How many times did you hear that when you were in school? I heard it ALOT because my eyes were anywhere but on my own paper. Academically and socially. Mercifully, my academic copycat issues ended when school did. As for the social, well, it’s taken me a lot longer to care more about what I think than what others do.
Can’t imagine my life without my friends. LOVE. But it is not my job to weigh in with my opinion on any choices they make. It’s about respect. This does not mean I can’t be a grumpy little snark . Happens. I don’t want to hear bad stuff about others unless there is a way I can be of help to them. We have all been adults for a good while. I respect the choices my friends make. I might not choose the same for myself, but that is exactly my point.
My learning curve came when I had a giant life transition some years ago. Just living through it took all my mental and emotional strength. I was strong, but so weak. People I didn’t even speak to weighed in on my personal choices – lifestyle, hair color, men. And I listened to them, because I couldn’t think clearly. A dear friend who had been through what I was going through at the time told me, “You”ll be old news by next week.” And she was correct. Once I got my mojo back, finally learned to stand on my own two feet, and value my choices above comments from the peanut gallery, my life really changed. For the better.
I try to avoid throwing stones; I slip, like a recovering addict, but I get right up and screw my head back on, hopefully a little bit straighter. Mercy replaces misery, grace over gossip, love trumps fear. The beautiful details of each life are the differences. At least to me. I’ve learned the ground is truly level; life may not be easy all the time, but it sure beats the alternative. And that’s why I try like hell to keep my eyes on my own paper. Every. Single. Day.