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Free People

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

The power of words may shock you


"Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go, be what you want to be. Because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do." is one of my most used quotes. I remember writing it down in autographs and slam books (90s babies would know) in my early years. Decades later, this still holds true and feels closest to my heart.

In my recent conversations with people, our topics are endless and sometimes they are so random, but these three points always happen to pop up: plans that have been pushed back, regrets that continue to haunt us, and a big question that remains and will remain unanswered is whether we still have enough time to fulfill our dreams and/or how many more chances are left to achieve our goals (whatever the definition of that word may be for each one of us). Do these things bug you, too?

Bumps in the road, delays, detours are part of the journey, but what about other pressures that are influenced by beliefs, traditions, social norms, can't we just get rid of them? What do we say to people who expect us to be "normal," to follow their footsteps, to pass their standards? Can't we just shout at them and say "I don't want to be what society wants me to be!" and that's it, they'll leave us alone? How I wish it's just that easy, but oftentimes, when our decisions are being questioned and our choices are being judged by others, we are the ones who are silenced, like it's our job to just accept their words and move forward. I believe it should be the other way around.

Why am I sharing this all of a sudden? To rant? Maybe. Moreso, because there's still hope left in me that people could still be more understanding, more "accepting," and more uplifting. So before you even ask a question like "why don't you want to have a baby," say your infamous line "it's sad to be alone," think of other people's dreams as a result of being jealous of others and not because they're inspired by them, and so much more that are just so annoying to hear, please ask yourself:

  1. Am I the one who is envious of him/her?

  2. Am I saying this because his/her greatest achievements are my biggest frustrations?

  3. Will my comment affect, hurt, help this person?

  4. Should I voice out my opinion or is it better to keep it to myself?

  5. Why am I expecting this from others?

  6. How do I ask/say this without offending them?

  7. What do I get if I give my comments?

  8. Can I be of help?

  9. What is my main intention?

  10. What makes me feel so strongly about the situation?

Life is not always full of happy moments just as you don't celebrate your birthday every single day. The world out there can be so cruel and discouraging. Let's not make it harder for anyone. To summarize this for you, let me end this with another famous phrase: THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!

PS. To you who feel like being interrogated in the courtroom, speak your truth and have the courage to be YOU.


Written by Edrelyn Santos

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