On Coming to Terms with People’s Opinions

I spent some time yesterday with a friend that has a 4 month old. She’s my age. And it was so inspiring to see her figure it out. She’s a great mom and her kid couldn’t be any cuter.

I never understood baby fever until yesterday. I never disliked babies. But I’m the younger sister, so I never grew up with anyone younger than me. For the first time that maternal hormone, or whatever it is, kicked in inside me and I thought, “Oh my gosh, look at the love. I want to experience that.”

There’s a lot of hooplah right now surrounding the “child debate”. Which to me doesn’t seem like much of a debate. If you don’t want kids, that seems like a pretty good indicator to not have kids. In planning my wedding, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to offend everyone at some point (It’s too traditional, not traditional enough. Should have had a full bar. Can’t believe they allowed people to get so drunk, should have stayed with just wine and beer.) – but the good news is that generally speaking, people don’t actually care all that much. This applies really to life more than just weddings.

Everyone has an opinion. And that’s just part of life. Our job as individuals is to find out how we can be happy, fulfilled, joy giving people. And as long as we’re not hurting people, we can’t really go wrong.

Of course I got home and jokingly, but with a little truth, told Kyle, “Let’s have babies soon!” I realized that there will be a time and place for that when we’re both ready. (Let’s face it, I should get through wedding planning first. And I do recognize this is similar to when you leave the pet store after seeing all the cute puppies and you think “I want a puppy!” But you know that it’s biting off more than you can chew.) All I’m saying is that Time magazine doesn’t have any damn say in when I do or don’t have children.

I have always been a little more mature than my age. And I don’t mean that in some superior, I’m-worthier-than-you kind of way. I mean that in a I’ve-been-fighting-this-for-23-years kind of way and I’ve recently realized that the more I embrace it instead of fight it – it makes for a MUCH happier Cassie. Not all of my friends are at a place in their life where they are picking out wedding caterers and looking in to mutual funds and life insurance. But that’s okay.

I read a post from Modern Mrs. Darcy where she talks about embracing our personality types. “Understanding personality differences has also opened my eyes to why some of my girlfriends prefer margarita night for ten, and others prefer coffee for two or three. That preference isn’t about me, or which choice is “better;” instead, it has everything to do with personality. (My preference: coffee. Of course.)”

You see where I’m going with this?

We’re all trying (or least I tend to try) to please the masses in this whole women getting married, bearing children, “having it all” excursion. And can I please tell you (and pardon my french) how freeing and liberating it is to say “Screw it.”???

I received my wedding ring the other day. (We did it backwards, Kyle proposed with the band and we created a custom ring together.) It’s different. It’s rose gold, for one. It doesn’t have a shiny rock, it’s a raw diamond. And I’m sure a lot of girls might purse their lips in disapproval of it. But I’m sorry – my wedding ring does not need anyone’s approval but mine. Get over it.

Image

My approval? Check.

The more I come to terms with myself, the less I need approval of others. My mom does not approve of weddings. Never has. I’ve had to accept in myself that, yes, I actually do want a wedding. I have to embrace that when I bring up DJ’s and centerpieces, my mom and I simply have to agree to disagree. Nothing is more public than a wedding. It’s inviting people to disapprove. But you know what? They’ll get over it.

So you’re 22 with a baby? People scoff – but they’ll get over it. They’re really only worried about their fantasy football team or their next golf scramble.

So you want to work part time with a newborn? People gawk like you just wore denim on denim. But they’ll get over it.

So you don’t want kids. Ever. People throw mini tantrums at your selfishness. But don’t worry, because they have to go home and take care of their own kids. And they forget that their judgements on your life have very little relevance to much of anything.

You actually aren’t all that important to others when it comes to opinions. And for me, I’m a hell of a lot happier when I realize this.

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