I’m going to deviate a little bit, and share in this post an excerpt from my book – a collection of personal prose. I’ve been noticing the last little while a trend, not just in my own life, but in those around me as well. With the new year, I’ve been making a lot of changes in my life, and this piece of writing can definitely fit that context. Can you relate at all?
(Side note: reminiscing back a few days ago to the super mild Canadian temperatures because tonight it is FREEZING! How many more months until summer?!!!!)
“Backseat drivers. Those people who hop in to join you on a leg of your journey, and think it’s entirely appropriate to dictate how you drive. Slow down. Speed up! Use your turn signal. Stay farther back. You shouldn’t park there. Turn here – I know a better way. Some even have the gall to reach for the wheel, as if you’re not in control at all. Most of us have been this person, whether we’ve realized it or not. We all know these people; you’re probably holding a name in your mind right now. I’m willing to bet these same people are also backseat driving your life.
Why do we let people tell us how we should live our lives? Why do we carry such guilt when we stand up for ourselves? We don’t want to be a disappointment; it’s not in our nature to cause pain in another. But what about what YOU want? We have become so obsessed with tip-toeing around the feelings of others that we completely disregard our own. Taking care of ones self above all else has been labeled as selfish. This is false, and this mentality needs to disappear. You come first; if you are not taking care of you, then you are doing a disservice to others. Happiness and content ripple. Do not allow any other person to dictate how your life should be. If it won’t satisfy you, if it’s not what you want – don’t do it. We should never do anything for the sole sake of satisfying another’s wish for us.
Many people have probably told you to get a degree for a job that will make you rich. It all sounds great, and probably even practical, but is it what you want? A dollar sign doesn’t make you truly rich in life. What you want for yourself is important; more important than what anyone else desires for you. Your life’s road map should be created for you, by you.
If your dream is to become a doctor or a lawyer, then seek that dream. If you don’t want to go to college, then don’t! If you want to start a business, become a musician, or run away with the circus, then pursue those dreams. Seek and listen with your heart; throw all of your passion into whichever direction that leads you. Let no one tell you otherwise.
When someone tells you that you can’t, scream, “YES, I can!”
When someone implies that you will never succeed, say, “Watch me.”
Take the steering wheel of your life back. Keep a firm grip. The only person who can tell you that you can’t is yourself. But, you can.”