Saturday, October 25, 2014

It's Really None of Their Business

Last night I had this dream:

I start writing a blog post about our friends who are moving, and the fact that I'm happy for them. I then write about how I wanted to move to Australia and how certain people were not supportive of that. 

The dream might have been influenced by the book I finished reading last night: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen.  In the book, a woman in her thirties is pressured by her parents to continue living with them. The mother employs psychological warfare whenever her daughter starts making plans to move into her own home. I think reading that brought back memories of how I received so much antagonism and guilt tripping, from my dad, when I talked about wanting to move to Australia. And prior to that, we also received disturbing amounts of antagonism, from him, for simply saying we'd like to spend six months overseas at some point. 

Then today on Instagram I saw this post from 19kimf, an account that posts inspirational type things. 

The post says: Don't ever feel bad for making a decision about your own life that upsets other people. You are not responsible for their happiness. You're responsible for your own happiness. Anyone who wants you to live in misery for their happiness should not be in your life to begin with. 

I love that. But I would make exceptions. And that would be your immediate family—the people who live with you and share your life with you. So, for me that would be Tim and Jack. With your immediate family, sometimes you have sacrifice your own dreams in order to balance the happiness of each family member. Balance is the key, though. If one person is too often forced to be the one to make sacrifices, that's not fair, and it shouldn't be tolerated. 

Outside the immediate family, though, it's really none of anyone's business. And they should keep their opinions and pressure tactics to themselves.

I'm pretty much over wanting to move to Australia. I'm fairly okay living in America. But despite this, and despite the fact that my dad now says he's over his need for geographical closeness; I think I will always hold a bit of a grudge.

As far as the Instagram quote, I don't think my dad WANTED me to be miserable. I think what it is, is he was content with me being miserable if it meant him getting what he wanted.  Or more precisely, he wants me to make the choices that make him happy, and then I'm supposed to be happy about it too.