Step 66 – It’s All About Priorities

I know a guy in NY who doesn’t like to spend money on a cup of coffee. He doesn’t understand why anyone would spend $6 on a cup of coffee when you can pay $15 for a whole bag. But at the same time, he has five very expensive bikes that he keeps in a separate room in his expensive apartment in Manhattan. And he never questioned those purchases. On the other hand, there are people here who would spend $6 on a cup of coffee, but they’re fine with one $20 bike.

Examples like that made me think. And I came to this conclusion: I don’t think you should explain your choices to anyone anymore. Because I recently realized that most of the people I talk to look at me mostly through the lens of… themselves (which is pretty obvious when you think of it; I probably still do the same with them). And every time you say something about your life or your specific decision, they start thinking about it through their situation, their beliefs, standards, and priorities. And it all starts with small things – like choosing a coffee or a bag, and ends with big ones: what kind of place do you live in / what’s your job / what would you want to do with your body after you die, etc.

So if you say: “I just bought a $5,000 bag”, you will get different reactions depending on who are you talking to. Some will say: “Oh lord, I would never spend that much money on a bag!” (thinking of their income/ attitude towards fashion/ expenses that are ahead of them/ debt they’re in). Some will say: “That’s a bargain!” (thinking of the fact that they spend way more on similar stuff on a daily basis / their bank account/ their love towards fashion). You might also get another response: “What?” (from people who didn’t even know that bags can be that expensive) or “Really?” (from people who completely don’t understand the need for a bag that costs more than $20). Or you could get a “Lucky you” (from those who dream of affording stuff like that), or perhaps: “Bitch!” (from those who think that it might take them years to buy something like that). Each of them, before they expressed their feelings towards that purchase, went through their situation in their head first, and they judged you through their current situation. And I’m talking only about a bag. And it happens with every choice in your life.

If I say: “I broke up with Chris”, I would get mixed reactions too. From: “Good for you, girl!” to “Are you fucking crazy?”, because people look at Chris and the way he treated me from the perspective of their relationships, the way they’re treated by their partner, their standards and their needs. For some people, he was an angel, because he didn’t beat me up, didn’t do drugs and brought money home. For some other people, he was a loser because he didn’t get the promotion, he had the same car for the last 20 years and he wasn’t that good looking on the top of that (btw – I’ve never been with Chris:) Reaction depends on what my friends had gone through. 

After I started noticing that, I told myself that there is no point in explaining my choices anymore. Because the chances that someone is going through the same things I am, have similar needs and beliefs are so very little. And the chances that they’d not get me anyway are just huge. And it’s not entirely their fault. We just have a different belief system and different mindsets. I was talking to a guy not long time ago and he questioned my choice that was very important and difficult to me and it’s the first time in my life when I thought: “How dare you judge me? How dare you question my decision?”. I remember thinking: You’re not me, you didn’t have my life, we didn’t go through the same things (we clearly didn’t), so what makes you think that you have the right to say things like that? I won’t change my mind because YOU would do it differently. It’s YOU (with your core of beliefs), not ME. YOU. So hold on to your standards and I will stick to mine.  I’m not that stubborn anymore so I might change my mind about something, but it’ll be only because MINE mindset /standards/ life changed, not because someone would do it differently. I won’t question my choice just because they didn’t like it.

As I said at the beginning: it all comes down to our priorities. We all make our choices and look at each other through our own priorities. So don’t get confused. Don’t confuse someone’s else priorities with yours. And before you make a choice, ask yourself: is it MY decision, or is it a decision I think THEY want me to make.