Don’t Check Anyone’s Boxes but Your Own

Do you. Fuck everyone else’s criteria, they should only matter to you because YOU value them.

Why do you go to school?

Why do you work out?

Why do the ideas you hold near and dear to your being matter to you?

Why do you need to put in the effort you do every morning?

Why do your habits matter to you?

Whose dream are you fulfilling with your goals?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions before?

If you haven’t, I’m firmly convinced that you’re missing out.

Missing out on life, living it as true to your heart as you can rather than doing it all for someone else.

For years, I lived for others. I went to college because my mother convinced me that it was the only way to go — she wasn’t the only one, either.

I considered dropping out on half a dozen separate occasions in the last two years it took me to get my degree. In the end I always gave in to sticking it out because I got convinced by the other converts that school was the only way to go.

I no longer believe this, but to get there it was a hard and somewhat isolating path.

I had to detach from other people’s expectations. My mother’s fears about failure were at the top of the list, right alongside my own insecurities.

I was afraid of not fitting in, of not finding my tribe. I was afraid of not making my life work without a degree.

I wasn’t sure that I would be able to have my choice career without going to school. I want to educate and I thought that I couldn’t do that without having a degree in education. It was supposed to stand for validation of my knowledge and experience.

…and yet, had I followed through with a degree in education, I’d have been left with a hard-to-get piece of paper and still little to no actual experience in education.

My life changed when I began to understand whose voices I was listening to in my own mind.

It was a cleansing experience to step away from everyone else’s expectations. I began to hear my own voice and expectations instead.

When I let go of other people’s opinions, I started hearing what really mattered to me.

I didn’t want to be in school anymore.

I wanted to be free.

I wanted to travel long-term.

So I did it.

What would happen if you no longer listened to the voices that don’t belong to you?

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