Recently I was in the midst of a decision and was thrown off by someone’s response. You know the type of input “Oh – that’s what your gonna do?” “Oh – that’s what you are gonna wear?” “Oh – that’s your final plan?”. The decision isn’t even something that comes to mind now. It was super simplistic like the route I was taking somewhere or the weekend plan I had to balance my errands with fun. It wasn’t the thing they were responding to that threw me, it was my reaction: immediately I felt super defensive, followed by questioning of my own approach, and concluding with how much I hate that I am a person who can be so confident, yet can also so quickly be thrown off track.
Over the past few days this thought process has stuck with me. So many big decision in my life have resulted in negative reactions from others – yet I rarely wavered my path. How quickly we can forget the hard things we have overcome, only to have our whole afternoon ruined by someone’s judgement of one tiny aspect of our lives. I can so quickly become super self conscious by a pair of shoes that illicit a negative comment, yet I have spent much of my adult life doing things that don’t make any sense to the outside world.
Here is the deal – I am a pretty open person. Much to the chagrin of my husband…. parents… close friends – its rare for me to keep my emotions or opinions or experiences to myself. Over time I have learned to be a little more careful and remember that we all have two ears and just one mouth, but in the main if you ask me a question the answer will be written all over my face. And if it isn’t, it won’t be long before I want to sit down and share my experiences with you. Especially if your facing a hard season or considering a similar choice to one I have made – I am more than happy to share how I navigated times such as those. Through this openness, I have come to believe in the value and importance of sharing your story. Sure at times this sort of openness can be a little painful and scary – but the benefit of sharing and connecting far outweighs the negativity (and one of the biggest reasons I love to blog). But still there are days, hours, moments where I have to remember that my sharing can result in a tough reaction and that is just part of life.
Marrying Someone with Cystic Fibrosis
“So you are prepared to be a widow in your 40s?”
“Aren’t you going to spend your whole life taking care of someone?”
“Did you really know what you were getting into?”
“Are you prepared to be alone?”
Experiencing a Double Lung Transplant
“How long will these lungs last?”
“Do you feel guilt for the other family?”
“Would you do this again?”
“I could never be an organ donor….”
“But you won’t know who they look like?”
“If you have your own kids at least you know where the crazy comes from, if you adopt you won’t know….”
“Which one of you is broken?”
Trying to Survive Financially Despite Medical Events
“Are you ever going to be able to own a home?”
“How do you even pay for anything?”
“What does budgeting even look like?”
It has taken years and years….. with I am sure many more to go…. but eventually I have become so grateful for my different circumstances. These experiences have shown me what I am capable of and the importance of knowing there is not just one way to approach life. You will have to constantly find the ways that work for you and be confident in your decisions. If you truly follow your own path you just might find it gives you such peace, such happiness, such awe for life working out…. you aren’t even close to defensive, rather you are elated and want to share how it all worked out with everyone. Suddenly instead of worrying about being judged or judging you just want to share and celebrate the wins. Now these criticisms are just badges of honor that I collect.
That is what I have come to truly believe in my core: just because we don’t understand it or to the outside world our circumstances don’t appear desirable, you might be surprised what you learn. But here is the truth: we are still human and although I have no problems defending my marriage, I still may feel awkward if you comment on my order of running errands. It is in those moments that I have to remember that I have faced harder things and I have experienced worse criticisms. We all will do hard things and if we are still here than our track record for survival is still 100%. That is pretty darn good. Let’s all work on not letting others’ thoughts get too far into our heads…. oh and maybe try to make sure that we aren’t one of the ones doing the criticizing. Stand tall guys….. you have every reason to be proud.
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!