Want to be happy? Stop worrying about what other people think.
Easier said than done? Maybe. But if we keep basing our big decisions on what our friends and family might think, we aren’t doing ourselves any favors. Why DO we have to wait for the other person to order first at the restaurant? You want the chicken wings? GET THE WINGS. Don’t worry about what your friends are going to order so you can compare choices. Imagine a whole day when every decision you make is based solely on what you want to do. You might sleep in until 2pm, go eat a cake for breakfast, or spend the afternoon watching TV. Did it make you happy? is one day of your life spent vegging out going to ruin it? NO.
I hate that by the time you’re 16, you are expected to have your career planned out. I hate that we can’t get facial piercings at certain work places because “it might offend somebody.” I hate that money is such a concern for everyone, that “getting ahead” is the only way to live, because it’s ruining our freedom, our imaginations. I hate that our social stigma is so set in its ways, that for the longest time I looked down on high school graduates who took a few years before university to travel, to work, to chill out and really focus on what they want. I’m so THAT person now. I want to travel! I want to teach abroad for a summer, I want to camp out in my car and road trip across America. I want to work on a cruise ship. I want to experience friendships and relationships that I’m not used to, without everyone judging them or giving their two cents about it. I want to be able to go to a coffee shop at 2am and just write, and sleep in the next morning without feeling guilty about it.
So lately I’ve just stopped caring. I saw a movie by myself for the first time ever last month. And you know what, it was great! But when I told a few friends that I did it, they judged me. Openly! “Really? Oh, I could never do that… you had nothing better to do than see a movie by yourself?” So you know what? I stopped telling them. I wrote a short story that would make my parents cringe. But it’s not them that needs to be pleased with it. I enjoyed writing it! So I did it.
So basically what I’m trying to say is this. Life is long, and overall, I think we are too hard on ourselves. We have 60 more years (because, according to a recent Study, british columbians live an average of 81.4 years) to sort out our careers, our families, our relationships, and our finances. So if you want to put your $5,000 dollar savings towards a Eurail trip around Europe instead of a down payment on a new car, DO IT. You can always save more money. If you want to study math for hours, research its history, solve an unsolveable, DO IT. If you want to hook up with somebody atypical to your usual type, DO IT. If you want to sleep all day, just one day, DO IT. If you want to take a new dance class because you have an hour to fill on thursday nights, DO IT.
Don’t you want to be happy? Then start making your own decisions.