I was raised in a large family. Mom, dad, four brothers and two sisters. I’m the second youngest, out of all my siblings, but the youngest girl.
I’ve noticed that I sometimes struggle to maintain a balance between living for my family and living for myself. The norm for me has been to allow my family’s opinions to heavily influence parts of my life as I know they only want what’s best for me. They want me to act accordingly. They don’t want me to make the same mistakes they did or didn’t. They want me to set a good example. They want me to reach heights they never have and/or never will. I’m grateful to have received such guidance my entire life and still do.
The question now becomes, when does a person who was raised with so many opinions and advice begin to solely make their own decisions? Can a balance really be achieved between, still, heeding to those same opinions, and, making your own decisions?
Granted, I don’t always make decisions that gain my family’s approval. Honestly, sometimes, they really just don’t understand wtf I’m doing. Lol! But, a lot of those decisions have made me happy AND some of those decisions did not end up making me happy. Mind you, a lesson was learned in the former and the latter. In one instance, the lesson was that I could trust my own instinct to make decisions even if it goes against the advice of my family.
Yet, I must also admit that in the past I have made decisions to spite my family’s advice as a result of feeling stifled with their opinions or judgement. Such instances were prevalent when I was younger, now, I don’t feel the need to assert my decisions/independence anymore.
Who knows if we’ll ever get to the point where I’ll do something they don’t understand or agree with and they don’t pass judgement because my decision makes me happy.
Here is an example of the ideal conversation with my family.
Me: “I’m planning to *insert unusual thing here*” or “I did *insert unusual thing here*”
Family response: “I know that you have a good head on your shoulders– I respect your decision. If you’re happy then I’m happy.”
Despite not having a shortage of guidance in my life I have still managed to become self efficient and independent. That being said I can appreciate the fact that some of my family maybe even struggle to accept how “grown up” I’ve become or that I am an “adult”. So, the sooner they accept this the sooner our relationships will improve.
Deep down I always want to make them proud and a part of me might even still seek their approval. I used to feel so much pressure to act and think a certain way. This pressure held me hostage. It played a role in my most difficult times.
Nonetheless, moving to the other side of the world has greatly helped me detach and make my own decisions.
What I’d like for my family to know, other than what I’ve already said, is that I’m grateful for them and all the love and guidance they have given me. It’s a large part of who I am today. I’d also like them to know, in case they don’t already, I’m going to do things that they aren’t going to agree with or even understand but they should rest assured that they raised a smart girl with a discerning mind. One who is in-tune with God and her intuition. One who can determine what’s for her and what isn’t. One who is staying true to herself after spending so long in uncertainty. I no longer live in fear. I’m good.
I hope you may find peace in this.
Keep scrolling for pics from this past weekend that seemed fitting for this post.