Recently, I have been feeling that everyone else in my life thinks they know exactly how I should live it, and has no problem telling me. On a regular basis. This becomes a problem when all these opinions, shoulds and shouldn’ts, collide. That problem is further compounded when, as every human being, the owner of the life in question (me) has questions about life, wonders what to do next, or is afraid of trying something new (doing book reviews, for example) but does it anyway.
Some people seem to smell naïveté and uncertainty, and instead of respecting that I am just trying my wings, they think it is their duty to hone in on me, throw advice at me until I choke on it, then get upset when I choose to do what I think is best if it doesn’t follow their advice. (Although, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’d be singing my praises if I agreed with any of their advice and followed it).
There are many past examples of how people seem to be unhappy with how I live my life or choices I have made, but a recent one that has to do with literature I thought would be helpful to share and to possibly inspire other people who are feeling frustrated with their current place on the timeline to their goals. I am a member of LinkedIn, where many people often contact me to send me their books for review. A recent message I got started out sounding like a compliment, because the man who wrote it had clearly read my profile and was using flattery about my writing style to make his point. However, the more I thought about his message, the more insulted I became, because his entire reason for contacting me was to tell me that he thought my goal of getting paid to write book reviews should be secondary to writing other things (mainly because he didn’t like book reviewers – my guess is he has had a few bad reviews in his life – and because, according to him, he preferred a readership that could think for themselves).
What really bothered me about his message was that without even getting to know why I do book reviews (to learn for and support other writers, to stop being afraid of sharing my voice, and to keep in practice writing about literature as I continue my academic pursuit of literature over time), he had already taken something that makes me happy, something that makes me feel useful and that I am good at, something that other people like (I have proof of that by all the followers and likes on this blog – thank you all very much!) and tried to cross it out and replace it with what HE is doing with his life. He wasn’t respecting me or what I do, he wasn’t even asking or caring why I do it.
But you know what? I am so sick and tired of being told by other people what I should or should not be doing with my life, and I refuse to stop doing what makes me happy. I am going to keep writing book reviews, and doing it my own way, thank you very much. I have been through a lot in my life and have experienced many wonderful and terrible things, and through it all, reading books and talking about them have always made me happy. They are my therapy. I’m not going to let anybody take that away from me. And whatever current things any of you out there do that make you happy, make you feel useful, make you feel even a little more like there is a place in this world just for you, you keep on doing them too! Hold on to other goals if you like, but don’t let anyone steal your happiness, and don’t give up on the things that make your life worthwhile.
Love you all and peace out,
❤ ❤ ❤