Contour Culture

contour culture

We all have people, relationships and behaviors in our life that have been identified as unproductive, unhealthy, or even the root to our unhappiness. I’m a bit intrigued by our innate desire to make them tolerable, rather than restructuring, or eliminating them altogether.

I used to hate my career. No exaggeration. I absolutely hated going to this place, wearing the uniform and talking two tones above my actual excitement level. I hated the meetings, hated the conference calls, hated the team building events, hated the developmental whatever’s. So what did I do? I spent my off days living a completely different life, being myself to my fullest extent because my individuality was stifled in my workplace. It was the contouring of an ugly life, making it appear to be something it wasn’t. Why was I attempting to dress my life up, as opposed to restructuring my career altogether? Of course you can say that I didn’t quit my career because I had financial obligations, but that’s just an excuse. If I were fired from my job, I would figure out how to cover my finances one way or another.

Which brings me to another question: Why are things acceptable when they happen to us, but frowned upon when we choose to make them happen?

If I was fired from my job, I imagine there would have been many back rubs and text messages filled with inspiration about how I was better than that career and needed a new start. My friends and family would reassure me that I could always get another job and encourage me to take some ‘me time’ before jumping back into the workforce. But when I decided to operate from a position of power, and chose to quit my job, I was met with panic. Did I have another job? What was I going to do? How could I walk away from one job without another lined up? The only advice I received was to learn how to contour my life next time, rather than completely restructuring it. I was told that no one likes the way their life looks, you just have to fix it up so that it’s bearable.

When we decided to travel, our families were less than enthusiastic. We’ve always joked about how encouraging they would’ve been if we were in the military and deployed abroad. Our friends would tell us how great it was that we would get to see the world and beg us to send plenty of pictures. Everyone would reassure us that there was so much to experience and no reason to fear the unknown. But because we *decided* to travel, it was incomprehensible. Why couldn’t we just contour our current lives instead? Work a 9-5 that we hated, take our 14 days of approved vacation time and vacation abroad, like normal people?

So, I ask you: Why are we content with contouring our lives as opposed to creating the lifestyles we want? And why do we comfort the victim, who life has happened to, while judging the victor, who has decided to make the life they want happen?

Until next time, Loves.

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  1. Fear. Conformity. Lack of awareness about how the universe works. Undervaluing ourselves. Social conditioning. Ignorance. I can think of all these reasons and more why ‘contouring’ is preferable for most people. You make such excellent points! The military thing really got me thinking. I took a voluntary redundancy from my job 4 years ago in order to travel and express myself creatively. They paid me to leave, and people thought I was crazy. Four years later, those people are still there and I have created a life I LOVE which challenges and excites me beyond belief. I have no idea what comes next. But it beats knowing. Go you two, go!!!!

    1. I couldn’t agree more! Fear is definitely the number one thing holding us all back! Kudos to you for creating the life you want! That’s so awesome! Heading over to your blog now!

  2. Such an enlightening and thoughtful analysis of the opposition met by those choosing to live alternatively from the current of society. Keep living, keep enriching.


  3. To be young and free at heart. So that is what it is called….CONTOURING…trying to fitting my square into a circle. Keep enjoying LIFE. Wonderful read!!!

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