“It’s our life. Not anyone else’s. They make their own decisions and we make ours. They’re not living your life. You are, and you get to decide how you wanna live it.”
Almost five years ago, my best friend told me that advice. Even though I thought it was wise then at the infinitely knowledgeable age of 15, it holds even more weight for me now.
I’m sure she’d be surprised that I not only remembered this quote AND wrote it down for the history books, but that I chose her advice as the best I’ve ever gotten.
I don’t remember what was happening at the time to merit such advice, but I remember feeling so relieved that it was true and that it was there for me to listen to.
For such a large portion of my adolescent life, I was taught to follow the crowd, to keep my opinion to myself, and to wait for the approval of others.
But when she told me that, I had this crazy oh-my-gosh epiphany that I could ultimately make my own choices, acknowledge the judgment that was sure to follow, and trust in my intuition in the end.
Now, it’s not something that I think about when a situation arises, but it’s something that’s deeply ingrained in the way I live.
And, it’s hard.
It’s hard because I still constantly second (or triple) guess speaking my opinion, and I continue to seek the approval of others even when my gut is telling me that I’m crazy for needing it.
And, I know it’s normal to still think this way because we’ve been so conditioned by society’s beliefs. However, I also know what I’m striving for, which is confidence in the way I want to live my life and the decisions that I make..
I’ve never shared this advice with anyone else in the way that McKaylee shared it with me, but I have always encouraged those around me to be different, to think differently, and to create their own path.
Plus, it gives me a lovely excuse to dress however I want.