Erin Foster
April 18, 2013 10:15 am

I’m a band wagon jumper. I’m sorry, I just am. I only read books that I’ve heard are good, or are on some kind of very important list like New York Times Best Sellers, or Oprah’s Book Club. I’ve basically read everything on Oprah’s list except for Grapes Of Wrath because I read it in high school and it was boring the first time, I’m not about to waste precious time in my thirties reading something that makes me feel like I’m stuck in a world of depression and sadness. I have enough of that in my real life. Just kidding, my life is straight up THE BEST. Way better than yours. Again, kidding. You guys, can we please get back to the point? I’m a follower. I hit trends when they are actually at the point of making their way out. I see a friend with a hair cut and I immediately make an appointment for myself. I strictly listen to the radio, and then buy whichever songs I hear them play multiple times. I only see a movie if I’ve heard at least three people say they LOVED it. I don’t like to feel left out, so I just jump on that band wagon as soon as I hear there is a band wagon I can hitch onto. This whole paragraph is feeling very Oregon Trail suddenly. If you don’t know what that is, please close your computer and walk into a glass door somewhere, because you are young and have better elasticity in your skin than me and no part of me is happy for you.

So, I like other people to pave the way for me. I’m not looking to be the first to do anything. Sure, I love the idea of it, but I just don’t have the follow through. I need to know what lies ahead. That being said, if the people I’m following started to get into some dark shit, I would have the confidence to lecture them on why I disapprove and then drop em ASAP. Like, if I lived in the sixties I would have definitely been burning some bras and screaming, “I’M NOT JUST A HOUSEWIFE!” And if I had lived in the fifties I’m pretty sure I would have paraded around holding hands with the only black guy in school, just to make a point. So, I’m not saying I’m following people into the depths of hell or anything, I’m just following them around in the book store.

Making a decision and sticking to it is very hard for me. I can be bullied into almost anything. Like, I know for sure how I feel about almost everything, but someone can convince me that those feelings just aren’t as important as what they are feeling. I mean, I have stayed in relationships with people I can’t stand, just because I don’t know how to break up with them. I’ve let people talk me back into staying with them even when I know my reasons are valid. I feel like a lot of people do that. Like, you go over to their house with one mission: Break up with this idiot. And then you calmly broach the subject with a sweet voice that comes from a very fake place, and you try desperately to pitch the break-up as something they are going to benefit from more than you are. But sometimes these people have been down this road before, they aren’t going to be dumped too easily. So they start trying to talk you out of it. I mean, WHO DOES THAT?! Listen people, I’ve been dumped as much as the next guy, but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever tried to talk anyone out of it. I’ve tried to REMIND them why they are going to miss me by possibly pulling my shirt down a little bit, but my desperation has all been in my actions, not my words. While my body language might have been saying, “I’m literally going to die the moment you leave this room,” my words have always said, (eye roll) “Whatever”. Have some pride. But most people aren’t gifted with my kind of maturity, so they try to talk you out of it. And you find yourself weighing out the factors. “Let’s see… The thought of having sex with this person makes me want to fake my own death, and every time he walks into the room I feel like I’m suffocating, but… He says he’s never been so happy and really thinks we make sense together… He’s right, I need to give it one more chance.”

Small decisions are hard too. The coffee dude at the spot I frequent literally rolls his eyes when I walk in because he knows he’s about to have another conversation with me about if it’s an Arabian Mocha Java kind of day or if it’s a Sumatra kind of day. And what he refuses to understand is that when I present that question to him, I actually want him to just tell me what to get instead of standing there staring at me with disinterest. So I decide on my own. And the moment the decision comes out, I’ve regretted it and demand to have the other one. And then I stop him again and beg for him to put half of each kind in my cup. And when he tells me that is a terrible idea because Sumatra and Arabian Mocha Java would never make a good combination, I feel the need to finally stand up for myself and DEMAND that he respect my decision. I’m a grown woman who knows what she wants, and I want both coffees in my damn cup. Then I walk out of Peet’s feeling confused and defeated and drinking a super weird cup of coffee.

I think half of the reason that someone is successful in their life is due to their ability to just feel confident in their decisions. I can’t imagine the freedom of going throughout your day, saying yes’s and no’s and then not giving them another thought. I respect the sh** out of those people. Having conviction is everything. And I think we all need more of it. I mean, we clearly know that I do. Just believing in what you’re doing, a choice you’re making, it carries so much weight. No one knows more than you do. No one knows better than you. And we constantly let other people define what we do. Their disapproval seems like the worst thing that could happen. But, why? As long as YOU feel good about what you’re doing, and you can look yourself in the mirror and know you did your best, no one should have the power in your life to take that away. We all live by our own rules and inside the perimeters that make us comfortable. But your boundaries are gonna be different than someone else’s. So, don’t let them box you into where they want you to be. Other people’s opinions don’t matter as much as you think they do. We are strong in so many areas of our life, and then someone passive aggressively criticizes us, and our world comes crashing down. It’s pathetic actually. I’m pathetic. There I said it, are you happy? Well, I don’t care how you feel, because I feel fine with it and that’s all that really matters.

Everyone is going to have an opinion. And we place a lot more merit on the insults than we do the compliments. It’s so strange how we do that. We believe an insult must be true, but when someone compliments us we assume there is a reason to not believe it. Well, stop doing that. It’s honestly so stupid. Think of three things that are complimentary that people say to you often and just for a moment tell yourself that they are accurate portrayals of you. Just imagine those compliments are true. They probably are. I mean, people are so selfish and narcissistic, if someone took the energy to give you a compliment then it probably wasn’t bullshit.

Believe in yourself for once in your life. And then once you do, remind me to do the same.

Also, Oprah really does have great taste in books though. I mean, Pillars Of The Earth?! Come on, people. Greatest three months of my life reading that thing.

Featured image via Shutterstock

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