if we're not that person. But...more and more, I am seeing women and men over 27, with a successful career, rockin' bod, great personality, hilarious sense of humor, great testimony, and a life full of adventure and experience. So why do we still feel like a toaster that burns everything if we have such a full life, but not the 'expected' spouse and family to go with it?
I don't feel bad about who I have become. I like that I'm well-travelled and that I have amazing experiences and a great education and that I enjoy working. But somehow, when I walk through the doors of the chapel, I suddenly feel like maybe it's the one place I don't belong. How is it that this cultural expectation outweighs even my own sensibilities? I like to think I'm stronger than that- more rational and more stable than allowing myself to succumb to an insecurity from the one place I want to feel the most secure. And especially when I see what is around me- telling me that the times, they are a'changin'- but still...still...one of these things is not like the other.
When I was at BYU, I remember how everyone would rip on the ignorant, big-haired-bows floating around. And it was funny to think of those flowered-dress girls with their backward bubble-naivete and silly desperation for matrimony. We can all admit that image was a real icon. But when I thought about it----not one of my close friends was like that. And no one I hung out with was like that. And I didn't see anyone in my classes like that...yet that image hung around until the late 90s...How? How did that standard image of expectation somehow cloud over the reality that we were all college students out having a good time and getting a great education?
It's the same thing in a family ward. People self-consciously joke about not being married- as though that is the standard expectation- but there are more single people than families in these wards. We're getting older, more educated, and better in all aspects of our life. And we happen to be single. So why do we assume we should be anything other than that?
It's ten years later and the image is different, but the feelings about cultural expectations are the same. All I'm saying is- let's kill the image and see ourselves for who we really are today. With no explanation or apologies needed.