Socially Unacceptable

About two months ago, I had a reunion with an old friend.
We caught up a bit and got around to discussing why we stopped talking in the first place.
It was a semi-drunken conversation but one I happen to remember clearly. 
Obviously, there were certain aspects of the conversation that I still think about. 

During this "enlightening" conversation, we somehow got around to talking about why he made certain decisions that have greatly impacted his life... 

He threw me off with his answer...
"At the time, I was trying to follow social standards and I chose what was socially acceptable..."
I'm sure there was more but that's pretty much the gist of it... 


That was my face after I started thinking about it.....
What makes something or someone "socially acceptable"? 
And in the end..... who pays your bills? Your friends?  

If your social connections are the reason that you've made the decisions you've made throughout your life, what is wrong with you and your ability to think for yourself?
And does that mean you have to check in with others in order to figure out which toilet paper to use to wipe your ass with?

At what age do WE decide what is "socially acceptable" for ourselves and what is not?
25? 30? 40?

What factors make us decide what is socially UNacceptable?
Looks? Finances? Environment?

I'm still wondering.
It made me think...
Have I ever turned something or someone away simply because I found it to be socially unacceptable?
After much thought, I realize I had.... but not since I was 12 or 13.
Because of this, I missed out on a life experience because I was concerned about what my friends and family would think.  
It's been at least 16 years since I've made that particular mistake.

I didn't stop caring about what others thought.
I just started caring more about what I thought.

I realized that when I was hanging out with the person mentioned earlier, I had just turned 26, and I really just didn't care about what anyone thought at all regardless of the circumstances.
I was bold, free and liberated.
MY social circle consisted of people around my age at the same place in life.
I was single and independent and at the end of the day, this person was not in the same place as I was.
And it's apparent, they're still not there.

So with that said, I'm left wondering what exactly needs to happen in order for us to start thinking for ourselves and stop worrying about what society thinks of us and our lives?

Who should define what is "socially acceptable" for you?


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