People love lists. I’m not really sure why—I mean, so do I, I’m not immune to the infatuation—but it’s kind of weird, don’t you think?
Top 5 reasons you should break up with your boyfriend this summer…
Top 20 movies that will make you question x, y or z…
Three tips to make any guy fall in love with you.
Why? Why is this a thing? I guess what’s frustrating about it is that most of them are somewhat geared toward women. And for a long time, I would go back and forth as to whether I should be reading them. Sure, some of them come with alluring headlines, but really, what are you walking away with once you’re done reading?
Chances are, very little. Well, maybe the exception of a touch of self-doubt, if not loads of it.
That brings me to my next point: who has the right to be an expert on your boyfriend or your life or your body or your past? I think as women, we want to hear other peoples’ advice; we’re naturally socially oriented people. We’re curious at the heart of it. We want to know what other people think, and we truly do seek the advisement of those who have come before us—the wise ones.
But isn’t there something to be said about blazing your own path or deciding for yourself? Making up your own mind, that’s what it is. I’ve followed in the footsteps of some people, but in some ways, I’ve also carved out my own little niche. I suppose that’s where my thoughts have been these days: I feel like there are more people nowadays that have lost that… capability to say what they want or to do what they want.
It’s hard to say whether it’s a generational thing—I have no idea—or whether it’s a gender thing. Maybe other groups of people are struggling with this, too. I can only speak from experience, but I feel like there are opportunities each day to do or say what we want, make a choice, take a certain action, but I don’t see people doing this nearly as much as I’d like to.
Sure, there are other extenuating circumstances, like money or age, or whatever—god knows my student loans are holding me back on a lot of things—but if there are things out there that are in your control and you want to try them, do it.
I made a huge leap of faith moving out to Chicago two years ago and I have never looked back. Now I’m in San Diego, probably closer to my family than I’ve ever been, and I have someone by my side that I adore. And I graduated with my master’s. I’m not bragging; I’m proud, and I made the choices on my own.
I used to be a fan of lists. I still am, but make one that you can call your own.