Don’t Worry About Being a Good Wife/Daughter/Mother. Worry About Being a Good YOU!

Me while on my motorcycle trip to Alaska. Exhausted and yet content to be following my intuitive voice.

I grew up being so scared about making the wrong choice. From the clothes I wanted to wear to the things I wanted to do—all my choices were scrutinized and criticized. For that reason, it has been difficult for me to make decisions and make choices that are right for me. I always feel that there’s someone looking over my shoulder telling me what I’m doing wrong.

Before I took off on my motorcycle for my huge, scary, gigantic trip to Alaska, I worried what my mother would say. I knew I was doing something that she’d find TERRIBLE, IRRESPONSIBLE, CRAZY and SELFISH. Those were all bad words for me. Especially “selfish.” Being called selfish was much worse than being called a jerk or a bitch.  I was scared to tell my mother my plans. Then I remembered what my friend Sara told me before she died. “Don’t worry about being a good daughter,” Sara said. “Worry about being a good Diana.”

I took this to mean that I had to learn how to make choices that were right for me. It didn’t matter how anyone else judged those choices. If they were right for me, then they were right.

To make the next chapter the best chapter, I have to stop before I make a choice and do three things: pray, think about it (for me that means writing down the pro’s and con’s) and then talk it over with someone I trust. That way I make appropriate choices based on my own personal truth. That way I trust my intuition, the voice inside me that urges me forward. That way I learn to live authentically.

How do you make choices? Are you scared of what others might say? What are some tools you’ve used to make better choices today?

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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