I went to a wedding, the only person I knew there was my husband, Cale. The people he knew were from his high school. As I walked with my plate to the food line, I was fighting an internal battle of what to eat. A month prior I had decided to stop eating gluten, and I've been avoiding dairy since I was 7. There was only one thing in the line I could eat, veggies. I had to quickly decide if I should just get veggies or if I should just give in and eat the cream sauce covered chicken. I walked away with a plate full of things I knew would make me feel sick. The reason? I didn't want to sit at a table with a bunch of strangers and only eat veggies. I was afraid people would think I was trying to be skinny or they would judge me or feel that I was judging them.
I am surrounded by many people who are in the process or have completed the process of buying a home. Cale and I, have not. I often hear to the stories friends tell of deals they found, or house woes, or simple complaints about space. Instead of listening, I start explaining that when we buy a house, it's not going to be nearly as nice as theirs, the housing market is different here, the town is small, the choices are limited. The reason? I want them to be sure I am not judging their house choice, because ours isn't going to be fancy at all.
I was getting ready for an event, standing in the mirror, trying on a million outfits, trying to decide if I would do my make-up and suddenly I found myself considering the other guests. What would they wear, how would they look and I choose the most fitting outfit, hair, and make-up for that crowd. The reason? Because I don't want to stand out, and I want other's to relate to me.
Why do I carefully choose what I am going to eat based on the people I am with. Why do I complain in advance for a house we don't even own? Why am I constantly creating meaning for things like how I look?
I am in a place of discovery, realizing how often I make decisions based on the actions of other people, not based on what is right and true for me. There is something beautiful about admiring how other people eat, live, and dress. Being around them is a way of opening windows and doors in my mind and my life. I can adapt, bring in new practices, try on new styles. Yet, the beauty fades when I start to lose sight of what I love, what makes me feel good and when I start making choices to make other people feel comfortable with me. I am letting my compass be thrown off by the magnetic pull of other people's compasses. I am not planning on making decisions that intentionally make others uncomfortable, nor am I planning on avoiding people who live differently than me. I am simply realizing how easy it is for me to let my compass, the soul of what guides me, go for the benefit of other people.
What could my life look like if I took guidance from the compass within me, instead of seeking guidance from the people around me?