It’s your life. No one gets a vote but you.

August 22, 2014

it's your life

Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey.

They don’t need to. It’s not for them.

Here’s how it is:

It’s YOUR life. But everyone’s got something to say about it, have you noticed?

They might not understand.

They might not approve.

They may even actively work against what you’re doing.

As a result, you may feel badly.

That you’re letting them down.

Disappointing them.

You may even second-guess your path because of this opposition.

You might even be tempted CHANGE your path.

Fear, doubt and uncertainty can be powerful road blocks.

I know this only too well from my own journey, which in some ways has been non-traditional.

But here’s the thing:

it’s not important that anyone else approve of — or even understand — what you’re doing.

It’s not their journey. It’s yours.

And you’re the only one who gets to plan the itinerary.

It’s your life.

So, you go girl! or guy!

32 comments on “It’s your life. No one gets a vote but you.
  1. Preach it, sister! I’m totally with you!

  2. kim tackett says:

    Yup, and also important to remember when you’re on the other side of the path…it’s not your journey, it’s theirs!

  3. I learned this lesson late in life…wish it had been earlier…but at least I know it now!! This is why I started the I MATTER series on my blog…it is important that we all recognize this! Thanks, Carol!!

  4. So very true Carol. As Dr. Suess says, ““You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.””

  5. Haralee says:

    So well said! I used to fly for business a lot. On flights, delays or deicing or what have you I had many strangers talk to me and often it was about regrets in their lives because they did what they thought was expected not really what they wanted. From their career to their marriage to having children.

  6. Pat says:

    Great advice, Carol. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. You are absolutely right, and we all need to be reminded of it from time to time. Thanks, Carol!

  8. Laurel Regan says:

    Wise words and a great reminder.

  9. Lana says:

    How I wish I would have learned this sooner! But…ever forward. Thanks for the great reminder.

  10. chuck house says:

    Carol, I must be getting to that ‘grumpy old man’ phase, or you are getting ever more provocative with your posts. Probably both.

    I actually disagree with your title, while agreeing fully with the subtitle. My experience is that it rurns out that everyone DOES (or at least many folk do) get a vote; that’s the subtext of your message–many offer advice (voting) about your choices and options. And, sometimes, maybe especially in hindsight, we can see wisdom in their advice.

    The trick is in deciding who counts the votes–to the extent that YOU do, you’re in charge. What happens to so many people is that they are willing to let votes from others override their own vote, kinda like voting for your opponent when you ran for student body office because it was unseemly to ‘vote for yourself.’ But, in actuality, it is always your choice whether to weigh the other votes higher than your own–that responsibility is hard to avoid.

    How many times have we heard “He (or she) made me do it”? Unless at gunpoint, to accept that is to abdicate. And it is the abdication, not the proferred advice, that’s the issue. Right?

  11. chuck house says:

    Thinking on this further, especially with respect to the ‘arrangement’ or ‘agreement’ that my wife and I have arrived at–she is President of the Interior, and I am President of the Exterior. So I have the much bigger domain, including foreign policy for Venezuela and the Ukraine, while she gets to choose paint colors and furniture for the dining room. I didn’t realize for some time that “interior” includes anything viewable from inside the home, but that is a minor detail.

    The point of this comment for the post, Carol, is that we agree that whoever owns the domain has the bigger vote, period, always–with one exception: the other person, on issues of true concern, can have a ‘veto’ vote. This ‘veto’ vote works like a filibuster more than a ‘meeting adjourned’ but it is an approach to say that there are indeed situations where it simply is not just YOUR CHOICE alone, because it is a shared domain.

    That’s the real concern I have with the title: for shared domains, which includes raising kids, making life choices about where and how to live, a partner is part of the deal if you have one.

  12. Thanks, Carol. I know it’s my journey – but sometimes it’s lonely. But, other times it’s crowded with friends.

  13. Liv says:

    That’s the way it should be. If only we’d didn’t get so wrapped up in what everyone else wants.

  14. Carol Graham says:

    This is a lesson in life we usually learn later rather than sooner. How wonderful it would be to instil this into our children from a young age. But, there are so many factors at play – esteem being the biggest one. So keep preaching it – hopefully you can help those that need to hear this!

  15. So true. It’s my journey; accomplishments, mistakes and all. Judging others from your own set of experiences does no one any good. It just causes resentment, and who has time for that?

  16. “Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.” J.R.R. Tolkien.

  17. Perfect timing for this post. I just went through a situation like this with someone. You know, my mother always said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Why can’t more people listen to this great advice???

  18. Thanks for the great (and oh-so-hard timely) reminder.

    Fear, doubt and uncertainty are always there, but my journey goes ever on-and-on 🙂

  19. Kimba says:

    Love, love, love this message. Like others, I wish I had understood this wisdom before midlife.

  20. Great words to live by and pretty much how I have run my life to date. Hubby gets a say but not total control other than that…sorry!

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