<revised> In Japan over a thousand years a complex set of unwritten rules has developed that society follows. It was described to me once by a Japanese person as feeling like an actor once you step out your front door because there are so many actions one must always do in every situation and so many cultural code words to decipher.
The west in my eyes is less formal but still has some overarching norms that society follows. I’ve often rebelled against the set way of doing things in some small and often dumb way. I always delighted in finding ways around the system or just plain ignoring the rules and getting away with it. Now based in Asia I live a life more liberating than could ever be achieved in Australia since as a foreigner I am not expected to know unwritten customs or am excused for breaking rules. It’s liberating as well here that men are not demonized as they have become in my home country.
Friends have confided to me they would love to go on a adventure like I have done but their husband or wife would never let them. I’ve experienced this. Having someone try exert control over me, but I always cut the anchor and sailed on. Worrying about what other people think is such a powerful thing. I think riders enjoy a respite from that when on our bikes. We disappear inside our helmets and riding makes us focus on the now. But at some point I think you need to acknowledge if someone is selfishly manipulating your life and if you are sufficiently unhappy please take steps to improve your situation.
When writing the story of your life if you give the pen to someone else and forfeit your dreams to placate another and follow advice of people who have been nowhere surely you will end up disappointed and bitter. You are not trapped even if it seems that way. Consider the time to live your life is limited, think outside the box or simply reach out to a professional for help.
*apologies to those who commented previously. I have rewritten this trying to convey what was on my mind better but in doing do so I softened the tone too much and lost the emotion of the original post.