it makes me crazy that i'm drawing inspiration from taylor freakin' swift

of all people, but she sings a ridiculously chipper and unfortunately catchy song about things that shine and I can't get it out of my head.

I can't even begin to tell you the number of times in life that people have told me to do what makes me happy. We all go through it. Before we're shoved out of childhood and into young adulthood, it's the number one piece of advice anyone will give us. "Follow your dreams. Listen to your heart. Reach for the stars. Do what makes you happy."

Lately, for whatever reason, I can't seem to get away from people who are concerned about my happiness. Yes, it's great to know I have people looking out for me. And yes, I know I'm blessed to have that kind of care and concern in my life. But when the casual "and how are things going for you these days?" turns into an interrogation about the choices I make and the things that are actually making me happy, I start to feel a little less blessed and a little more ticked off. Not at the person asking, but more at myself.

Here's the problem: I'm turning into someone I don't like to convince everyone else that I'm doing alright. And I'd love to know at what point in my life I decided that I had to live by any definition of happiness other than my own. I'd love to know when I decided it was important to convince anyone else other than myself that I'm happy where I am, the way the things are.

Seriously. Where did that come from? Why do any of us ever try to change what we do for the sake of what other people think? Doesn't Dr. Seuss teach us all at the age of 5 to be who we are and say what we feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind?

As of this moment, I'm officially done pretending, done trying to play a part that I just don't fit. I'm done listening to what everyone else tells me I should do or how everyone else tells me I should feel, because I can't afford to do anymore damage than I already have.

I have a good thing going right now. I don't need anything more and I certainly don't need to change who I am.  I'm happier than I ever have been, and I'd like to keep it that way.

At the end of the day, the only person who really knows what you need is yourself. God love her, Tay Swift has a point. The stakes are high and the water's rough, but this love, this life, this happiness, this whatever belongs to you and you alone. And if people wanna throw rocks at it? Just say f*ck 'em.

No need to keep worrying your pretty little mind. :)