Reader Quit: Living My Life the Way Other People Think I Should (by Lauren Root)

They Thought…

Hi! I’m a Gemini. We are known for effective communication (we like to talk), practicality and are mutable (very flexible). Essentially, we’re a mix of Yin and Yang. Oh, and we also tend to be indecisive.

I wish I could say that I don’t agree, but for most of my life, I’ve had this “issue.” From deciding what food to order to choosing a career path, I’ve always asked for the opinions of others. Wow, that sounds like I don’t have a mind of my own! In almost everything I’ve done, I’ve always tried to be agreeable and, well, go with the flow.

They Knew…

The most troubling of all of my indecisiveness has centered on my career. Ever since I was in elementary school, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I enjoyed writing poetry and free verse in my spare time. This passion evolved into a bachelor’s degree in English. But what success can one have with that degree? Perhaps it was shame or uncertainty of feelings for my own success, but I allowed other peoples’ opinions to sway me from my goals.

Now, I can’t blame others for my choices. After all, we are free to make up our own minds, aren’t we? Something has always held me back -– fear. Fear of failing, fear of trying. For so long, I let what others thought about my future sway me away from my own goals. The sad thing is, I thought my dream was just that: a dream, an unattainable goal. That I should have more “serious” goals — whatever that means.

I listened to others’ opinions and even pursued their “suggested” goals, but when these things didn’t work, I felt even worse. Not only did I let myself down, but those people who “saw” this career path for me were saddened.

It just wasn’t my path; it was theirs.

Who I Am…

At the start of 2014, I decided to let this go and quit this trait. To start, I boldly quit something I didn’t enjoy. Most people would frown upon my choice without having a secure backup plan; perhaps it’s why I didn’t shout from the rooftops that I was free. I released myself from a disgruntled boss where nothing was ever good enough. It was my choice, and I feel liberated.

What’s more, I’m also working on quitting worrying about what others think of me. Everyone has an opinion. Some people are going to root for you and be your biggest fan no matter what, and others will just be naysayers. There’s always going to be those who are older, “wiser” and think they know what’s best for you, but they don’t. You’re the only you. At the end of the day, month or year, you’re the one who has be happy with yourself. (Tweet!)

This is why I have to take this leap into the unknown. Yes, it’s scary to not know the entire path. When I tell others, they want to know all the steps I’m taking to get to my goals, but sometimes I can only see the first few steps, and I think that’s okay. It takes guts and hard work to figure out what makes me happy and actually do it, especially against the odds! It has taken me longer than expected to get into this mindset, but I can’t give up now. Since my “break,” I’m writing much more, continue to be published and am taking valuable steps toward my dream career.

Believe in yourself and what you want to do — no matter what others think. Break free from perception and live your own life — you won’t regret it!


Lauren RootLauren Root is a freelance writer with publications in The Jewish Times of Baltimore. She has a master’s degree in teaching and enjoys writing poetry. In her spare time, she blogs on all things food and is an origami enthusiast. Visit her Twitter @RootieFoodie for some food finds!



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