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I’ve recently noticed that people are pushing their unsolicited opinions about my personal choices on me more often than not. I’m not sure if this was always the case or whether I just haven’t been paying attention until now, but I’m finally grasping the underlying concept of staying true to yourself. There is an endless combination of choices that people face on a daily basis and to me, it feels like regardless of which choice I make, someone will always disapprove of my decision because it’s different. I’m gradually learning that this is just another part of life that will never change, but then again, life is full of surprises.

Take for example, a woman who chose to have a child and a career. Someone will come along and tell her that it is crucial for her neglected child to have a mother and role model during the early stages of child development. If this woman quit her job to stay home with the child, someone else will come along and tell her that she just lost everything she worked so hard to build up. If the woman chose not to have any children, someone will tell her that women are supposed to bear children. Regardless of this person’s choice, someone will always say, “you’re doing it wrong.”

Whenever I go jogging, at least one person will tell me that I’m already skinny so I don’t need to work out so much. When I bring up moving out of my mom’s house, someone will tell me I should save money on rent. If I don’t move out, people ask me if I’ll ever grow up and cut the umbilical cord. When I considered vegetarianism, someone kindly informed me that people need protein and soy is bad for my health. If I choose pick up, delivery is more convenient. If I choose delivery, now I’m spending too much money on tip. If I choose a career in business, someone will call me a boring corporate drone that brings no value to the world. If I want to be a teacher, someone will tell me that I’m not cut out to be a teacher; I’m not “bubbly” enough to do it. If I want to stand up at work, I should sit to protect my lower back instead. If I want to walk, I should drive instead. If I want to breathe, I should just hold my breath and suffocate instead. And yes, these are all examples, almost verbatim… except for the last one.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the advice. I’m just getting tired of all these pointless, insignificant conversations that boil down to different = wrong. As the old cliché goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Well I prefer my cat unskinned. Why should I base my decisions on what other people like instead of what I like? I mean, if everyone chose to jump off a bridge blah blah blah, you get the point.

People should just be themselves, even if someone else doesn’t like it. What’s the point of impressing people who don’t even like you for who you are? Some people just aren’t worth the time and energy. Just stay true to yourself and be happy. What makes life so unpredictable and exciting is that there are infinite paths to personal fulfillment, and the best part is that we all get to write our own story.

October 2013

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