I get annoyed whenever I hear or read that phrase. “It’s my life”, you are right, it is your life, you live it, you control it, you experience every second of it… But, to quote John Donne, “no man is an island”. I find people use that phrase to mean no one else should have a say in their life as if their actions don’t affect those around them. I don’t wish to control anyone else’s life, I don’t want my life controlled and I certainly don’t think anyone else’s should be controlled by someone else, but I wouldn’t want my life to be uninfluenced by those around me. “Whatever makes you happy”, that is another one people love to use, I believe in following your dreams, pursing what you love and doing things that make you happy, but life doesn’t work if it’s just whatever makes you happy. In the end if it’s all about you, when you live by “whatever makes you happy” you still find yourself wanting, wanting for relationships that was neglected and cast aside because it was all about what ever made you happy.
That is not a life I want to live.
My life is surrounded by people, those I like and those I don’t, those I know and those I’ve hardly met, but my life whether I like it or not, is surrounded by other people. This means that my actions and words at some point or another will have a profound effect on the people around me no matter how hard I try to ensure otherwise. So it’s not all about me, It’s my story but my story plays into others, and theirs into even more people’s stories, so I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not all about me, This post is in many ways just me giving myself perspective. I have some friends, and some of them are quite a bit farther in life then me, I don’t want a single one of them to control my actions, but I would be a damned fool to ignore what they tell me. They have insight on what one should and shouldn’t do, what’s good, what’s bad, what might be best. They are not infallible, and every situation, dilemma, problem, and opportunity has its own factors that make it unique, and those who have gone before me aren’t going to always be right, they can have the worst advice possible, but they have gone before me, they have an idea, some of them a very good one. To shut them out with phrases like “it’s my life” and “I’m going to do whatever makes me happy” is not only setting you up to make easily avoided mistakes, and suffering unnecessary hardships. One should keep in mind that these hardships and suffering also effects our peers and friends when you are solely pursing what you think is best, and what makes you happy. I like what Solomon said in Proverbs 11 “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” He goes on in the book saying that council, hearing the advice of others, is the key to success. Even if you aren’t looking to the people you whose words you disregarded to dig you out or give you handouts when you do fall, it hurts to see someone hurting, or at least it should, a bad relationship, a bad path in life, a financial crisis or anything of the sort in the life of a friend hurts. Those things are unavoidable sometimes, you are going to get shit on in life weather or not you live it aware of the effects on those around you or not, but that doesn’t mean you should live life as if it doesn’t hurt or better others.
From what I have seen it’s hard to find memories worth keeping when your focus is you, give and take has you branch out and try something new, and sometimes you hate it, others you like it, and every now and then you absolutely love it. And to clarify, when I talk about others input, it should be heeded, not followed as absolutely truth, sometimes you have to ignore the risk for the experience, and leave the morning to the morning, sometimes it’s good to forget what can and will go wrong, but one should not forget that though it is your life, no man is an island, and that your life and decisions effects those around you, positively or negatively.