“Let it go,” she said.
That was the last thing my girlfriend said to me, when giving me advice, and it applies to multiple aspects of my life. I seem to care too much about what others think of me. I worry about their perceptions. I want to be seen as a good person. I want to be viewed for my intellect and my wit. I don’t want to be overlooked, because I feel the world does that too often to people in wheelchairs.
So, I make an effort to go out of my way to show people I’m cool or smart, talented or funny. It never seems to work. It always seems to backfire. People already have their pre-concieved notions about who you are and what you are about. Once they form these opinions there is no changing their mind. They think they know you and they’re going to judge you. You can find the answer to world peace or cure cancer. They’re still going to judge you by their standards. You will never live up to what they believe they want to see from you.
That does not mean you give up. You keep working and fighting. You keep your nose to the grind. A wise person once told me, the best revenge is success. You don’t need revenge though. The only person you have to prove your worth to is yourself.
I’m an incredibly polarizing person. People either love me or hate me. There is very little in between. I’m a passionate person. I care deeply about the causes I believe in. I want desperately for the world to be equal for everyone. I see the inequality for minority groups – not just the ones I am a part of, but all minorities and I throw myself into the cause head first. I don’t care how I come off or am perceived. I believe it is all for the greater good. Many mistake my passion for arrogance. They mistake my drive for thinking I am better than others. I have never seen myself that way. Even when I’ve been wrong, I’ve always believed my actions were for a greater good.
When I was a kid I will admit I had moments of selfishness – moments I am not proud of. I’ve done things and said things I can never take back. I’ve said things to my dad, and now he’s dead. Those are things I have had to live with and deal with in the hopes that I would learn something from them. I have learned not to repeat those mistakes with my own son. I have learned to say, “I love you” and show I care. It’s not easy, but we live and learn.
At the same time, I believe I’ve found a greater purpose. I want to help others. I want to expand human rights. I want to create things and prove I am capable of being something even when society says people in wheelchairs can’t. Those are personal goals, I won’t stop at achieving until I attain them. I do not need to worry about what others say or think on my journey. If I am to travel it, then I have to have faith in myself and in those who have my best interest at heart.
Along the way, I’ve cared about what people think. I just need to let it go. My girlfriend is right. I can only control the part of my journey I am able to control and ride out the rest. I need to worry about myself and not what others are doing or thinking. They have their own journey and their own life. If they do not want to be a part of my journey they do not have to be. I need to stop worrying about them and let it go, so I can continue with my own journey. I have so much to offer and give in this world. In time, I can make all my dreams a reality!