Whether it is Christmas, New Year’s Eve, holidays in general or a simple Saturday night, we have all had this friend urging us to go out, forget worries and problems and just let ourselves loose by partying and….having fun. It has recently dawned on me how bizarre it is that a term as vague and broad as fun would be strictly and exclusively defined by very specific activities, such as hanging out in bars and clubs. Should you ever opt for doing something different, such as read a book or play board games, you would most certainly run the risk of being labelled as boring, miserable and generally “not fun”. Should this one incident develop into a pattern of behavior, that does not abide by the sacred and inviolable guidelines of how to have fun, then the situation might even be considered alarming and lead to people asking you if everything is alright in your life in general, so that they can find and eradicate the root of all evil.
I am inclined to believe that this “phenomenon” is only a part of a much bigger issue resulting from two main factors, that have remained unaltered through time, i.e. prestige and labelling. Regarding the former, there have always been prestigious institutions, that have garnered the admiration and blind respect of people, no matter if these institutions are universities, brand names, schools, workplaces, companies or even professions. Gradually, prestige became a synonym for high worth and value and stopped serving the latter as a complement. Whatever lacked in prestige was automatically not that interesting, shiny or worthwhile. The second element is our tendency to label everything as great or horrible, cool or ridiculous, exciting or boring without showing the slightest interest in recognizing that almost everything has more than one layers and cannot be reduced to a single world instantly. It takes time and energy to get to know something and someone, before reaching a conclusion in connection with their quality.
As far as going out or having fun according to the social norms is concerned, the elements of prestige and labelling have resulted in the absolute disregard of our personal needs. Looking at the bigger picture, it is not hard to realize that given the circumstances and the various phases in our lives, our needs vary along with the tools that satisfy them. Refusing to recognize that and to listen to our inner voice as well as abiding by what is regarded as acceptable instead, all that we end up with is being miserable, frustrated and dissatisfied. Imagine the effect this could have on our mental over a long period of time. This does not apply only to our social life, but also to the professional one as well.
Nobody knows ourselves better than we do. Respecting our true wishes unfiltered through what is considered as cool and fun in our surroundings is bound to serve us only beneficially. So don’t be afraid or ashamed to construct your own, personalized concept of what fun means and fill it with anything that gives you joy and pleasure, no matter if it is dancing until your feet cannot take it anymore or staring at the mesmerizing white of the ceiling or discussing poetry with a cup of tea in your hand. It is way more than perfectly fine.