Just because the whole world gives presents at birthdays and at Christmas doesn’t mean you’re obligated to do the same. When your gift-giving has degenerated to a practice of just giving out $51 in cash in an envelope to someone, or noting down in a journal how much cash you got from a family member or friend for your birthday just so you can reciprocate that same amount when it’s that family member’s birthday again, you’re not doing it because it makes you happy. You’re doing it because it’s some social construct that you feel must be adhered to.
How many relatives and so-called friends can you really keep happy though? And at what cost to your own happiness? Why is the world obsessed with making us follow these social norms just to see if we care enough to belong to this culture? What added benefit does belonging to a society or culture even have on your day-to-day life anymore? In the caveman era, you actually needed to belong to a tribe or else you’d get eaten. That’s not true anymore. You may need to belong to a tribe for other reasons, but there are a lot more low maintenance tribes out there.
In order to belong to certain tribes, you’ll go out of your way and your financial means to buy a big house and a nice car, even though you have no real interest in those things. I only need a car that gets me from point A to B, I’m not into the speed or power or anything else. So why do I care to belong to a tribe that values fast cars? All they’re going to talk about is cars and it’s going to bore me to death. Faking an interest to belong to a tribe is a fast way to have them assume you care about those same things and it’ll cost your sanity when you feel like nobody knows the real you. You’ve been putting on countless facades. How could anyone possibly know the real you? You have to be honest and true to your interests and your thoughts, and forget the consequences. The world is a much bigger place than it used to be. Just because you don’t fit into one tribe, it’s not the end of the world. There are so many other people you have access to who are interested in the same things you are. Go and find them. Don’t shy behind what you think you should be doing. Do what you want to be doing.
Decide your purpose and align everything according to that. Don’t worry about what the car tribe thinks of you. From their perspective, they will think you aren’t enjoying your life because you only have a cheap car. But they don’t know you’re using your money to enjoy the things you want to enjoy in life. You’ve decided what you want to do and you’re doing it; you’re deriving happiness from it. Forget the rest of the world. They will always be as miserable as they make themselves out to be.