Do what you love. Love what you do.

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I found this picture online and I felt it appropriate to begin my blogging journey with a few wise words (that are not my own) about just how important your opinion is. As my mother would (a does, quite frequently, actually) say, “It really does matter what you believe”. When I was younger, I didn’t really know, understand, or care what that meant, but now in my wise old age of 17; I’m searching for answers and forming my own opinions and beliefs.

When we’re growing up, most of life is decided for us: what to eat, what to wear, what school to go to, where we can and can not go…the list goes on and on. As little kids, we trust those around us that are older than we are to make decisions for us and to (hopefully) limit the amount of “screw-uppage” that we will have to endure. From their mistakes and achievements, their likes and dislikes as well as their opinions and questions, we learn to come up with our own. We develop from those around us.

Look at it this way, as much as I dread the idea of growing up to be like my parents (most kids do) anyone that knows me, knows that I have some of the same, or similar, tastes and ideas that they do. For example, my mother and I both have a love of reading, travel, baking , music and helping those that we care about. My father and I have the same ideas on the importance of family, loyalty, protection and freedom. I’ve lived with my parents all of my life, and I see that I have taken the best from the both of them and have shaped myself.

On the other hand, as we grow older, we start developing our own ideas and likes, making us individuals and not carbon copies of our parents. I have a love of classical and instrumental music as well as metal and hard rock and my parents have no idea where I got that from. I also have my own love of writing, (as you will come to see as this site develops) my own ideas in the different qualities a friend ought to have, a “different” sense of style than most, and a struggle with my own self worth and acceptance.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to do things to, say, “defy your parents” (or anyone in authority over you) but your opinions really do matter. Instead of spending your Friday afternoons at yet another karate class, suggest joining the swim team that you’ve been wanting to be a part of for a few months, taking up a dance class or a writing workshop at your local rec center. Offer alternatives that both make you happy, make your interests known, and don’t make you appear to be trying to disrespect or undermine anyone else.

With that being said, we each have a limited amount of time on Earth to figure ourselves out. Even at 17, I know what I like and what I don’t. While I am not saying that we should not be open to the idea of trying new things, the things that you aren’t interested in, why put yourself through and why waste your time on it? Unless you have the urge to indulge in it “just for the experience” don’t waste your time. If something is upsetting to you, why continue to put yourself in a position to be hurt? Speak up for yourself, because both you and your opinions matter. By focusing your efforts on the things that give you joy, instead of forcing yourself to be subjugated to your own personal torture, you’ll lead on a path to a more fulfilling life.

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