One of the toughest lessons I have had to teach my child is when to walk away when respect is no longer served at the table. We have all heard that phrase before, but I wonder how long it took each of us to fully understand it.
The reason this was so hard to teach is for several reasons.
At a young age, we tend to be loyal to those who are in positions of authority over us. Your teacher, your parents, your doctor, your football coach. We follow blindly because most of us are taught that we should. We should always follow the rules, do as we are told, or speak when we are spoken to.
What most of us realize as adults (a little too late if you ask me) is that not everyone has your best interest at heart. People tend to have their own personal agendas, and do what is best for them.
They will keep you tucked away in their pocket and pull you out for their own benefit. Some will pull you out so that they can display some sort of power over you. Others will pull you out as a hail mary. Just knowing that they can use you in that manner brings them comfort.
All the while we smile politely, afraid to rock the boat. We live in fear of causing or stirring ill emotions in others. So we neglect our own well being in order to continue to make others feel comfortable.
It’s time to stop neglecting ourselves for the benefit of others.
It’s time to stop feeling scared of our own individuality and start shining in our own special way.
It’s time to set boundaries on what type of behavior is acceptable and what is not acceptable.
It’s time to give those who disrespect our boundaries the consequences that come from crossing those lines.
There is no reason why you should live for the pleasure of others. You should do what makes you happy. That in itself should be translated into whatever career path you should decide to choose.
There is no reason why you cannot show your individuality and creativity. Just know that in order to be truly good at anything, you have to commit hours into trying to master each skill that goes along with it.
You will lose friends when you focus on your happiness and the hurdles that you have to overcome to get to your goal. However, you will gain other friends along the way that may have the same goals as you do. They may even help you along the way.
You may encounter a lot of envy and hostility at the fact that you have finally found something that makes you happy and you are really good at. Face it with courage, as you know this is a sign that you are making progress.
Do not be afraid to speak your mind when you see something that is wrong or unjust. Your courage will inspire others to do the same. Together, as one voice, it is hard to ignore the slight.
You may end up not being “employable.” That is okay. You can pave your own unique path as so many others have done before you and be your own boss.
Either way, you will be okay with the love and support of your family and those who truly care about you. Even when you feel completely alone with no one that understands what you are going through- There is always someone out there who has either experienced something similar, or perhaps worse then the current challenge you are facing.
Have faith. You will be stronger than when you first entered the dilemma. You have gained insight from overcoming the obstacle. And you will gain admiration from those who fear change and transformation.
Continue to shine without apology. You will be okay.
Yaritza Ellison has been an nurse since 2010. She has been essential to the healing process of many and seeks to continue to do so. Her passion for mental health and self help literature has lead her to launch justyari.org, where she aspires to coach young ladies navigating through work-life balance.