• TaliaGrace


How many times have people tried to tell you what to do? Whether it's their explaination on how to handle a problem at work, school, how to make up with your SO, or where to move to. The answer, I'm sure hundreds of times.

This came to surface for me when I was finishing high school; people had A LOT to say about the fact that I wanted to live alone in university. It was a continuous stream of "no! it's not safe!", "no that's not healthy!", "no! you need a community, you need to be social!". At the time, I was 17 and I didn't really think much of it. I knew what I wanted and that was it, I rejected their ideas and did my own thing, this was 2013. This is what should be done! A couple of years later, I was then 19, and happily living on my own. It had been a while since anyone had talked about how my living situation was "unhealthy". This all changed though in the summer of 2015.

I had started a job working at a pop up store for the Pan American Games that were held in Toronto that year. My co workers were all super fun, friendly, and very extroverted people. I was one of 2 more quiet, introverted people. The job was a 6 month contract and I gained a lot of great experience. Unfortunately though, there were some things that took a serious toll on my confidence and caused me to re-evaluate almost everything about myself.

When you're a quiet introvert constantly around a group of people, you inevitably get left out of things. My co-workers knew I wouldn't be interested in going to concerts or other events and so I was usually not invited. I mean that doesn't feel great but it didn't bother me that much because again... I wouldn't have wanted to go, they knew that, so they didn't invite me and what's more, people are allowed to not invite everyone they know to a gathering, there's nothing inherently wrong with having your group of choice who you think will be the best fit. The internal struggle came when so many of them were shocked (and mildly horrified) when I said that I lived alone. All of them either lived with family, or roommates. Over time, I started to re-evaluate my living situation and when I remembered all of the things that people said to me in high school about living alone, it all bubbled to the surface and my self confidence and mental health took a pretty big shot.

Essentially what happened, is my 6 months of feeling completely out of the loop with people I worked with, combined with YEARS of comments regarding my life choices, and later, some mediocre grades that I was unimpressed with, all accumulated to a full year of emotional breakdowns and family conflict.

My goal here is to remind you that YOU know what you need. If you know deep down that what people are telling you is not going to work for you, then politely tell them that. Just say something like "I know that's maybe what would be best for you, but I'm not the same, we think differently". Believe me, there was more then one occasion of me trying to either do what others wanted, or sort of meet at a middle ground with their wishes and it DOESN'T WORK. I was only able to properly get my life back on track after I took COMPLETE ownership of my life, my school choices, my friends, my financial independence, and living situation.

At some point, probably around the same time you're being close to finishing college or university, (earlier for some), you need to separate your life, from the life other people (friends and family alike) want you to have. You won't regret it.

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