Conforming to Society

The Lies Society Tells Us.

Filed under: Life / Philosophy / Thoughts By:

As you know from my (almost) 3 Month blog update which was just a few weeks ago I decided to refocus Where is Jenny to be more about living a freedom lifestyle than only being travel-centric. However, that tuning process is evolving as I learn, grow, and find my place in cyberspace. Right now, I feel as if I’m sending off mixed signals, a bit of confusion. One of the most basic points of branding is knowing what your message is and who you are targeting.

I decided to go back to ground-zero and think about why I wanted to start spreading my message to begin with. My mom probley isn’t going to like what I have to say (Sorry mom). However, it’s part of who I am despite how difficult and painfully hard it’s been on my heart. Most importantly it was necessary to get me to Jenny 2010. Just like the defining moments you’re having this year will bring you to your next destination.

Surburbia... where everything's the same.

I grew up in suburbia and from a very young age I was taught to conform. For some strange reason everyone else got the concept, but I didn’t. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t do certain things or why I had to wear a certain type of clothes or why I couldn’t like something that wasn’t ‘cool.’ I didn’t get why I should judge someone based on what kind of car they drove, the clothes they wore, the things they liked, or the type of house they lived in. I didn’t understand why I should censor my mouth and say something I didn’t mean or believe in just to have a friend or fit in. Whenever I was just ‘Jenny’ I was laughed at, ridiculed, and singled-out not just at school, but in my own family.

So needless to say I never really fit in anywhere and all the stuff I was forced to do I hated.  I was being tortured because I couldn’t find my place in the world and it was lonely.

I remember seeing the Karate kid when I was about 5 years old. I loved that movie. I wanted to learn karate too, just like Daniel. I asked my mom if she would take me to karate school so I could learn karate. She told me, “NO!” Just as any other 5-year old would ask I asked, “Why.”

“Because girls don’t do those kind of things.”

“A girl in my school goes to karate classes. How come she can do it then?”

“Because”

“If she can do it, so can I.”

“I told you, no.”

That is pretty much the jist of every conversation I’ve had with my mom with everything I’ve ever wanted or showed interest in until I became an adult. Rather than be cherished for who I was as a person I was forced into a mold that I didn’t belong in from the day I was born. I refused to conform to that mold and with that a war was born.

My mom and I butted heads through the years and all I ever dreamed of was getting away. I was pissed. I remember starting at 10 or 11 years old plotting my breakaway that only got more detailed as the years went on. It’s the only thing that kept me going. Whenever I was running down the street, I envisioned myself running as far away as I could from my family and where I lived. I never could though. I was trapped. I didn’t know how to escape, but most of all I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know what was possible.  I didn’t know what was out there.

When I was 10-years old I remember watching a motocross race on tv. I was in a trance for the entire race. It looked like the greatest thing in the entire world to me in that moment. In my excitement, I ran to grab my mom and show her.

“I want to do THAT” I didn’t even know what ‘that‘ was called, but I knew I wanted to do it with everything I had. I remember that moment well… To which, she only responded, “Over my dead body” before turning around and walking away. There went the wind in my sails.

By the time I was 18-years old I had enough.  Since my entire life had been denied of anything I’d ever remotely been interested in. I decided to start with the things I was still thinking about that I’d asked to do as a child, but never got. I was 18 now, nobody could tell me what I could or couldn’t do anymore.

For the first time, I was able to try things that I genuinely showed interest in. No more being forced to do shit I didn’t want to do. I went behind my parents back to buy a dirtbike and began racing motocross. I felt fucking free. Things began to look up.  I was a sponsored women’s motocross racer, I was practicing karate, and I was learning sign language. Life was good… I was no longer miserable, I felt in control of my life and I was learning what happiness was.

My whole life I’d been taught that life was supposed to be a certain way and that there were no other options. Being miserable and doing what you’re told was the ‘right’ thing to do.  If someone was doing something different it was because they were rich, had different circumstances, or were somehow otherwise special. When I became an adult, I realized that all of this wasn’t true. I was being fed a lie the entire time. I was a fighter and I refused to conform after all those years. However, I don’t think I would have been able to see or draw this conclusion without all those years as an angry kid that had to do a bunch of shit she didn’t want to. I needed live that to see what I see today.

Then I was told it was time to get a job. The fun and games were over. I would have to wait until retirement to finally live the life I was destined to live. When I figured out those were lies too I got the bright idea to start my own business.

I think my situation is relatable to those of you that are unhappy in your current situation. Maybe your upbringing or society has forced you into thinking that college, a job, and a 401k were right for you and they’re not. If they are great! I’m really happy for you. I hope you get everything you want out of it. However, this site was born for those that aren’t happy with the status quo and want to get something else out of life.

I’m here because I want to show you that there are options. You don’t have to live the way other people expect you to, you don’t have to conform to any molds, and you don’t have to listen to anyone dictate what you can or can’t do. I fought with my mother because she expected me to live a certain way just as you fight with your friends, your family, and even society. I’m here to help you gain your freedom. To inspire, motivate, educate, and entertain you as you move along your journey.

Why do you come to Where is Jenny? Is there something you want to run from? Let me know in the comments below.

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  • http://www.baconismagic.ca Ayngelina

    Great post Jenny. We need more of these to show people that they aren’t alone in wanting to do things differently.

    Like you I really struggle with conformity. My problem is that I’m really good at it. I was quite successful at a 9-5 kind of life but something was tugging at my heart telling me it wasn’t right for me.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      I’m not good at it. I challenge everything anyone tells me. I don’t accept “just because” or “that’s just the way things are” for an answer. I guess that’s why I have my own business… I don’t take shit from anyone and I say what I think (even if it gets me in trouble).

      I’m so glad that you got out of it and have found your calling. Hope to bump into you on the road someday.

  • Caroline Eubanks

    I can totally relate to being trapped by suburbia. I keep telling people about my upcoming trip to Australia. They ask what I’m going to do there. I say, “I don’t know yet.” “Oh you’re so brave.” But I know to suburbia, brave means dangerous and reckless. It means abnormal. It means irresponsible for not settling down with a job I hate and an apartment I can’t afford.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Have you read the article I wrote on Why am I selfish for traveling the world I think you might relate a lot to that. I don’t get why following your heart and doing what you love is somehow “reckless.” I think it’s reckless to let someone else dictate your life and not be happy. Keep challenging people and have a great time in Australia!

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  • Anonymous

    Wow, Jenny! Thanks for being so open… I think the relationship we have with our parents is one of the most important we have to deal with because it affects our lives so much. It sounds like you had a tough time with your mom, but you were able to break through. Can’t wait to see what happens from here!

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Thanks Ryan! I think my writing here helps my mom and I’s relationship. It’s a different way of seeing things.

      Glad to have you following along! :)

  • http://www.MyBeautifulAdventures.com/ GlobalButterfly

    A-freaking-men!!!!!!!!! Thankfully, my parents did their best to let me be who I wanted to be no matter how far from the norm it was, but we definitely butted heads a lot. I don’t understand why we don’t live in a society that allows us to take whatever path we need to achieve our ultimate happiness.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Andi, I know that you can relate as we’ve talked about it over e-mail before. I’m hoping that I can inspire some people to challenge people and start living the life they are supposed to. If I can do that, mission complete.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Jenny!

    Great post! I really loved this bit:

    “If someone was doing something different it was because they were rich, had different circumstances, or were somehow otherwise special.”

    Sometimes it’s just about your parents not being open-minded! I’m lucky that my parents supported most of the things I wanted to do growing up, but motocross and karate weren’t on the list, that’s for sure. I think it’s great that you gave society a big FU and decided to pursue your dreams when you turned 18.

    Conformity isn’t something I’m too good at these days. The best advice I can give is to surround yourself with other non-conformists and soon it’ll be the rest of the world that seems out-of-whack. Fortunately the internet lets us meet each other pretty easily. It can be tough living a life that doesn’t quite conform, especially when your friends and family at home think you’re nuts. Having a group of friends who support you and your lifestyle goes a long way.

    Good on ya!

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      I can understand how my mom wouldn’t support motocross. It’s completely out of her element and definitely requires a large monetary investment. However, I think it’d of been beneficial to allow me to pursue my passions despite what she thought was appropriate or not for me. There were other things besides motocross and karate, those were just the examples I used and remember most.

      I love that the internet allows us to connect with so many like-minded people… form an army of sorts. We can challenge each other, learn, and take on the world togeather. I wouldn’t have gotten to meet and talk to many of the awesome readers I have here if I didn’t start my blog.

  • http://hessiess.com Robert Hickman

    Congratulations for having the persistence to push through. My childhood was similar, though my parents were more accepting of my choices. I spent most of my time making models of boats, aircraft and steam engines from scratch. Thanks to that I know how to teach myself and funnily, I only truly started to learn when I got out of school.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      I totally agree that we start learning when we get out of school. School only teaches us how to memorize things, take tests, and fill us with useless knowledge. I learned practically nothing in school… but after wards… Damn, life has a way of teaching you what matters most.

  • http://www.airstreamdreaming.com Kim

    I love this post, applaud you sending it. Being authentic to your voice and experience is important. And i’m sure allows a good dialogue with your mother ultimatly. As a parent, i’d rather have that and the ability to discuss, than my kid feeling it and never saying.

    As a reader of your blog, i also feel what would keep me reading is that same authentic voice. You are going on a journey.. a physical one and an emotional one, so take us along… please!

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Thanks Kim. Yes, I think that writing here opens up the communication with my mom. She doesn’t say anything, but she acts different ever since I started writing authentically here. I like it. I want it to continue. I feel like I’m finally being understood for my side of the story. I’d rather have the ability to tell my story, than hold my anger in forever.

      Thanks for letting me know why you come here. You are not the first person to mention that I’m taking everyone on a journey. I didn’t really realize it at first, but I see it now. Glad to have you part of that. :)

  • http://spicedpear.wordpress.com/ Heathre

    Excellent post! I know what you mean about lies. For example: I dropped out of high school, and was told by at least two people, my life is going to be hard and full of obstacles because of that. Really? You mean I am the only person in life who is going to have challenges? Sure, some of them might be because of that, but most aren’t. I could easily have the same the life regardless whether or not I dropped out; it’s a mindset.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      You are totally right that it’s a mind-set! I think that people feel frightened when their core belief system is challenged. If you are doing things differently and making it work, what does that say for the people that believed it, followed the rules, did what they were supposed to, and are unhappy. They’d rather not know that truth. That life can be different. That there are options you’re not told about. When they figure it out, what was their life for? That’s gotta hurt, to know that you wasted life and can’t change it.

      • http://spicedpear.wordpress.com/ Heathre

        “That life can be different. That there are options you’re not told about.” Yes! It’s much better that people are informed of multiple options and then decide what is best for them self, versus only have one choice and that’s all you know. It’s about making plans, taking action, following through… plus, I’m a big believer in life doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. It’s been said before that we’ll make mistakes, fuck up, etc… but that’s okay, because it’s part of it.

        • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

          With the internet we’re able to find more information and people to connect with showing us the multitude of options available. More and more people are waking up! There is no more one option. I love that about the internet.

  • http://www.justinhamlin.com Justin Hamlin

    I think the topic you are touching on is a lot bigger. Dealing with social standards and the people who adhere to the social norm. For too long, if you thought outside that box, you were considered “different” or in some cases, a hippie.

    I, like you, grew up in a suburban household, and was taught to want the same things, a nice car, a big house, etc. etc. It was always about keeping up the Jones’. Now, I see two arguments for it. My parents put me on a path of what they considered “success” but at the same time, they had a kid in which they could brag has been “successful”.

    It is only recently that I have decided to start taking the road that I want, not the road that everyone told me was the right one. Happiness to me isnt a white picket fence and a huge house with 2.5 kids, but at the same time, it is not traveling the world with just a backpack full of items, its somewhere right in the middle. I just have to find that path now.

    Congrats to you for breaking through those barriers and blazing your own trail. I have told you before, but I will tell you again, you are an inspiration and a motivator with your writing.

    • http://hessiess.com Robert Hickman

      This is defiantly a problem with society as a whole, for example the whole concept of disabilities is based on the idea that everyone has to be the same. I am actually thankful I have a ‘disability’, it means that fitting in is imposable, giving me a completely different view of the world.

      • http://www.justinhamlin.com Justin Hamlin

        I think fitting in is one thing, even with a disability, you will “fit in” with some group. Being forced, or directed to the fact that it is expected to “fit in” with social norms is where I have a problem.

        I have quite the diverse friends. My best friend is a little person. In 9+ years of knowing him, it has never been an issue to me, or even something I have addressed, because he is my best friend for reasons that have nothing to do with his height. But at the same time, I walk around with him and watch people point, laugh, giggle, act like children because they see him out in public. Its that societal trend that I cannot stand.

        My other good friend, at 38 years old, after being married for 5 years and with his ex-wife for 10, came out of the closet and is actively fulfilling his gay lifestyle. I support him 100% of the way. I see the looks he gets when people see him holding hands with another guy, or when (as we say) he acts a little too flamboyant, but you know what, he doesn’t need to fit in with society, and he doesnt try.

        I guess my point is, you will find your place and fit in. Just dont be forced to fit in with a social norm that you are not comfortable with. Thats where my problems lie.

        I am glad to see you have a very different view on everything, and that is refreshing.

        • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

          I agree with Justin. Everyone needs a place to fit in, but it’s when we’re forced to fit in a pre-determined expectation or group is where I have a huge problem as well.

          I think that many of us understand and celebrate our differences as humans. But many of us have been sucked into the lies that society tells us. We feel like we need to be perfect and put down those that aren’t. Humans can be mean. I hope that more and more people wake-up and can see that the way we’ve been living is fucked up. I have a hope that we can be more understanding as a whole. Not everyone will, but with the advance in technology and information we’re learning more and more about the differences between us and how to be more accepting of that.

          I do know that many times people stare because it’s different. They are curious. They don’t mean harm or to make that person feel bad. I didn’t really understand this concept until I volunteered in Vanuatu and traveled through South America. Many times I was the only person who looked like me, who had blue eyes white skin, and brown hair. People stared because I was different, because they were curious. How did I hold my fork, what did my voice sound like, how did I walk, ect. I didn’t like the way it made me feel, so it helped make me be more aware of looking at people with differences whether it be their height, burn marks, a missing limb, or whatever.

          • JB

            maybe you want to be a flight attendant or something, that way your job lets you travel plenty- but you still have a home base!

    • Anonymous

      I agree with Justin here about societal norms. The really interesting thing is that most of us are brought up from a generation of Baby Boomers, who were also brought up by their parents to appreciate this suburban lifestyle, as it represented a much higher standard of living from what they (our parents’ parents) experienced during the Depression and World War II eras.Quite why it is still the accepted norm in a completely changed, modern climate is beyond me.

      This generation (and by that, I really mean time period) and new technology really affords us the opportunity to work remotely, which is something our parents and grandparents just didn’t have the ability to do. It’s really a fascinating topic and one, now that I have the time, which I am continually observing and studying.

      A great benefit of my ability to do what I like is that I can now focus on big pictures and conceptual understand rather than the details of life like my daily work schedule or car payment. It bring a sort of equilibrium and inner peace.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Wow thanks for the awesome discussion guys! Our childhood sounds parallel. I do see the other argument and I think it’s important to take into consideration… My dad, for example, grew up poor. He didn’t have many opportunities. He didn’t want his kids to go through the same hardship as he did, so he made his own opportunities, worked his ass off, sacrificed some relationship with my brother and I (he was gone for work a lot), just so that we could grow up comfortably and have everything we needed in life. He set us up well. If it weren’t for that, things would be a lot more difficult for me. I get that. What I don’t agree with is the closed-mind and preconcieved notion about how I, personally, should live my life. I felt imprisoned. Nobody is perfect. We live and we learn. If it didn’t happen I wouldn’t be here inspiring others with my story. It was for a reason.

      We are so lucky to grow up in this technological age that grows by leaps and bounds every day. We can afford to live life however we see fit. That opportunity was much different a few decades ago. If the internet wasn’t around I wouldn’t have gotten to learn about backpacking or get the idea to start this journey. With more information, we’re able to really find our passions… but it’s up to us to make the leap of faith.

      Find your place Justin. I’m here rooting for you. :)

      • http://www.justinhamlin.com Justin Hamlin

        I think you hit that nail on the head. With technology, we are able to bring together a much larger world. Think about it, in decades and generations past, the only time you knew someone across the country or world was if they were family, friend, or someone you worked with. You had a finite sphere of influence.

        With technology, we are, for one, enabling more like minded people to connect on a daily basis. We are also giving more people a path to explore, learn and show their creative side. The internet and technology are such wonderful tools

        Thanks for the well wishes Jenny.

      • daisy

        thank you jenny..u r an inspiration..stay the same…don’t change..xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Carrollmandy

      I feel the same here Justin, I hate the idea of doing what I’m told and elected to do. My family, well it’s a big one, so most of my family are traditional thinkers, religious bla bla all that, and I feel as though iv been brainwashed, violated you could say, and now I plan to change that, my way only, but of course I want more than just traveling with a back oak also, something in the middles guess.
      Mandy

      • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

         Go for it! You only live once.

  • http://twitter.com/SearchOMermaids The Travelogue

    Jenny,
    I can’t tell you how close your story mirrors mine. I think you are a brave and resilient person, who deserves all the happiness you can grasp with your own hands. I really look up to you, because you recognize there are more options out there than the cookie-cutter mold society “requires” us to conform to. And you’re living the life you want because of that ambition to be your true self – only a few more days until you really break away!

    You mentioned that “you don’t have to life the way other people expect you to.” However, I am still at the stage where I feel really stuck. I would really appreciate your help and insight. Maybe we could talk over Skype sometime?
    ~ Patricia

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Would love to Patricia. My skype name is whereisjenny37 (that also goes for anyone else who would like to connect) – Just hit me up when you see me online or send me an e-mail.

      I won’t be on for the next few days, but after that I’ll be sure to log-on each day.

  • http://twitter.com/swgraphic Sarah Wu

    Hey Jenny, great post. I like how you express you’re feeling and telling everyone that there’re other options. I’m happy for you that you’re stepping up to do what your heart is always long for. You’re blog serves as a great inspiration, and fun upcoming adventures. Best!~
    -s

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Thanks Sarah!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/morvern_c 艾丽卡

    Loved this post. I hope your mom has come around a bit more now after seeing how successful and happy you are. I too grew up in a family that valued conformity, the status-quo, and never going against the grain. But that’s just my extended family. Luckily, my mom always let me be exactly who I wanted to be (really she had no choice; from a very early age I was NOT having any of that crap). My extended family is a bit perplexed by me. The see my desire to travel as a lack of ambition when in fact it’s one of the most ambitious things I think I could ever do. My only ambition is to be true to myself. If people look down on me for that, I see it only as their own loss. But I can’t let their limited thinking limit me.

    You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole…

    You are awesome and I’m so glad I found your blog!

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Wow. I don’t even know how to respond to your comment because you hit the nail on the head.

      Keep being true to yourself, you’re right… it’s their loss if they don’t like it.

      Glad to have you here. :)

  • http://www.thecreativeblock.wordpress.com Staci.

    I love this post, you telling what you really think. I’m glad you got to do whatever you always wanted to do. I followed the society’s norms, not knowing any better until up to just a few years ago. I’m grateful that my schools I had attended gave me an opportunity to learn foreign languages, and that’s one thing I love. To be honest, the only reason why I went to a deaf school my sophomore year til I graduated is just for travel reason, namely Italy and Greece. Without that opportunity that I took by force, I would’ve never woken up to the fact that my passion lies in traveling and languages. Now I’m in the process of planning my escape to Germany first, without revealing it to my family. Basically, I’m a black sheep and I like it.

    I’m happy for you, and don’t ever let anything stop you in chasing your dreams. Why wake up when old and full of regrets? Sorry for the long comment.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Staci, thanks for your awesome comment. It doesn’t matter if you followed the norm until a few years ago. What matters is that you woke up and you are actively doing things to change that. You are following your heart, learning languages, and working on going to Germany. My neighbors actually went to Germany for a few years… trust, you’ll go and never look back. Keep rockin’

      I don’t want to wake up one day and regret not going for it. Always making excuses and feeling like victim to the circumstances that happen to me. I want to say I did and I conquered. You do too. Keep being the black sheep.

  • http://www.islandmomma.wordpress.com Islandmomma

    Excellent post. Self analysis isn’t easy, and you’ve done a good job! Believe it or not, I suffered exactly in exactly the same way, but you have to remember that your parents might have struggled to get to where they are, and not conforming to their standards is a possibly a rejection of all they’ve ever believed in or tried to provide for you. By that I don’t mean that they are right, but sometimes you need to take a step back and see things from their point of view. It will help you to explain things to them. Hopefully, I took the opposite track with my boys and encourge/d them to follow their passions, although there were times when I had to “fight” the ex over what they were allowed to do. He was like your mom. I used my own experiences as guidelines when it came to encouraging them, but trying to know where to draw a line. To this day I still argue with my father over my lifestyle!! So it isn’t just your generation who feels this way! In fact, boomers were the original rebels, the hippies, the beatniks, make love not war, perhaps sometimes if we conform these days it’s because we’re disappointed in the world we thought we could create, and have fallen back on the conventional as being the easy option. That said, the older I get the more I go back to feeling the way you do!

    One word of warning. Be sure that in your escaping from what you are so certain you don’t want, you don’t run towards something worse (which is what I unknowingly did). Be sure that you are running TO something, rather than AWAY from something.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      You should check-out the reply I left for Justin. I get where my parents were coming from… however, there is much more to the story – it’s much much deeper than not getting to do what I wanted. Things that aren’t right and I don’t want to mention or talk about here.

      I get what you’re saying about running away from something. I’m running away from something and at the same time running towards what I want. I’ve spent extended time on the road twice. Both times I didn’t want to come home… and both time I was extremely depressed when I had a ‘home’ life. Yes, I’m running away from the American Dream, but I’m running towards my freedom and passions.

      Thanks for continuing to be an active part of my community! :)

      • http://www.islandmomma.wordpress.com Islandmomma

        I’m sorry if I got too personal. I know how it is, having been/being there. I’m a fine one to say anything, even now my dad can wind me up in an instant over the phone! I don’t doubt, btw, that your travels are running TO something, I was just refering to life in general.

  • http://twitter.com/OverYonderlust Erica Kuschel

    It is like the time that joining band was the thing to do. I wanted to play the drums. My mom said, “No. Drums are for boys.” and then she handed me a clarinet. I am no stranger to this. When I left my house I shaved my head, bought a skateboard, and started playing the drums…. and was completely happy. While my family still struggles to understand me, I feel so free knowing I’m living the life I want to live.

    I understand this post so much and I’ve shed more tears than I care to admit about this situation in my life. GO YOU JENNY! Hopefully we can have a beer on the road. <3

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Erica, I hope so too! Our lives sound parallel. You’re still in Austin right? I’ll be strolling through there in February (I think)

      • http://twitter.com/OverYonderlust Erica Kuschel

        We should still be here in Feb. :)

  • http://www.yTravelBlog.com/ yTravelBlog

    The greatest day of my life was when I turned 18 because I could take my life back and say “On my terms now!” I was exactly like you growing up, and had strict Catholic parents, who expected me to think, believe and act in a way that just wasn’t me. The greatest thing I learned growing up is to question everything. What does this mean for me? Why should I do this? I don’t fit in with society,because I question every tradition and path it sets up for you. My parents are great now and have come to accept this is who I am and my life works well.
    Now we face the struggle of allowing our daughter to be her own way and live our unconventional life with us, but we have to deal with family constantly thinking and making sly comments about how we are not thinking about her and we should be squishing her back into society’s box. Whatever! No one has told me what to do since I was 18 and that will never change.
    Kalyra’s name means “wild and pleasant” and we named her this so she would always know that she is allowed to be who she wants to be in every moment, as long as she remembers to be pleasant at the same time. And she is. She’s also very adaptable, smart and happy- so there is a lot to be said for forging your own path and saying no to the path of society that does not agree with you.
    When ever anyone questions what I’m doing, my answer is always “Why not? ” If someone else is doing it so can I.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Greatest day of my life too! As a kid I think we tend to believe things to a certain extent, but when I found out many things weren’t true, I began too, to question everything. I believe that if I wasn’t as strong or resilient as I am life would be much different for me.

      I’m not a parent so I can’t really talk about those things, but I think that each parent raises their kid in the way that they feel comfortable living. It doesn’t really matter how you raise them (in a lifestyle sense) but what values you instill in your child. That you teach them to be good people, how to make good decisions, and how to find their way in the world. That you love them unconditionally and for who they are, not what you want them to be.

  • http://zerodean.com Zero Dean

    This a great entry. Somewhat along the lines of what I wrote — you might like: http://blog.zerodean.com/2010/blog/the-ties-that-bind/

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Great article Dean!

  • http://aliadventures.com Ali

    I can totally relate to those rules other people, especially parents, force on us. It took me a little longer than you to realize I don’t have to do what everyone else does, and I’m still trying to find my way out of that. I’m 30 years old and still a bit scared of what my parents will say when I tell them what I’m planning on doing, which is in a way, really sad. But maybe that’s what I need to go through to finally take my life back and make it the way I want it to be, even if it doesn’t exactly fit my parents’ or society’s definition of “normal.” I know I’ve said this before, but I really admire you for what you’re about to do and what you’re already doing. Go kick some ass!

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Everyone figures things out differently. The most important part is that you woke up. We are all scared of what our parents will think because they are from a different generation and don’t really understand… As people we evolve. Technology is giving us better ways to connect with each other and more opportunity. Some people are able to grow with it, some grow up with it, and others will always remain the same, resisting change.

  • http://www.llworldtour.com Lisa | LL World Tour

    Hey Jenny-
    Good post and great discussions here. As i grow older, I do tend to question a lot more and also have to just be vigilant in not getting caught up in society’s ‘flow.’ Going with the flow is the easy part. Going against the stream is the hard part, but so rewarding. I just want to live life with my eyes wide open…and have fun while doing it! :)
    LL

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Keep rockin’ it Lisa. :)

  • http://www.grassyandwantingwear.blogspot.com Soulowist

    I can so relate to this. For me it was my Indian heritage that led to a strict constrained upbringing and desire to fit my family’s expectations. After I had my a-ha moment a few years ago, they were disappointed with me, but internally I was happy. As I have broken those expectations over the years, I have reconciled a bit with my folks. They were trying to protect me, do what’s best for me in the only way they knew how – the same way they were raised. They don’t always understand my rtw plans or my viewpoint on life, but they have learned that I will do what I want and I am self reliant enough to still be ok if I don’t fit in as the norm. When I started my rtw stuff, I was trying to escape, but now I don’t see it that way. I was (and am still) just becoming me!

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      I’m so happy to hear that others can relate to what I’ve been through and what I’m going through. It feels really good. Like you, I have somewhat reconciled with my folks. As technology develops and we as people evolve you either resist change or grow with it. I choose to grow. There are tons of other people out there just like us and we are role models for the ones that want to follow in our footsteps. Keep rockin’ it and inspiring people with the way you live life!

  • Artiskim

    Jenny!
    I really love this post! I too want to break away from that 40-40-40 plan (40 hours a week for 40 years of your life to only have 40% of your income at the end). The longing is there, but i am dealing with a lot of fear.
    Im an artist and all i want to do is draw and focus on creating graphic novels and illustrating childrens books all the while using my talents to inspire and serve other people.

    I want to inspire and help people as you do. I thought about creating a blog on overcoming personal battles, but i do not know html coding and java script do-dads. Epic Sigh! guess i got to research more.

    well i wont take up too much of your time. just know that you are awesome and have inspired me embrace the art of minimalism…i must create my own path..paint brush and pencil in hand.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      I’m an artist too. If you start freelancing you’ll be able to break away from the whole 40/40/40 routine of a regular job. It takes some guts and a leap of faith, but if you don’t try how do you know what the outcome will be? I’d rather of tried and failed. Than never attempted at all full of regret decades later.

      Starting a blog requires some technological knowledge, but as long as you can follow directions you should be okay. Send me an e-mail and I can see what I can do to help you out.
      :)

  • http://twitter.com/fudgecookie18 fudgecookie18

    Amazing post Jenny! I, too, experienced this uphill battle with my parents – coming from a conservative, Catholic family. My life has been full of “you can’t do this, you can’t do that” – so I left home, and started a new in a different country. It was scary and painful, (and even caused heartbreaks) but now I’m confident that I can do my fair share of traveling and live life to the fullest. I seek meaningful experiences through various cultures I’ve been exposed to – things I wouldn’t have discovered had I simply stayed at home…

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Love hearing stories like yours. It was someone living a life I’d never heard of when I realized that you don’t have to follow the norm. Your life is so inspiring to me and many others so keep rockin’ it.

  • http://www.storiesofwow.com Jen

    I’m not running away and I’m not running to anything. Let’s say I come here as an observer. I don’t think I could go travel around the world (not because what my family or friends would say, but because, while it sounds amazing, I think I’d get tired pretty soon), but I love the insight into the minds of people who are planning/are doing it. Plus I get a culture lesson – growing up in American suburbia is very different from growing up in Communist and post-Communist Romania :) (I’m sure those words make it sound like Serious Business, but it didn’t feel very special to me, since I was very young when the regime fell… but let’s say the 80s and 90s had different challenges for young people in different countries.)

    Oh, and one thing I *am* wondering: how are people taking your idea of being an online entrepreneur? Completely normal career path or “OMG is she crazy the internet is full of scammers and thieves/she makes money out of browsing the net all day”?

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Jen. Thank you for your perspective. I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of childhood you would have growing up in Romania. Different parts of the world have different hardships. I really would love to learn more about your story.

      The idea of being an online entrepreneur is new to many people so many people have preconcieved notions about it including those you mentioned.

  • Tour Absurd

    Love it, Jenny! I’m glad that you turned the early inaccessibility into focus and determination. It’s sometimes hard to appreciate people who play the role of Oppressor in our lives, but in a lot of ways, that helps us more clearly define who we really are. (Assuming one doesn’t buckle, of course.)

    I never understood the keeping my mouth shut part, either. It’s ok, though. Through the years I’ve come to realize how much integrity, respecting individual truths (even when vastly different), and speaking up are important to me. It’s made it easier to find and connect with people who appreciate the same qualities. I still respect and learn from those who approach life with a different set of priorities, but I usually don’t make an effort to keep them in my life.

    On the “woowoo” side of things, have you heard of the term, “indigo children”? (I think I’ve mentioned it to Nick at Stretch D, so maybe you have.) Both hubby and I fit a lot of the definitions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigo_children#Characteristics (This site has a list, too, if you scroll down: http://www.indigochild.com/ ) When I showed the husband sites like these — first time he’d heard the term — he had a pretty emotional reaction. He had, indeed, felt like he was the only one who could see a lot of the broken systems and how to fix them, the inanity of not questioning, and the wrongness of being told to conform for conformity’s sake. It was a huge relief for him to know that there were others out there who were determined to change things for the better and not compromise on b.s.

    Anyway, good for you for being determined and true to yourself. Integrity rules.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Thanks. The story of indigo kids could fit into my story. I was diagnosed with ADD, but believe it was just a way to try and get me to conform. I’m just creative and different. Nothing wrong with that. Thanks for the awesome response.

  • http://twitter.com/OlovL Olov Lindgren

    Wow, great post! Just the inspiration i needed right now. Been feeling the same things for a long time too. Started by making changes in my daily life,. Consuming less, going vegan, exercising more etc. But realized it wasn’t enough, and the stress was eating me up inside. Now I’m finally going on a 5 month RTW trip and starting up my own blog, 30 days til departure! A lot of people have been supportive and some, quite the opposite. I know the feeling of having to fight for what you believe in. Thanks for being an inspiration and keep being yourself, forever!

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Keep fighting Olov. Be sure to send me the link to your new blog! I’ll check it out. :)

  • http://www.thetravellerworldguide.com @_thetraveller_

    This is the confusion I’m going through right now! I did my year RTW and now I need some more money, but I’m sick of renting… and the thought of buying a house makes me barf. Plus, where would I live? I could buy a house and still travel 4-6 months a year, I’m good at organizing my money… but where do I live? Close to all my good friends and family in suburbia? Or do I buy a hut on an island? Which would be amazing, but I would get lonely (I can be needy). I though a year RTW was supposed to make things more clear… but now I just feel even more confused.

    • http://www.journeyofatravelwriter.com Adam

      First off, great post Jenny. I grew up in suburbia as well with the same type of pressure to go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, yada yada yada. And like thetraveller, we have been on a RTW and now have been home for over a year.

      “I though a year RTW was supposed to make things more clear… but now I just feel even more confused. ”

      YES YES YES! I can’t tell you how much I feel the exact same. I know I don’t want the house and all the crap, but I also know I don’t want to be a permanent vagabonder. I love home, I do, and I love travel, but I want a combination of the two. And I don’t know how to get it, yet.

    • Anonymous

      You should live where you will be most happy, be that a hut in the south Pacific or a tract house in Milwaukee.

    • http://radicalify.com Jack

      I can really relate to this, too. I spent a year traveling around Europe and by the end of it I thought I was ready to re-enter society. It can be tough being nomadic and seeing an endless parade of cities, cathedrals, national monuments, museums, and the same old stock conversations with other travelers. After a while, it becomes dichotomously monotonous and adventurous.

      I did manage to re-integrate myself with a nine to five job, a stable life, girlfriend, and all that but then I felt the tug to go the other way again. Life can be an emotional pendulum that swings between freedom and security.

      So I set out to live a free life again and I can already see the benefits of stability, even though it’s only been a couple of months. So this time I am not only letting the wind blow me where it may, but I’m also focusing much more on building relationships and a strong sense of belonging. I’m staying put for longer periods.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      I can’t tell you what is right for you, but I imagine that after a few years being on the road I’ll want to stay in some places longer than others. Maybe start a new life somewhere or have a house that I live at for 6-months and travel for the other 6-months. I don’t really know what the answer is for myself… but I would suggest you listen to your heart. What are you thinking about most?

      I’ve already been on two long-term trips and I didn’t want to come home. I wasn’t ready to enter society. I wanted to stay. I envision myself being on the road for a long time, maybe never stopping. With time though, I’ll figure it out. You will too.

  • Jenny

    I read this post and it made me laugh because I went through the exact same thing with my Mom when I was 5 – but it was becasue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I thought Karate was the coolest thing in the world, but of course… girls don’t do those things. And then a few years later, it was dirt bike racing. I was always the “odd kid” in class. But you know what, I’m 26 now and I still won’t take a Karate class or any of those things I said I would do once I was “free.” I still feel like the “odd kid” at work. I think… today is a good day to start doing those things. Thanks!

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Wow. That’s crazy.

      It’s never too late to start. That’s all I have to say!

  • Anonymous

    You sound like me, only I was extremely lucky to be raised in a house with two self-employed artists for parents. I don’t know if I am the way I am because of them or if it was just easier, but I didn’t start running into what you describe, ironically, until the same time you stopped experiencing it: adulthood. It’s as if when I was a kid, it was okay, but now that I’m an adult, my behavior has suddenly become “irresponsible” and “contrary” and my life has become “shiftless” and “unfocused”. I don’t see how it was okay for me to pursue my dreams when I was younger, but now that I’m an adult, my desire to go and work somewhere on something for a few years and then change it all again is somehow seen as evidence that I’m immature and unwilling to “face reality”.

    Fuck. That.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Oh now I see how you get your name! lol.

      Kudos for saying fuck reality. More peeps need to do that. Be unrealistic!

  • http://twitter.com/LaurenFritsky Lauren

    I think it may have become more acceptable in recent years in the USA to carve a non-conforming path for yourself with so many people losing their jobs and in turn finding their real priorities. I found stories of so many people who used their setback as a way to recharge their lives. Now, I feel like more people feel like they have nothing to lose, and some have already lost it all, so why not buck society’s trends and just go for what you want?

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      I’ve noticed the same trend as well. Once people are faced with, “I have nothing to lose” and “I have no choice because there are no jobs.” They start pursuing their passions. I remember briefly seeing some stories on the news along those lines. I think it’s great. That’s what some people need.

  • http://eatlaughloveanon.com Eatlaughloveanon

    Hi Jenny!
    I read your blog to pick up tips because I am planning to escape (again).
    As a new mum, I’m going to offer some observation. Firstly, your mum probably did the best she could. Guiding you to conform may have been her way of giving you the advice she felt she missed when she was growing up. Telling you that dangerous sports were not for girls could have been her way of trying to keep you safe. You should hear me gasp when my one-year-old stands on the edge of the couch! She has no fear and no sense of danger (sound like anyone you know?). I hope I can let her explore the world as she grows… but man, it’s going to be hard to watch.
    As for your future plans for yourself and your blog, don’t be afraid of changing your goals. Right now your goal is to travel indefinitey. But your future could include studying overseas, working overseas as an expat or finding a “home” somewhere around the world.
    I think you are already way ahead of the pack because you have worked out how to support yourself without having to join the 9-to-5 grind.
    Also — maybe you’re overthinking things because you’ve achieved a major goal in selling your stuff and the next one is not so clear. Give youself a bit of time before you lock yourself into the next goal, though. Take a holiday! I think your readers would understand if you took a few weeks off from the blog at some point.
    There’s a lot of people in your corner, including me. Go girl!

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Thanks. I really enjoy blogging so I can’t see taking a break just yet.

      I’ve always pushed limits since I was very little. My parents have told stories of me doing backflips off the diving board at 3 years old!

      I won’t know what parenting is like until I get there.

  • http://twitter.com/blogtrek Shawn Brandow

    I can totally relate to this blog post Jenny. I have been told from the very get-go of my own journey that I was going to fail, that this really isn’t what I supposed to do, etc. I’m 27 years old. I don’t want to live in a cubicle anymore. I don’t want a large house filled with shit I don’t need.
    Reading this has inspired me to write something similar, because I too want people to know that the world is out there for them to grab! Sure I was rebellious my whole life. I got kicked out of the Navy because I refused to remove my brand new tongue ring after two years of service. I didn’t want to conform to social norms. I want to be my own boss, live life on my own terms and have fun and make money doing just that.
    I spent most of my childhood being an army brat. We moved every three years, and that constant moving around is what still drives me to this day to explore the world. Wanderlust, they called it. That’s what keeps me going. I just wish I had started this years ago.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      I wish I would have started a lot of things years ago. What matters though is that we’re starting today. Making changes. Questioning things. Finding our place. Living life to the fullest. Take that leap of faith and live the life you want to live… nobody is going to just hand it to you.

  • Anonymous

    I grew up in a similar but different way. We never lived in subdivision in a fancy neighborhood or really had much money for that matter. So that is what I strived to achieve, and I’ve done it.

    I don’t live in a fancy mcmansion but I do live in a subdivision where most of the houses are pretty much the same. For a single 30 year old dude, I have sweet set up… by some standards. Now that I’ve achieved what I thought was the ultimate goal (the big Lie) I realized that I really didn’t want it and it didn’t feel the way I thought it would feel.

    So now I’m dumping all that and living on my terms.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Fuck Yeah Nick. I’m excited to watch you on your journey… even more excited that you have a date and we’ll meet in Portland at the World Domination Summit. Holla.

  • http://twitter.com/EndlessTerrain Harrison

    I can totally relate to how u feel about being “society force-fed” and stuck. I mean, my parents always wanted me to go through one route, but I always wanted to do something else. This is how society tells me and others to live: study hard, middle, high school, then get to great college, then get a job, then get married, then have kids, then death. Haha, of course it sounds horrible, but people just feel like there is no choice but to do just that.

    Good luck to you on your journeys. I hope you find many many, rewarding and exciting experiences. Looking forward to reading about your journey.

    I always live by: Take a big leap in life :)

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Thanks Harrison. :)

  • http://twitter.com/Travelated Emily Sims

    Great post, Jenny. I think more and more people are starting to ‘break away’ from societal expectations, but there are still plenty of people who can’t wait to judge those who do. When my bf and I moved from MIssouri to Las Vegas this summer, everyone shook their heads. They thought we were acting foolishly–just because we moved to a different state. Neither of us has a regular 9 to 5; we work from home, so we can live wherever we want. I think what bothers people is not that we have such freedom of choice, but that we aren’t choosing to do as they do. We are perfectly able and free to buy a house in the St. Louis suburbs; we choose not to. This really bothers our families and some of our friends. We aren’t telling them that what they’re doing is wrong, but it seems like that’s how they feel.

    I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me, “when are you going to get a job?” Er, I have one. I’m a freelance writer and I run Travelated. I’m doing just fine, thank you very much! Why are people so bothered that I don’t drive in rush hour traffic every day to waste away in a cubicle? Why is it that they would feel so much better about themselves if I did?

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      I can’t stand when people ask me when I’m going to get a real job as if my own business isn’t something that I have to work for. It really irritates me. It also irritates me when people think I just sit around all day and do whatever I want to do. True. I do have freedom, but I also have to make money. People love to judge… but really I think they are just scared to go after what they want and want to push their insecurities on you.

  • http://www.sensophy.com Jacob Sokol

    Jenny’s mom – feel free to phone my mom anytime and you guys can trade war-stories.

    Good stuff Jenny. Wax on wax off all day.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      LOL. Nice Jacob. Nice.

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  • Anonymous

    I’m here to say that you don’t even have to try and be differant. If like me and many others with various forms of physical and mental disabilities all you have to do is be just plain born. They will try to shove you into a pre-form cookie cutter. If you don’t or won’t fit into any of their pre-made boxes you are treated like dirt for the most part. This mentality is shown not just by families but also by schools ans other large institutions that assume they somehow know best even though most of those in charge have never lived a day in such a state of being.

    So I’m happy that you have found your freedom and are living a life you can be proud of. Have a wonder holiday no matter which of the winter festivals you celebrate.

  • Anonymous

    Oh I forgot Jenny to explain how I know the things I said. I was born legally blind and hard of hearing among other things due to Rubella. You know that nasty shot they give kids to prevent the return of this disease. Well I didn’t fit the locals (Lancaster CA) of what that should mean. I’m still paying the price for their insistence on this definition of what a Rubella baby can and cannot do. That’s why I’m happy for you and all those who have managed to become free.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Wow your story is inspiring. I’m glad that you aren’t letting other people tell you what you can or can’t do. I had to search long and hard for a doctor that would understand me and my lifestyle choices. I’d rather choose to be in more pain and have fun doing an activity I love (skateboarding) than to sit around feeling sorry for myself. I hope that my story (and yours) can be inspiring for others with health issues or disabilities.

      • Anonymous

        While my favorite activity is not painful or dangerous I’m glad to see you not let your girlhood stop you from being the best you can be. out myself I’ll give you and your readers a little more to go on.

        I have been reading some of the comments this post has received and I’m frankly quite amazed at the volume of the response. Since I haven’t really said a thing about myself. I was born multiply disabled from Rubella. The people who were defining me weren’t doctors though they were crackpot administrators and teachers following them.

        While I didn’t grow up in a “normal” family situation, at least not as defined in the early 70′s. I grew in a single wide mobile-home being raised by a single mom with two boys one(that’s me) had disabilities and other was “normal”. We were poor. But I never felt the draw of the rich life. I didn’t at the time desire to destroy the rich people in jealousy like most poor people. I also didn’t feel the kind of superiority the rich people felt toward the underclass.

        My passion for music especially flutes has never left me and nevr will. I currently am looking for a way to make a living by somehow helping the disabled be more an interdependent par of life rather than the usual. That is” you must be helped but not give help” That is a social lie that many parents and their disabled offspring fall for. I would also like to somehow turn my love for the Native American Flute(my latest flute adventure) into a decent livelihood.

        Then after I have gotten off the very limiting SSI crumbfest I’ll decide where I would like to stay or if I would like to travel a few places first.

        At any rate Jenny thanks for the reply and have a wonderful holiday season.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Wow your story is inspiring. I’m glad that you aren’t letting other people tell you what you can or can’t do. I had to search long and hard for a doctor that would understand me and my lifestyle choices. I’d rather choose to be in more pain and have fun doing an activity I love (skateboarding) than to sit around feeling sorry for myself. I hope that my story (and yours) can be inspiring for others with health issues or disabilities.

  • http://twitter.com/RuiAmores Rui Amores

    Great post. I understood perfectly what you were talking about, because I had some of the same kind of experiences. Today I am who I am, part because what other’s thought it was good for me and not because of what I wanted and what made me happy. I remember that I wanted to be a musician and today I am a lawyer. As you can see I play some other kind of instrument.
    One other thing I have to stress is the corage, first to recognise the problem and secondly to act on it. Bravery is the name of the game.
    You are an inspiration to everyone thar want to make a change, me included.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Thanks Rui. I hope that you are working towards being a musician. :)

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Thanks Rui. I hope that you are working towards being a musician. :)

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  • http://twitter.com/iamlasse Lasse Heindorff

    Jenny,

    I too can relate and agree with Justin Hamlins notion that the topic your are touching is in fact much bigger.

    Your post reminded me of quote in an interesting documentary, I watched a few weeks ago. The documentary “The secret life of twins” is about identical twins who has been apart their entire lives and brought together — and how our genes versus parenting (might) affect who we are and become.

    Seeing how two 6 years old twins were although having been brought up more than 10,000 km apart in completely different environments, the adoptive mother of one of them said:

    “They both have a little bit of an attitude and they are very strong willed – and I am not sure if any parent
    style or techniques would really affect certain things that they do. They are gonna be the way they are no
    matter what.

    And so it makes me realise I have to kind of step back as a parent and observe her for who she is, so I can help her become who she wants to be, maybe not so much who I want her to be”

    That last sentence is so important. “…observe her for who she is, so I can help her become who she wants to be…”. A great lesson for all parents and parents-to-be.

    Godspeed!

  • Anamchara3

    I’m so glad I happened on your blog; it feels like taking a moment to steal away and hang out with a good friend. I feel inspired to do something different everytime I read it. Keep he awesome posts coming!

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  • http://chasingtheunexpected.com Angela

    You are so right, the society does tell us so many lies. The worst one is the illusion of living the life we want when it’s obviously not true. I appreciate that many people like actually live in a cubicle until 65 years of age and then start living, but honestly I also believe those people are not *that many*.
    It’s so unfair, we spend our life running after something, then we manage to live a little when we are retired and at the same time we realize it’s a bit too late..
    Probably, if more people had the nerve to quit their job and travel, there would be way less frustration around :)

  • http://twitter.com/BizBackpacker Brooke Ferguson, MBA

    This rules. I had the same experiences – it was always OK for the boys to go and do the fun stuff but I wasn’t allowed! I was told to be ladylike, wear lipstick, and put my feet in uncomfortable shoes. But, that’s not me or how I’ll ever live. I now drive a motorbike, live in another country, climb rocks, and scuba dive. It’s much more fun, and it’s much more me :0) Thanks for sharing your story, very inspiring!

  • Jimmy

    hi jenny, i love suburbia and routine. keeps me sane and sober. you might want to lighten up a bit on the whole society lies bit. it’s tired, old, and not that good of an idea to be insulting your potential clients who might also enjoy suburia as much as me. there are many different living options currently available to smart folks such as you. i don’t however, recommend going around publicly insulting other people’s way of life, just because it doesn’t appeal to you.

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Jimmy, I’m sorry that you perceived my post as such. My intent was not to insult anybody, but speak to those that are not happy with where they are at and let them know that there are other options out there for them. I have nothing against suburbia or the people that want to live there and love the lifestyle. You are happy with where you are at, that’s awesome. I’m very happy for you. However, like many others, it just isn’t right for me. The point of the post was to let others know that they are not alone.

  • http://www.indovillas.com Sophie

    I couldn’t agree more on this, and today you have to break free to be happy.

  • TheRunawayGuide

     Hey Jenny, I totally hear you. I felt that way too and then I ran away and went traveling. I really like your blog and I was wondering if you wanted to be “internet friends” lol. Help cross promote eachother. I just started my site, The Runaway Guide, http://www.runawayguide.com. Check it out,
    Cheers,
    Safe travels,
    Leif

  • http://twitter.com/nomadicchick Jeannie

    What I relate to the most is living a lie, my family was swimming in secrets and we always had to pretend nothing was wrong.  Obviously, you went through something different, that intense pressure to conform to some bullshit “type”.  

    I respect the intentions of parents who think suburbia is a calm, safe place to raise kids, but in many ways that kind of environment breeds malcontent, boredom and let’s face it, raises kids to not question or be tough enough to face the trials of life.  Life is not sweet and lovely and packaged.  Sometimes it’s wonderful, sometimes it downright sucks.  And if you aren’t allowed to even be who you are, that makes it worse.

    Having met you in person, you really are a strong, perceptive individual.  An effing major inspiration.  We have to remember that our parents project their own fears and desires on us all the time, even more so if they had many disappointments before having kids.  The key, and you get it, is to separate who they from who YOU are.  

    And then to live to what ultimately makes you happy.  Even if they aren’t supportive, you can break that pattern of following along and sharing your wisdom with others, even your kids one day.  I know it, sister. :)

  • http://www.janafadness.com Jana Fadness

    Hi Jenny,

    I’ve just discovered your blog and subscribed, because I can *really* identify with what you’re saying here! I too feel like I was fed lies by society most of my life, and it’s only recently that I’ve been able to break out of the mold and stop making apologies for just being myself. It’s so good to know I’m not alone, and there are other people out there who get it!

    • http://www.whereisjenny.com Jenny

      Glad to have you here Jana! :)

  • Manisha

    V relatable

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  • Antonia

    Oh, how I understand you.

    They tell us “hey we live in democracy, you’re free, you can do whatever you want”… mmmh, lies! Why do we have to study to get a job to earn money to… survive? Why do we need money for surviving? It’s not fair, when you think of people who spend their days lying on their deckchair next to their swimming pool, drinking vodka and sniffing coke…

    Just because nowadays, money = freedom. It’s crazy. And with all the selfish humans, we cannot change that. Because we are not like them, we won’t use violence, or corruption.

    Big deal, society tells us that, as we weren’t born rich, we have to go to college, to found a family (and to work for nurturing her) and then to retire.

    AND WHAT HAVE WE DONE FROM THE MOST AWESOME GIFT THAT WE HAD, LIFE ? Nothing. Their fucking “democracy” didn’t want us to be free, to be equal, or rather they didn’t want to try making everyone free and equal.

    So, yes, we should maybe not complain, when you know that in many countries in our world, there are dictatorships, woman have no right, child are beaten, innocent humans are killed on the behalf of money, or ego, or petroleum, or a on the behalf of a certain God, …

    well, I don’t really understand the world where I live.

    I just know that some of us, are worst than animals.

  • daisy

    I am planning to move out and start travelling in a month. But my parents won’t be happy about it :(
    I have decided to do it without their consent, but I feel bad that my decisions will make them sad :(