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I had a wee realisation today: they sell banana bread flavoured pretzels in the supermarket now. Can you believe it?! BANANA! BREAD! FLAVOURED! PRETZELS! What an extraordinary age we live in!
Okay, that's not really it.
It's this: the world can be an incredibly judgemental place, can't it? Seriously, have you noticed?! It can! In every situation (strolling down the street, conversing in the office) there's potential for SOMEONE to eye us curiously, and with everyone possessing the ability to exercise an opinion, society can often feel like an intimidating marketplace for judgement. It's daunting!
Criticism can be extremely abrasive on our self-esteem. It causes fear. It encourages a desperate urge to conform. Terrified of being ambushed with verbal venom from others, we slowly learn as we evolve to not always say what we mean. Hide our true feelings. Play down our ambitions. (How many of us blogging folk would be horrified if people discovered that we had a website simply out of fear of being mocked for our hopes, dreams and wishes?)
There will ALWAYS be someone who questions your decisions, makes assumptions about your character and is convinced that they 110% know better about you than, well, you.
There will ALWAYS be someone who disapproves of your lifestyle, comments on your relationship or believes that you're the biggest nut since the invention of the pistachio.
Without wanting to ease into my preach hat (it's too big for me and I look like a doofus in it!), just live your life. Passionately. HAPPILY. Take second-hand speculations in your stride, smile and bounce forwards. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to do so and I guarantee that people will ridicule you along the way (oh, if only I had a dollar for every unpleasant sentiment that was fired my way. Do you know how many people assume - and call me - an ''airhead'' because I'm constantly joking around?! We'd all be reading this from a five-star resort in Dubai!), but I also guarantee that you'll be having too much fun to permanently notice because you're fulfilling your dreams instead of being too frightened to attempt anything!
I'll leave you with an excellent quote from Slipknot and Stone Sour's frontman, Corey Taylor:
''You know, so many people told me that I couldn't do this, I couldn't do that. I couldn't be somebody. ''There's no way you're going to be able to make it!'' ''There's no way that you're going to make music! Nobody CARES about your music!'' ''Nobody cares about this, nobody cares about that.'' ''BE REALISTIC!'' I mean, be realistic? Are you kidding me? *he laughs* This is as real as it gets! REALITY is what you make it. NORMAL is what you make it. And if I wanted to make music for the rest of my life, there is no good reason why I couldn't!''