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Judgment. This is something I have (unfortunately) become very familiar with, especially this past year.
That new career change that you are really excited about? There is going to be someone saying, “You won’t make any money doing that!” or “Why would you want to do THAT?”
Did you decide to change your major and start studying something that you are actually interested in? I’ve heard it all before: “You won’t make it in that industry,” “you don’t have the right look for that career,” “You won’t be happy doing that.”
Maybe it’s about that new person you started dating. Maybe you’re finally happy and in a healthy relationship. You might have a family member who says, “Oh, but I loved Dave! Why aren’t you dating him?!” Or maybe your friends all think you “look better” next to Teresa. Why do they get a say in your relationship? It’s your relationship! So many people seem to think they have some sort of right, though.
Maybe you want to travel, or move to a new city or state (or even country). Maybe you have taken up a new hobby. Maybe you just have no idea what you want to do with your life and you’re in a moment of feeling lost and confused. Whatever it is, there are going to be people judging you for it, for no reason, and without any invitation from you. For some reason, they have built up these expectations and dreams about you and if you decide to go against their plan about you, it seems to offend them.
It’s annoying. I grew up always trying to please people and make others happy. I wanted them to be proud of me, even if that meant I wasn’t making myself proud. I was never doing anything for what was going to make me happy. All of that eventually lead to resentment because I wasn’t standing up or speaking up for what I wanted for my life. So yes, I am changing my career, and my major, and I’m dating who I want and living where I want. At first, that’s hard to be okay with. In fact, I kept most of it a secret for a while. I was afraid to “let people down,” but I knew if I continued living my life for other people, I was going to continue letting myself down. When you have so many people making you feel like you’re not living your life the right way, it’s easy to second guess yourself. Sure, some people may have the best of intentions with their “words of wisdom,” or, as I like to call them, their unwanted comments. You probably have some family and friends that just don’t want to see you end up hurt or struggling. But in the long run, you have to feel happy about yourself. If that means trying some things out and maybe failing, at least you know it’s because you wanted to do those things. So, be proud of yourself. Do what is going to make you smile when you look in the mirror. Be someone that you would admire. People might not understand it, but that’s okay. I know what some of you are thinking, you’ve heard this all before about staying true to yourself. But sometimes you have to hear it a couple (hundred) times until it finally clicks.
For me, it finally clicked a couple months ago that it was okay for me to do something for myself and to make myself proud. When I finally decided to share what I was doing with family and friends, I felt a relief because I felt like I was finally sticking up for myself. I’m finally at peace and in a place of contentment with who I am, what I’m doing, and who I’m doing it with.