You Don’t Get to Have an Opinion

I was having a conversation with someone once. We were talking about our younger-selves and how much we’ve changed. I guess living life in the first person is a lot different than what others see. How I view my life is one way… and how this person viewed my life was different.

My life hasn’t been smooth, I’ll admit. There were so many things that happened. Some of them were little and some of them were really big. All in all, I’ve been changed…drastically. I can honestly say that if I were to meet my 15 year old self, we would be strangers to each other.

But, my life, has been my life. I can’t change the past. I can’t change how things went in my life. I can only prepare my life for the future and learn from previous mistakes. I feel that I have become a better person because of what I experienced. I understand a lot more and I feel differently about a lot of things. I see things in ways I didn’t see them before and I’m happy with that. I like the way I see the world today.

This other person disagrees… completely.

This person – who naturally will remain nameless – told me that once upon a time, I had standards. Once upon a time, I had high expectations. Once upon a time, I had my shit under control.

Apparently, I have fallen from grace. This person tells me that I no longer have standards. I’ll settle for anything. I’ll settle for dirt. I’ll settle for shit. I no longer have expectations but rather, I’m drowning in failure. I clearly don’t have my shit together. I’m now doing things ‘disgusting human beings’ do. I’m now considered ‘below’ them. I’m now considered ‘stupid’ to them.

Why?

Because of my life. Because of the choices that I made for myself. The choices I decided were best for me.

I strive to achieve what my heart wants. I wanted to be a writer, I became a writer. I wanted to move out of my parents’ house, I moved out. I wanted to get a tattoo… I now have 5. Others look at this and think these are all bad choices. You shouldn’t do the things you like but rather do the things that will make you succeed in this world.

What the definition of ‘succeed’ is to this person, I’ll never know.

While he/she might throw in that oh-so-loving phrase: “You’re gonna do what you want anyway.”

Hell yeah I am. It’s MY life. Why shouldn’t I do what I want with it?

Ultimately, people are judgmental. That’s just the way it is, folks.

We are judged by what we wear, how we talk, how we act, etc. Everything about us is judged. Unfortunately, this causes people to stray away from you at times. Someone out there may judge me for my tattoos and thus not speak to me. Someone may judge me because I’m a female.

So while I say you don’t have the right to have an opinion on my life – you will. You will have all sorts of opinions on my life: what you think is ‘wrong’ with it and what you think were ‘bad decisions’.

I’m okay with being a disappointment in your eyes. I’m okay with your judgments on me. Because like me and my 15 year old self, you and I are now just strangers.

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