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I rather be someone’s shot of whiskey, than everyone’s cup of tea

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I rather be someone’s shot of whiskey, than everyone’s cup of tea

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The most important lesson I have learned since my days as an uncomfortable, nerdy 16 year old girl eager to please everyone around me: someone (often multiple someones) in your life will always have something negative to say about decisions you make.  

Accepting this. Embracing this. Moving forward from this is one of the most mentally freeing experiences you will ever have. I’m about to abuse my quote quota for a blog post, but this is so significant and quotes tell it best. Since I was a young and would run to my dad in tears about something or someone, he would always say to me:

“Why care what people think, when they seldom do?”

I repeated this quote at the national LifeSmarts competition in Miami, Florida my senior year of high school. A group of judges asked everyone on the competing teams what their favorite quote was. When it came to me, the words tumbled out without a second’s hesitation and when I realized that I’d probably offended half of the people in the room, I suddenly understood. In that moment that I was essentially telling the judges, “You don’t use your brains often so I could care less what you think” I realized I did not care what they thought of me. I did not care if they thought I was the smart ass girl from Minnesota. Instead I laughed at their surprised faces, went on to beat the other team, and then later that day met the love of my life.

That’s another story.

It was the first time I had said the quote, and truly embraced the words. I’m not sure if I’d credit my new found self-confidence to offending a room of people, or if it was getting so far at a national competition, or maybe it was from meeting that boy from Alabama who I fell in love with. But something changed.

I didn’t care when people questioned me about moving from a town of 102 to a city of over 300,000 and if I could handle it. I didn’t care when people asked me how I was going to maintain a long distance relationship at only 19 years old. I didn’t even care when people told me that majoring in political science or public relations would never get me a job.

This is not saying you shouldn’t take people’s advice into consideration when those people matter to you. Listening to the opinions of people you value is an important, humbling quality. An example: When I abruptly decided I was switching schools and moving to the South because it’d be easier for our relationship. My parents, college friends, and high school friends all told me to calmly assess whether that was practical. It did not take much for me to realize that no, it wasn’t. 

But the negative criticism various people will throw at you for literally every decision you make? It’ll happen, and I hate to say this, but it will never stop.

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
– Dita Von Teese

When I got engaged and made the decision to move across the country, I received some of the most negative backlash from some of the most unlikely people. People who did not know me well had things to say that left me speechless. I thought back to that moment at LifeSmarts. I was the smart-ass, apparently “clueless” Minnesota girl all over again. So I handled it quite similarly to the way I had three years before.

Laughed. Got married. Moved.

I never apologize to people who criticize my decisions. You shouldn’t either. Not now. Not ever. Don’t apologize for who you fall in love with, what passion you choose to follow, how you practice your beliefs or whether you practice them at all, how you vote, or where you live. Do not care what people think when they seldom do. We all have a handful of people who support our decisions, who are always encouraging us, and whose opinions matter above all others. Value their input and their’s alone.

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“I rather be someone’s shot of whiskey, than everyone’s cup of tea.” 

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