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My forte: Don’t let other’s opinions keep you from being happy


We shouldn’t judge others just because they sin differently than we do. It simply is an insult to our intelligence and is quite frankly ignorant. What others say about you is their reality, not yours. If we took a colossal step away from our judgements and took the time to have a conversation with someone before making up our minds about them, we all could find ourselves pleasantly surprised. Surprised with what we find out and, dare I say, maybe even what we like about each other.

We are constantly growing and changing, and we are far too complex to ever be defined by a miniscule snapshot of time in our lives. But if that moment of time happens to be our first impression on someone, we may have found ourselves unknowingly making enemies before even meeting them in person.

Recently I found myself on the receiving end of some harsh words from an acquaintance. This person’s latest comment on how I choose to spend my life was in regards to my weekends after recently turning 21. They commented, “We all know drinking is your forte.”

After a busy week of work, classes and writing, I may enjoy the occasional drink during college night at a bar. I may enjoy dancing with my friends after a long week, and I may enjoy documenting these adventures via Snapchat. However, this is hardly what I would consider to be “my forte.”

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No, if you were to have an actual conversation with me you would soon realize that my priorities are vastly different.

My forte is making sure all of my friends and I get home safely at the end of the night. My forte is spending hours at Barnes and Noble searching for a new book or sitting in the cafe writing a new article. My forte is giving my friends a sincere pep talk when they need it the most.

My forte is taking care of my family and being there for them no questions asked. My forte is going on spontaneous adventures to Skyzone with my friends instead of a bar every Friday night. My forte is going on mission trips and volunteering every chance I get. My forte is blacking out while binge watching Netflix.

My forte is not drinking and I will not define myself that way. My forte is forgiving my acquaintance and accepting the apology I may never get.

I refuse to be defined by choosing to make the most of my freedom in college and learning from my experiences. It is perfectly acceptable to relax and go out in our 20s as long as we don’t make it our priority.

I plan on making the most of my time left in college and saying yes to exciting new adventures. I plan on reaching outside of my comfort zone and meeting new people. I plan on giving people the benefit of the doubt because unless I lived my entire life in their shoes, who am I to judge?

What we say about others is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Not a single one of us is perfect; we all have blemishes on the records of our lives. We can let these blemishes and the negative comments that come along with them define us, or we can grow and learn from these life lessons and allow them to strengthen us.

I choose the latter. That is my forte.

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