What People think of Me is None of my Business

This is the biggest truth I have lived by. Nothing else can affect your life in such a negative way as paying attention to what people think or say about you. Not only is it a waste of time, but it’s a waste of energy. It cannot do you any good and can cause untold heartache.

When we are young, what our peers think of us is all important. Especially during your teenage years, nothing can unsettle you more. The sad truth is that peer pressure has become outright bullying. This is causing an epidemic of suicides among young people and that is scary.

Now, why is this??? Simple, everyone is too concerned about what people say or think about them. Everyone is very much involved in the lives and actions of everyone else. Bullying is just an expression of this preoccupation. Of course that is my opinion and many will disagree. That is fine.

People would think I am simplifying the issue. That could be true, but all I want is express this idea I have come to accept. It may help. Parents should teach their children that acceptance is not always a good thing. Being yourself, being true to what you like, love, enjoy and who you really are, is the secret of a life well lived.

From a young age, children should be taught to love themselves. Accept themselves because fretting about anyone’s opinion is not healthy.  It all start with parents, guardians, mentors, teachers.

Most importantly, we must lead by example. If you live your life according to your true self, your children (or any child in your life) see that and they could learn early that we are all wonderful in our own unique way. They do not need to succumb to the pressures of others to be happy. You can show them, please let’s all make an effort.

I believe we have let go of our children way before it is time. This applies to the children who are trying to cope and to the ones making it difficult. They are both paying excessive attention to what other people think of them, what they say about them. Let’s teach them this doesn’t matter as much as they think.

Psychologists are trying to find the cause, helping those affected deal with the problem. That is as it should be. Unfortunately, we forget that it is the people closer to them who are the first responders. They are  the ones that can see, act accordingly and save the day. They should be the ones being prepared and ready  to handle the problem.

I have never been one to pay too much attention to what others think. Most of my life I have marched to the beat of my own drum, dance to my own music  so to speak. I never belonged to school clicks, I got involved in what I loved, had little interest in what others did, had no patience for people who thought they were oh so important.

Growing up, I was lucky enough to have parents that accepted me for who I am. Doesn’t mean they agreed with everything I said and did…..far from it. I very often got into trouble. Still, they were there for me and I am most grateful. Looking back, I think I felt safe being myself, it was fine to be my own person. It made a great difference.

Finally, I want to reinforce this idea: “What anyone thinks of you, is none of your business“. Apply it to your life, work on living your life as you want without bothering about what anyone thinks. Believe me, it will make you happy!!!

Of Moving and Goodbyes

This past week my daughter moved again. Camille has lived in different cities, countries. She has studied here in the States, in Europe and has worked in both places. She adapts easily, as a third culture child, to circumstances and places. She makes friends and truly blooms where she is planted: the first rule of a happy expat.

For the last 4 years, she has been with us. Working and living in Miami, it’s never easy for a young single woman. Camille adapted, but was never in her element. This move will be wonderful for her. Not only is she moving to a Caribbean island, but she is moving to be with her fiancé. She already has friends there, a job and all she wants at this time in her life.

This makes moving sound very simplistic, but we know for a fact, nothing is this easy. Moving and uprooting yourself take a toll on you. It is not as if we pack, get there, unpack and we walk into our new life. It is not as if we just wake up in our new home and we feel at home, if you know what I mean. There are steps we go through and some of them are not easy.

I am not an expert by far, but I have moved a few times. It was hard the first time and was hard the last time. So, first thing: be prepared to deal with heartache, exhaustion, anger, denial, elation, happiness, excitement and so many other emotions. It is part of the game.

Then there are the situations you encounter: locating a good mover, packing or letting them pack, what to take, what to discard or donate or sell. This is followed by regretting not taking this or that once you get to your new home!!! Getting and filling countless forms and lists would make your head spin.

All along, you have been saying goodbye, promising to be in touch (much easier nowadays), trying to see all your favorite spots, accumulating memories. This part is emotionally draining, no matter the reason you have for moving. The last round of parties, lunches and such will help get you through the last days. Enjoy them, take photos,

Once everything is settled, boxes packed, container filled and tickets bought, there is a lull in the process. You are able to breathe. For some reason, when this all is done you’d feel you are going to enjoy the move. There is the emotion and excitement of going to a new place. In a way, it is starting your life again. Go with that feeling!!!

Finally, the day of departure arrives. Try to relax and concentrate on what needs to be done. Go over your lists and forms, get your documents ready, make sure all your bags are labeled and easily recognizable. Leave for the airport with plenty of time, it’s better to wait there.

Once you are in the air, look forward. Concentrate on the trip, the plans for arrival in your new home, then breathe and try to relax. Regardless of the lenght of the flight, take the time to rest. Close your eyes, listen to music, watch a movie.  You’ve made it, you are on your way…..goodbyes are part of the past.