I believe 100% that we all need to become our own person, no matter who that person is.
This is coming from someone born in the hispanic community. I will not be specific on where I’m from because it’s not important here, but for those Hispanic folks reading this, (Don’t feel left out non-Hispanic readers!)… but we all know that having our own opinion is a rare… and honestly, I don’t think I’m exaggerating.
I come from a place where everyone relies on each other for everything.. And I mean EVERYTHING!!!! Like, “What should I eat?” Everyone has an opinion on what they’d like you to eat, or “What do you think about what I should do in the future?” Everyone has an opinion about what THEY see you doing in your future… there’s no, “Oh hey, it’s really not my saying, it’s not my life, I think you should figure that out on your own,” type of thing. It’s always, “I think you should be this, and that, or be like her” with just about anything. And for one second I just want to say… STOP!!
If you’re older than I am (Especially if you’re my parents and somehow found out about my blog) I want you to stop and let me figure out life on my own, because 1) You might not be there once I’m older! Let’s be a little more “realistic” (more on that later!) 2), It’s not your life, it’s my life. I didn’t ask you to give me life. And just to clarify: This does not make me an ungrateful child, because I am plenty grateful. And 3) We are both figuring out life together, you just have a few years on me.
I’m not trying to criticize my parents. I sincerely apologize if this offended any of you who are parents. I respect each and every one of you for your efforts in taking care of your children. I completely understand you just want the best for us (trust me, when I become a mother myself, that’s the only thing I want for mine.) But, really think about this: If you genuinely want us to be happy, Why not push us to be happy? Instead of wanting us to go to an Ivy League School, have a certain career, etc etc etc…
All I am saying is; whoever you are, I’d advise you to disconnect yourself from everyone that wants you to be a certain way, because 9 times out of 10, you might not even like how other people see you. And in the end you probably only decide to do that certain career or school because you feel that you’ll fit in or because it’s the norm and everyone else is doing it.
I was never accepted for having my own opinion and God forbid if I did! or even worse, if I disagreed with the other person. Well… you see, if you weren’t part of the group, that meant you were different, and being different was absolutely not acceptable.
I’ve always been the weirdo, everywhere I went. I’m the middle child (if you are a middle child, then you know what I am talking about) not to mention the only left handed girl in my family (this is somehow a strange thing to my family) and honestly, everywhere I went I’ve felt isolated and extremely alone. I always wanted to fit in with the group, always wanted everyone to like me, always wanted to be included in things and be where everyone was, but it just never happened! And I always suffered because I didn’t feel worthy enough or good enough or anything enough! It was depressing. I worried a lot about other people’s opinions and I always let them influence me only to be unsatisfied once I was not with them.
When I was I was about 16, I decided I wanted to become an actress. When I told my family and friends; every single one of them bombarded me with even MORE rejection, laughs; looks that said, “ Is not going to happen.” My response was, “Well, how do you know? I don’t understand, can you see my future?”
I was finally starting to have my own opinion, and it was completely unacceptable to the people I was surrounded by at the time. The moment I realize that my opinion wasn’t valid was at the counselor’s office: I was talking to her about my career choice (You would think this person is suppose to work for your benefit, Not! ) She said, “It cannot happen with someone like you, this is something we don’t do, you’re just not pretty enough,” I was completely shocked, confused and lost by this response, “How dare she say such things!”
Later, unconsciously, I disconnected myself from everyone and everything. Later on, I had the courage to go to an Acting Conservatory, without anybody influencing my decision, and honestly, it was the best decision that I HAVE EVER MADE. It made me who I am now, and I am not only happy with who I am, but I am very proud to be who I am; of being unlike a lot of people I grew up with. I now make sure to disconnect from others’ opinions first, before making a decision.
Not only that, but the minute I attended that Conservatory, I wasn’t the only lefty!( Again, this is something I grew up thinking was taboo) A lot of people were left handed, I was amazed! Not only that, but everyone agreed to disagree and encouraged other people’s decisions! I was fascinated!
This inner joy came only from the decision I chose for myself, by myself. I encourage you to do just that, and support whatever you decide for yourself.
Imagine if I had followed someone else’s voice, not followed my own and take a risk on my own. Imagine if I would have listened to my counselor’s idea of me, and not have gone to pursue my passion.Would I be the person I am today? I highly doubt it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “break the rules, not the law.”He was a man that wanted to become a movie star after his body training. A lot of people told him he was not fit for the movies, too big for the screen, Would he be Arnold Schwarzenegger if he had listened to what people told him? Would there even be a Terminator? Hmmmmm……
I say follow your gut! Make the choice that will go against everyone’s opinion, disconnect if you have to. You don’t even have to disconnect, maybe don’t even tell them! Do things for yourself for once. Really ponder on your choices without having someone hovering over your shoulder to tell you what to do. Have the courage to disagree and stand up for yourself and what you truly believe in.
The only person who knows what’s best for you, is YOU!