I was pondering yesterday just how much value should be placed on other people's opinions. You hear people say on the regular, 'it's MY life'. Sure, it is. But deep down we all value the opinions of others and secretly want at least some people to think we are awesome, don't we? I want my friends to say good things about me even when I'm not there. I want my parents to brag about me from time to time. I want my sisters to say that I am the best sister and they'd take 10 more just like me, as I'm in the habit of saying of them. So I guess the truth is I do care what people think. Not every person, mind you, but more than a few.
Someone recently told me not to do something I'd planned on because 'people would take it the wrong way'. I considered this for a moment and realizing that even if they did, it wouldn't be so bad, I moved forward with my plan. If people want to assume I'm dating someone I'm not, fine. If they want to make judgements about the movies I see or the books I read (and trust me, they do), let em. If the misinterpret my intentions or my desires, that's on them. People tend to assume what they want anyways, right?
The secret I assume lies in finding the balance in caring enough what people think to be sensitive to the people you care about but not allowing your life to be dominated by the fear of other peoples assumptions. I, for one, like to make my assumptions clear up front. Each time I've started dating someone I've sat them down and said up front, 'Listen, I know that you have friends that are girls and ex girlfriends and girls that work with you, etc. So from now and until you tell me otherwise, I'm going to assume that you're dating me and only me because you want to be. Thus giving me zero reason to be jealous of anyone else you're not dating and if/when that changes, you let me know'.
I've learned that leaving things unsaid is a great set up for misinterpretation. Saying what you mean is far less misconstrued. It's harder than I thought to be truly honest, because deep down I really do want to tell people what they want to hear some of the time. More than that I've learned to lay me expectations out on the table. It's not fair to hold people accountable for expectations they didn't know I had, right? But if I lay them out in an appropriate way if gives the other person the chance to either meet, exceed, or contest them.
I get a fair bit of criticism which some may say I invite by being a social media junkie with a blog. I started this blog to say when I mean and I've done just that - despite the reactions. Honestly, I get more positive feedback then negative which has kept me being open for the last two years of blogging but that doesn't mean there haven't been some tough criticisms as well. I'm 25 and I'm very much still learning. I make mistakes. I have terrible ideas and thoughts at times. I say awful things sometimes. I'm horrible clumsy. I do things others don't always understand or approve of. But I'm unapologetic for my imperfections, because if I had it to do over I'd make many of the same mistakes if that's what it took to get here.
I will end this entry with the immortal words of Dr. Suess: 'Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind'.