I want to be my own person, pursue my own interests, live life in a way that makes me happy. I can’t isolate my interests from the interests of others though. The direction I take must consider what’s expected of me from my co-workers, peers, boss, friends, spouse, and kids. Their expectations conflict with my interests. Even where my interests and the expectations of others don’t directly oppose one another in principle…doing one chews away at time so I can’t do the other. Life is limited. I’m connected to other people. I can’t be happy if I am unable to become myself. All these ideas compete. Is happiness the honed skill of navigating a middle path…or is it devotion to others…or to self? Can I be selfish with my time and interests and be a good person at the same time? Can I devote my life to others and not be “fake?” Why would God set life up in this way? Do others struggle with this same paradox, or is it just me that has passions and interests apart from the norms of society?