“No one has ever asked my permission before they made a decision in their own life. You have to do what is right and best for you.’
-My mother

It is interesting to me that as children, teenagers, and young adults we fight for the freedom and the right to make our own life decisions. We ignore or refute the opinions from others, including our own family and close friends. We declare on some subconscious level that we know it all and that we are independent.

Yet, as we enter mature adulthood and the years pass, we become engrossed with the notion that someone may not approve of a decision we have made. Your parents become advisor’s, your friends influence your decisions, and we even wonder why the person standing behind us in the line at the grocery store is looking at us awkwardly. Hell, the old running joke is that a husband can’t make a decision without the approval of their wife.

However, at the same time, we embrace the ability to make our own decisions. Everyone does. We choose who to date but then worry about our [future or current] in-laws and if they currently like us or will hate us if we reach the point of not working out. We choose where to live but then wonder if the people that we left behind are upset. We choose to take on a different job opportunity and then worry that our previous co-workers will be disappointed. We jump right in to love but then fear the outcome when we fall out of love, not because of ourselves but because of the other person. We choose our friends but when a critical life choice comes along, we wonder if they’ll approve.

We spend countless, exhausting hours thinking, worrying, and trying to be considerate of everyone else in our lives. In doing so, we make ourselves miserable. When do you reach the age that you start living for yourself and what makes you happy?

My mom asked me one day, “Did anyone else in your life ever ask for your permission before they did something?”, and it really stuck. Nope, they sure the hell did not. No one has ever approached me to ask how I would feel before they made a decision for their own life, including my own family. Of course I’m not encouraging you to take a road of no consideration for others. This is strictly personal choices and decisions. Making changes and decisions for what is best for ourselves. Things we should entirely decide on our own.

Why do we put so much effort in to making sure our decisions impact someone else as little as possible when the decisions are ours to make? No one else’s. If they love us, want us around, and support us, then they will be there at the end of the decision. If they aren’t, do we really want to spend the rest of our lives coddling them and holding ourselves back?

Some of the most toxic people can be the people closest to us. The ones that are supposed to support us, may actually be the ones holding us back. The ones that are supposed to love us unconditionally, may be the most judgmental. Every now and then, we have to take a step back and really evaluate who we are including in our lives.

Are we living it for ourselves or for them?

Tammy Lee
November 18, 2018


Own your decisions

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