It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.
I like this quote because it doesn’t judge. It doesn’t advise. It doesn’t make assumptions about your values. All it does it state the obvious. But sometimes that’s exactly what we need.
As a teenager I would angrily shout “it’s my life” at my parents, especially when they tried to ruin that life by banning late nights or not allowing me to go to a disco. Funny how, despite my hormonal state, I was actually right. Now that I’m an adult it’s society that bears the brunt of my frustrated rage. Society places demands and restrictions on us – what we wear, how we act, the decisions we make – from the earliest age.
Or does it? How many of the rules that we follow in our lives are self-imposed perceptions of what society expects from us? I for one am guilty of not wearing a dress I like or not pursuing an interest I enjoy because I worry what others might think. I have passed up opportunities I should have grabbed with both hands out of a fear that I would make a fool of myself in front of others.
What I’ve recently come to realise is that what Ms. Jemison said is true – it really is my life. At night, when I lie in bed and think about the day that has passed the only person I have to answer to is me. The only person who has to live with the consequences of my decisions is me. And if I can’t go to sleep every night holding the belief that my life is everything I know it can be, well I’m pretty sure society isn’t going to step up to take the blame!