By now, it seems that anyone with young children knows about the movie Frozen. Both of my daughters saw the movie recently and were enamored, especially with the hit song, "Let it Go". The other day, my youngest daughter grabbed a pink sheet, a black dress, and some socks in order to put together this outfit to resemble the character Elsa. She wore it most of the morning, regardless of the activity. As I watched her marching around the house and in and out the front door, I couldn't help but feel a little bit sad. How much time is left until she no longer is comfortable dressing up and acting like whomever she pleases?
I'm finding life as an adult to be exhausting in ways I had not imagined. The path we choose in life is ours alone. My wife and I, like all people, had to make tough decisions about where to live, career paths to follow, how to educate our children, etc. I'm struck by how many people judge those decisions, provide unsolicited advice, and even take offense when the road we are on differs from theirs. Society can, at times, feel like one big bully. It's not easy to be your own person, to carve your own trail, to do something outside of what society has deemed the norm. To constantly find yourself in a defensive position, explaining to others why you don't necessarily want what they want, is tiring.
In the past, I was easily influenced or angered when unfairly judged by others. In fact, looking back, there were risks I should have taken, paths I should have followed, that I avoided out of fear of what others might think or say. Recently, finally, I've learned that the best thing I can do is live my life according to my values and what makes me and my family feel happy and fulfilled. There will always be those, maybe even the majority, who disagree or take issue with those decisions. However, if you live a life based on your design, there will be those inspired to do the same. And that's how you can change the world.
Right now, my youngest daughters are listening to their new favorite song. They are spinning and dancing, comfortable with everything about who they are. That's my dream for them today and always. As for me, I have a new mantra when others are critical of my path in life: I simply "let it go".