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I don’t feel guilty about my grown-up choices and why you shouldn’t either

I have been making choices - difficult and easy - all my life. But, for every choice I’ve made, I’ve ensured that I don’t feel guilty about them. So, I really want to talk about a few grown-up choices that I believe you shouldn’t feel guilty about either. 

Note that, in this article, I am going to talk about freedom of speech, personal religious beliefs, food choices, and body positivity. If you are someone who cracks jokes on these topics or passes loose comments, please DO NOT READ or WASTE YOUR TIME. The Small Wonder (TSW) is not here to change anybody’s thinking, values or beliefs.

So, here are all the choices that you shouldn’t feel guilty about:

1. Prioritising your personal life over a "dream job” We all strive towards attaining our dream job assuming it is going to set other parts of our life right too. Unfortunately, a dream job doesn't guarantee happiness overall. So, do what really fixes your problems. Prioritise things that make you really happy and give you the motivation to get back to your work.

Don't feel guilty about taking leave from your work for a family commitment or something that needs attention in your personal life.  2. Not knowing the answer to everything  Nobody knows everything. Remember we are only human beings and not a computer. We only learn through experiences and experiments. Therefore, it is absolutely fine if you are not a part of any intellectual club. Everyone grows at their own pace with their own surroundings. It's absolutely okay to not have the answers to every question. 

Don't be ashamed of not knowing and belittle yourself. But, remember everyone is learning every day, so don't give up on learning.  3. For declining a social call  Let's say, you come home, make some tea, sit down in your armchair, and all around there's silence. Only you can decide for yourself whether that's loneliness or freedom. So, it's ok if you want to cut the chaos around you and prefer isolation. We don't have to be a part of everything that's happening around. Sometimes the "me" time fixes more things than you can imagine. How about skipping the #FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) life, to live the #JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) life? 4. Of your food choices We live in a culture that constantly puts people under a microscope and our food choices aren’t an exception either. For example, I’ve noticed that vegetarians/vegans puff out their chests in pride for not eating meat while shaming those who do. I mean, meat-eaters also tend to make fun of vegetarians sometimes. 

Know that human beings are omnivores, meaning we are physically structured to eat and digest all kinds of food derived from animals and plants. Whether a person eats meat, dairy products, or vegetables is an individual decision and one that should not be forced on anyone else. No one has the right to force anyone to eat animal products and no one has the right to condemn anyone for eating animal products. We all have the responsibility to respect each other's choices.  5. Your career choices regardless of age  Everyone assumes that you’ve found your passion in life by a certain age and are already working on it. Let’s get real, there are so many successful people who only found their passion and made it big post 50. So, take time to find your true calling and drive career choices out of it. There is no hurry. Don't be scared to miss the bus. There is always the next one coming so don't worry if you missed it in the first go. Try and experiment, know yourself better.  6. Self-indulgence  A lot of us tend to judge our worthiness on what our family/friends/colleagues have to say about us as an individual. You wait for someone else to make you feel special. How about knowing your own worth since only you know your own struggles and appreciate yourself in your way? Do some self-indulgence, pamper yourself, tell yourself that you deserve nothing but the best and don't feel sorry about it. You must have heard this before too but I can vouch from my own experience that respect comes from within if you don't respect yourself why will others? 7. To say No No means no and don't say otherwise unless you genuinely want to say yes. Stay firm, people walk over those who let them. It is ok to guard yourself against things that don't go well with you. Say no when you have to, pleasing people all the time is not your responsibility and frankly impossible 8. About your imperfections Nobody has it all and you don't have to either. Embrace who you are and be beautifully flawed. Part of me growing up had to endure really mean jokes on height and body weight. The only thing that changed over time is I don't give a damn and also that I don't keep quiet anymore. Give back if you have to, life is too short to live with these mean comments and feel sad about them. If you love your body or any choices, stand up for them. Don’t keep space for hate in your heart.  9. For not being productive  So, I make to-do lists every day since my school days, and it has helped me stay organised and build my productivity. However, I do feel bad about sometimes not sticking to my to-do lists and beat myself up thinking that I’ve been unproductive and sort of feeling hopeless partly because I was conditioned in a way that if you aren't being productive every hour, you are losing some sort of race.  

But then in the last two years, after I moved to Gurgaon, I felt there are so many things I have neglected. These include self-care, binge-watching shows with E, having a good sleep for either hours or a simple phone call with a friend. I sometimes cherish doing nothing and staying in my thoughts. I love it.  10. About reaching out for help and support  I used to think multiple times about asking for support when it comes to working at the office or home. When I moved to the new city I had doubts if I should ask for help for anything and what if the person judges me. But then I had only one question - if I have taken a decision to grow and get some experience I should definitely seek help and guidance. Asking for help doesn't make you any weaker, and it only shows you really care about yourself and the decisions you are making. 11. For expressing your emotions/feelings Do not bottle up your emotions all the time. You can damage your mental health and eventually your physical health too. There is so much happening around us every single day and minute that you can't be wasting your health by bottling up your emotions. Again, coming from my own experience, you are going to one fine day burst out with all those bottled emotions which will leave you with anxiety. So don't forget to express your feelings and don't worry about the response to those feelings. Just get it off your chest.  12. For keeping toxic relations at bay I can't stress enough on how lovely the decision to keep toxic relations at bay has been. I directed that energy on things I liked doing and can I reveal a tiny secret? I'm calmer and happier than before. It has helped me cut out the negative energy from my life. I focus a little more on relations I love and try to give my best to them. So, do yourself a favour, take those decisions, make those grown-up choices and stop beating yourself up with guilt.   Don't be tricked into feeling guilty and apologising for being yourself. YOU DO YOU.

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