Choices. You know, those things you dread making because you don’t want to let anyone down. Yeah, those. Like choosing which university to go to or which haircut to get during your grunge phase.
Choices can be liberating.
They can also be disastrous.
Choices shape who you are; for better and for worse. And sometimes, the choices we make aren’t necessarily for ourselves either. There is an undeniable pressure from those around us to make certain decisions based on their preconceived notion of how we should act. One of the hardest things I’ve learned in my twenty years on this planet is that, although someone may not like it, we need to make choices for ourselves, for own our sake above anyone else’s. It may not be an easy thing to do and, in some cases, it might be the wrong choice altogether, but we need to make mistakes in order to grow. Without failure, we get nowhere. Fast.
You never know where a choice will take you unless you take that leap of faith. You may not end up where you thought you would, but you’ll end up where you need to be. Regardless of what the outcome is, good or bad, you’re the one who has to live with your choices. The people you are terrified of letting down will get over what happens, and they will most likely forget it even happened in the first place. But you, you’ll always remember your decisions and it will become ingrained in you like a brand. So make sure that above all, the decisions you make when you’re young are for yourself. Before your Mom. Before your Dad. Before your (soon-to-be-ex) boyfriend. People come and go all the time, but the choices you make live with you forever. Make sure you’re proud of what you do.
It doesn’t necessarily matter if people approve of it.
Words & Photography by Sarah Sutherland.
© 2017 Reef Magazine