It's My Life

This weekend I tried to tell my sis-in-law about our plans to see Africa in a few years' time.

It didn't work.

You see, I happened to mention "Land Rover" and that I was looking at some old ones for purchase. I didn't even get as far as saying why, before I got an earful about how bad they are and how expensive parts are etc. All based on a friend's experience with the fancy, new models - not the ancient, proved-reliable ones.

We got onto the subject of the future again later in the day when she asked how my Aussie plans were coming along and if I'd heard anything more on job offers. I mentioned that I'd realized I will turn 35 at the end of next year - the cut-off age for migration and job sponsorship. If nothing happens in the next year and a half, nothing will ever happen in that direction.

And just as I got ready to tell her our "back up plan" I decided to say, "but it involves a Land Rover, so you probably don't want to hear it". And got another lecture on the Landys. I couldn't get a word in edge-wise with my views, my research into the subject.

So I never got to tell her. Which is probably just as well, considering her mother's reaction last week when I mentioned it in passing....

This isn't the first time my sis-in-law has assumed she knows better about some aspect of my life. I've had earfuls in the past on various subjects too. (Had an additional small earful later that day regarding my old sunglasses which need replacing, and the fact that most times I don't rightly care what I look like.)

And it's not that I have anything against her - she's more of a sister than a married-in relative, and we get along famously.

But I've realized that I've been letting other's perceptions form my life for a very, very long time. If someone close to me disapproves, I start conforming and changing my plans to please them, even if I'm not happy in the process. Saturday's experience brought this one completely to the fore and made me take a good hard look at myself.

A while back I mentioned to sis-in-law that sometimes I feel like the little sister, instead of the oldest of us three - thanks to my youngest brother being all successful and telling me how to go about my life to be like him, start my own business, gather possessions etc.

I've let him run over my dreams too!

But it's My Life. And it's time I took control of it. It all goes back to that quote a few weeks ago that I posted here, "Live your life and let people talk". I've been way too afraid to do just that. I'm too scared to step out and do what I feel is right - too scared of what others will think.

And it's got to end. Immediately.

If I want a Land Rover, I'm going to get one. If I want to travel Africa, I'm going to. If I want to take a risk on starting a business others say I shouldn't, then I will.

I've just got to get it through my thick skull that it's my life, and I have the right to live it.