I’m Not a Rebel, I just Can’t Be Bothered

Apparently I'm wrong. There are tons of books called a Guide to Life. Oh well, CBB.

There is no official guidebook to life and thank God for that because if there was, I would probably not be following it. I am notoriously bad at following recipes and instruction manuals. I cannot build furniture or puzzles. I can’t even really read or follow a map. Let me clarify. It’s not that I can’t, it’s that I am CBB. (Pronounced in Spanish with a California Valley Girl accent, CeiBayBay.)

 CBB stands for Can’t Be Bothered, and it is a life philosophy my friends and I adopted way back in our early twenties, when we could afford to be CBB about lots and lots of things. For example, we would show up late, or not at all to an event and say something like “Sorry, CBB.” It is an adjective, a state of being and an excuse.

 As a woman in her thirties I cannot just be CBB about anything anymore, so I choose wisely. What I am CBB about now, is prescribing to societal expectations of who I should be or already be as a woman in her thirties. Society says that I should have my life pretty much figured out by now and that if I don’t, something must be wrong with me. I should have a steady career with benefits, and a 401K. I should have a husband some kids and a couples date night. I should own some property. I should look a certain way, dress a certain way and have the right status symbols to show off to the world. To all of these “shoulds” I say a loud capital letter “CBB!” (Just writing it feels empowering.)


 I just can’t be bothered to do the supposed “right” things. To be honest, sometimes I wish I could find happiness in convention. It would make life so much easier if I could be fulfilled by what society tells me I should be fulfilled by, whether that be status, money or career trajectory. If I could only follow the road map that we are all supposed to be following, perhaps then I would stop questioning every decision I make.

I don’t know many people who are on track with societal expectations. In fact, most everyone I know is paving their own way and reaching the milestones of adulthood in their own time. Despite this sense of independence though, (and I am certainly not alone in this), I have also experienced a feeling of inadequacy that comes not from comparing myself to my peer group, but from comparing myself to the dreaded society, (whoever that may be.) Sometimes, no matter how CBB I am, I can’t help seeing if the progress I have made, measures up to some ideal that has not existed since my parents were my age. It is a different world and perhaps it isn’t me that is weird or unconventional, but society’s expectation of what it means to be a thirty-something that is outdated and old fashioned.

By: W. Castellanos-Wolf 


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