One of the things that has given me freedom is realizing that what people think of me is none of my business. I have always been that kind of girl who marches to her own beat and who doesn’t worry about what people think, and it has helped me live a life of no regrets. I can not imagine going through life being limited by fear of being judged. People will always have something negative to say, it should not affect you living your best life. I heard someone say recently, “what will people say if I fail?” I had to chime in and say, “do those people wake you up every morning? Do they give you the air you breathe? Do they put a roof over your head or provide for you in any way? So why do you care what they say or think?” She looked at me skeptically and asked if I was not worried about being judged. No I am not. That’s the surest way to stunt your growth and never reach your full potential. So what if you fail, you just dust yourself, get up and try again. Be bold, be you, live your own life.
I was talking to a patient’s wife and she told me the story of how they met. They met in a jewelry store in a town she was visiting where he worked and they dated for 3 weeks before he proposed and within a month of meeting they were married. She told me how everyone discouraged her from marrying so quickly but she knew in her heart he was the man for her. So she was the talk of her small town and people would go on about how she was making a grave mistake. Now 27 years later, she says her husband has been a blessing to her and they have a fantastic marriage.
Maybe I just have a very different perspective on life. I truly value life now more than I ever did. My mother’s death and my training as a transplant surgeon have shaped my view on life and death. When I go to procure organs, I meet so many different people who when their time here on earth is over they gift strangers gifts of life. These are people of all ages from 0 to 60s from different walks of life. I see first hand how your life can be cut short unexpectedly. The 22 year old college student who is out with friends and ends up in a rollover accident and is the only one who dies or the 36 year old mother in a fatal car accident on her way back from grocery shopping. I see death almost on a daily basis. With that I live my life my way, on my own terms. My goal daily is that my life be a reflection of God’s love and that I let my light shine bright in this dark dark world. In order to do that, I have to live an authentic life, no pretense, without fear of judgement.