On Choice

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When I was in high school, I went through a new-age phase. I have no hard stats on this, but I think that may have happened to a good percentage of confused Catholic-raised adolescents in the ’90s who saw The Craft or walked past a Hot Topic and thought, “Hmmm. Maybe that’s who I am?”

I never went full-on goth, or ever attempted to cast any spells (besides an unsuccessful slumber-party levitation ritual). I mostly just hung out in the New Age section of Barnes & Noble, reading about astrology, Mother Earth, and druids. At some point in my perusing, I found a phrase that has always stuck out to me, to this day:

“An it harm none, do what ye will.”

What could be a simpler, more thoughtful instruction for living our lives? Live and let live–as long as you’re not hurting anybody.

In a world where we are more connected than ever thanks to the internet and social media, it’s become somewhat astounding to me to see the extent to which other people deem it appropriate to (harshly) judge one another’s choices. Eat these kinds of foods, not those, parent according to these rules, not those, follow this religion, not that one. It goes on and on and on.

And it’s not just strangers on the internet. It’s your own well-meaning friends and family who want to know why you haven’t gotten married yet, why you haven’t had a baby yet, why you took this job with the bad insurance, why you are continuing to pursue your dream of being a writer even though it’s gotten you diddly squat so far.

To which I say: because this is my life, and these are my choices. So long as I’m not hurting anybody, it’s perfectly okay that my choices are different from yours.

Sometimes I think that the single greatest thing that could happen to humanity as a whole would be if we all started being more accepting of one another’s choices.

On that note, I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July weekend (or regular weekend, if you reside elsewhere).

Reading: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. It’s a fast-paced dual-POV YA fantasy with memorable characters and fantastic world-building. I can already tell I’m going to be impatient for the sequel (which will be out this August). If you’re in the mood for a well-told story, go read this.

Writing: Play Story, but not fast enough. Curses.

Watching: Like most of the world, I just finished Game of Thrones. I am feeling somewhat jaded by the entire series. It’s still amazing, but it’s become a lot less nuanced and way more predictable. I’m thinking that’s because they need to start wrapping things up. I’m hungry for the next book instead, because I have a feeling the nuances will be aplenty there. Please write faster, George RR.

Listening to: Deer Tick.

Cooking: This is pure yumminess.

Have a lovely weekend, and celebrate your choices, because they’re nobody’s but yours!

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