Maybe There is No Right Way to Live


I’m judgmental. I think things should be a certain way.

I acknowledge that thinking something should be a certain way is dumb, but I still think it.

I don’t understand why some people care about some of the things they do. I tend to not like things that other people like. Not to be contrary, I just don’t like them. Like the Super Bowl. I don’t get caring that much about sports. It makes me feel like an alien that I don’t get it when other people act like getting it is part of being human.

I think some people look down on the things I care about, and that’s fine because I look down on the things they care about. I think that people who want all the new technology and all the new cars and all the new thrills and trends are shallow.

But who am I to think that? I don’t know what’s going through their minds. I don’t know why they care about what they do. I don’t know anything about them.

I don’t like being judged by people who don’t understand me, so why on earth do I do the same thing? Why do I let myself get so annoyed about people being a certain way? Maybe it’s because I’m not that way, too. Not that I necessarily want to be, but it can be hard always being at odds with the people around me. Rubs me the wrong way, I guess. Makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me even though I don’t feel like that when I’m on my own.

Sometimes I feel like I grew up in a different world from other people. That the things I came to think and believe are just… not on the same page with everyone else. Sometimes I like it, but other times it’s lonely. Like being in a room full of people but not being able to say a word to anyone. Sometimes it feels like that’s my entire life.

I shouldn’t be rude about the way people choose to live their lives. Just because I care about something doesn’t mean anyone else has to. All I want is to be free to live how I want to live, so I should leave other people alone if that’s all they want, too. If they want to try to change how I think or impose their beliefs on me, those are fighting words. But if they just want to live and be left alone like me, why would I say anything about that? Or even think anything about it?

Sometimes I think I have too many opinions. Why do I need to have an opinion about some guy in a computer store? Why do I need to have an opinion about someone’s music or the TV shows they watch? I mean, I watch Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. If someone judged my entire life on that fact alone, it would make me pretty sad.

People all have their own opinions about the right way to live life. Some people think it’s about money, others think it’s about people, others think it’s about success or accomplishments or love or freedom. Whatever they think is fine. I think what I think about my life, they think what they think about theirs.

There’s no right way to live life. Not a universal one. It’s like saying “Everyone likes the super bowl.” Well, no we don’t. Generalizations don’t work on humans because every single one of the 6 billion of us are different.

So we all have to find a way to live. Find things we care about and go for them, regardless of what others think or say. Some members of my family thought it was dumb to go to college for violin. I didn’t care then. Still don’t, even though so much with that has changed now.

Some people think I shouldn’t go back to school for zoology. I’m not going to pretend I haven’t had that thought myself, but for now that’s what I’m doing. I don’t want to ignore good advice, but I also don’t want to be dissuaded by fear of failure. Or fear of any kind.

Anyway, don’t know why I suddenly had those thoughts. I’ve had kind of an emotional weekend, I guess. I decided to ask for a year medical leave from my orchestra. It was a relief, but at the same time I feel like I’ve lost something huge. I’ve been in orchestras since I was 8 years old.

I feel like I have nothing now, which I know isn’t true. It obviously isn’t true. I have a lot. I have my husband, writing, school, studying animals, my dreams about the future (however it actually turns out, the dreams are nice), the prospect of forming a string quartet, a house, and two cuddly pugs. I have a lot more than that.

I lost one thing. It was a big thing. But I wonder if I miss it or if I miss what it reminds me of. If I miss it because it was a big part of my life for a long time.

I feel like some of the people in the orchestra would never consider leaving it, but I’ve been thinking about it since I got in. Neither of those is wrong.  Just different. When I wanted to get into the orchestras, I never thought about how different everyone in there might think about it. One of those things it didn’t even occur to me to think about.

It’s interesting, though. Makes me realize that there are an infinite number of ways to see everything. Another reason I shouldn’t judge. Not about big things, not about small things.

Maybe no one in the orchestra would understand how I feel about it. Maybe I couldn’t even explain it. But it’s real to me.

That’s really my main point, after all this babbling. We all have our own lives and realities that other people don’t and probably can’t understand. Live and let live, I guess.


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