I know and work with people from all walks of life. People younger than me, people older than me and people the same age.
We all chase different dreams, have different desires but ultimately we all just want to be happy.
I’ve come to realise that all this happiness nearly always needs to be justified.
Our priorities change throughout our lives and as we grow older, we learn to switch our time and energy on to the things that really matter to us.
The things that matter the most to me may be totally different from the things that matter the most to you and that is totally fine.
I remember once at drama school when a few people said “Eleanor says she’s skint but she buys coffee from Starbucks” and I had to really defend myself – how petty is that? I went on a full on rant, explaining that “I was at drama school Mon-Fri, worked TWO jobs Sat and Sun.. Was I not allowed a bi-monthly Macchiato ffs? Also, half of my coffees are free so okay byeeee” none of either “argument” was malicious but I found it all very bizarre, nonetheless.
Earlier this year I vlogged about needing to go on a holiday (I know we all need one, don’t @ me) and I started going on and on, justifying why I needed it, feeling guilty cause people need one more than me, feeling those “she says she’s saving for this bla bla bla yet she’s going to Greece bla bla bla” voices in my head. I went on (more than once) to say it’s the cheapest of the cheap, that I don’t spend much while away, that I don’t go and buy loads of clothes for it etc and I paused and said to myself “Why do I feel that I need to justify myself?”
I just felt that I really needed to justify myself, really explicitly explain myself. A huge priority of mine is to have one week, just one week a year when I don’t do any work. I was burnt out in the Winter (I wrote about it here) and it was because of not stopping. I don’t need to justify my point any more. I work hard. 90 percent of it isn’t seen (like most creatives) and therefore I deserve just one week of not working on anything. When you’re an actor, you are neither here nor there so you can’t rely on your routine to tell you when to rest.You’ll book a few days off to visit family and rest and 2 auditions pop up in the middle, on the same day, in two different cities – things which are amazing and I am so grateful for and excited for and is obviously what I want to keep happening… There I go again, justifying myself… WHY? Does anyone really care?!
Where does this guilt and need to justify ourselves come from? I’m still working it out…
Really though, do any of you reading this care that I went on a holiday? Chances are that none of you actually give a crap. Chances are you’re probably thinking “good for you, live your best life”. Chances are you are far more concerned with your own life than mine and rightly so.
So did I need to justify myself in the first place? Probably not.
A friend of mine who is a fair bit older than me, doesn’t have kids and doesn’t want kids. They told me this when we first met and whilst I’m not arsed about their choice (it’s their life, duh), before I could even step in and say “good for you, you do you, there’s too many of us as it is” , they continued to justify their decision. Probably cause they’re so used to having to justify the choice. Why do we need to do this? It’s so tiresome.
No one has the right to question your priorities.
An “oh, how come?” is innocent enough but it surely should be left there?!
It’s like we also feel a tremendous guilt when it comes to taking care of ourselves.
SELF CARE ISN’T SELFISH.
We shouldn’t have to justify our priorities.
You don’t want kids? Fine! You do you!
You don’t wanna go to Uni? Fine! You do you!
You wanna move to the other side of the country? Fine! You do you!
You refuse to buy your lunch anywhere but M&S even though you’re skint? Fine! It’s your life! Maybe that treat keeps you going all day at work!
YOUR priorities are YOURS.
I don’t really know the point I’m trying to make here. I guess it just sucks that we feel constantly judged for everything we do, so we need to explicitly give reasons in case someone makes a comment, so we don’t feel guilty.
As I’ve said time and time again. You do you. As long as you’re not hurting yourself or anyone around you then go for it.*
*Unless you busk with a microphone and sing the same 4 Ed Sheeran songs over again. I’m sorry but I have to draw the line.
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