Minding our own business

Remember to keep it simple.  (Provided photo — Diane Chase)

Springtime isn’t just about joyously singing the Sound of Music songbook while twirling in fields overlooking mountains — better known as student portrait sessions. ‘Tis the season birds mate, spring flowers bloom and allergies flourish. It’s the season to rechristen the porch Christmas lights as twinkle lights. It’s a time for a change. With all the magic and pollen, there can also be an excessive amount of end-of-year curiosity in the air.

What? We collectively gasp. We mean well. We have the best intentions. We are being social. It’s not prying. Hmm, it always depends on how we are demanding the information. It is their journey. That’s right. The emphasis is on the word “their.” Not everyone is going on the same path.

Some young adults choose to go to college while others are getting their first jobs. Why? It isn’t any of our business. It is a harsh statement, and I don’t recommend saying that to anyone, but the message rings true.

Our communities are multifaceted. Someone wishing for a trade school experience shouldn’t have to justify the choice to anyone. Another person wishing to travel cross-country, take a gap year, or transition into a family business shouldn’t need an excuse to do so. Students picking a college don’t need to explain how they got in. We need to rejoice in all careers: small business owners, tradespeople, entrepreneurs, military, first responders, or collegebound. These are all beautiful goals that a family member can quickly diminish with a simple, “But why?”

There will also be people we see who have changed careers, given up on dreams, had health issues, or completely switched gears. That isn’t failure. The only person who decides what failure looks like is the person making choices about their own life. It isn’t our place to judge.

Let’s embrace the various journeys because the world would be so limited without them. Let’s learn to let people share their news. We could ask generic questions rather than be specific about someone’s journey. It’s soul-crushing to be told by an adult that a choice is wrong or foolish, even though the decision has nothing to do with the adult in question. I wish everyone safe transitions to the next stage of their lives. Good luck!


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