No one has the right to dictate your life or your relationships. Life is too short, and happiness is too scarce for you to walk in any other shoes than the ones you made for yourself. Choose the path that molds to your own feet, not the trail with other’s footprints. It is your life. It is your choice. Live for yourself.
Life is ultimately your decision, however, I urge you to listen to others. Watch as people make mistakes and learn from their misjudgments. Remember when Sabrina stayed up all night texting some boy who said he cared about her, and remember when she had to re-take two classes because she prioritized him over school. Remember how he caused her so much grief when he said he didn’t want her as much as he wanted Harvard, and she was stuck in our deserted hometown because she wanted him more than anything. Remember how Carly trusted that Trent’s gifts to her came in bruises but “He’s just figuring out how to cope with his bad home life.” Remember how Chris lived his life according to his parents - getting straight A’s, going to church, becoming a lawyer - and see how he resents never even trying to be a writer. Remember how Ava went to a frat party without any of her friends to watch how much she drank and blacked out. Remember how her fellow party acquaintances said she’ll be fine and left her on the floor in the backroom where she never gained her consciousness again. Remember the night Connor was convinced by his ‘friends’ to take part in swallowing pills and overdosed. He was on his way to med school. Remember how everyone in your high school class went to Chad’s house every weekend because his parents traveled for work, and how no one can remember any of those nights. Half of them made this a habit every other night in college and every night in life. If they can’t find their way home at night, I just pray they make it halfway.
Also, watch how people figure out their lives before you. Watch as they become CEO’s, influencers, lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers, scientists, business workers, and musicians. See how they fulfill their life dreams and how they do it. Then fulfill your life in your own time and in your own way.
Every little thing in life is a decision. Learn from other’s mistakes, but please do not forget to make your own. Break your arm once or twice. Miss paying bills here and there when you don’t have enough money. Break off friendships. Date the cool guy from school for a week and realize he isn’t as interesting as you thought. Drink too much every once in a while. Make a life-changing decision that no one understands, and find out who your real friends are through it. Travel the world when you’re poor so you can help the world when you’re rich. Pray often and question God. Ask questions that the Bible can’t answer; only the divine can. Watch the movie that your parents said not to. Ask your nice waiter out on a date even if he already has a girlfriend. Then drop him a few weeks later because he still has a girlfriend. There are so many decisions to make, and they do not always have to be right.
Don’t deprive yourself of your own mistakes; just choose them wisely. I trust you.