Nobody’s Pinocchio

For the most part, I consider myself to be a responsible human being.  I feed myself, I clothe myself, I pay my bills on time (save for one forgetful incident 2 years ago that will forever mar my otherwise perfect credit score), and I exist in the general population with relative ease and appropriateness.


There are certain people in my life who, no matter what I accomplish nor how adult-like I behave, have the inexplicable ability to make me feel as itsy bitsy and inconsequential as one of those green plastic army men.

I betcha pretty much everybody can relate to this conundrum.

Whether they’re your parents, or your siblings, or your friends or your professors, a certain assortment of people out there have you by the puppet strings.  And when they start tugging and pulling and telling you you’ve got it all wrong, it’s only a matter of time before your self-esteem starts to shrivel.

I wish it weren’t so, but alas.

At age 25-and-10-months, I’m still plagued by the thoughts and opinions of others.  True, in the most basic sense this simply means I’m a social being (which ultimately means I’m human, which I see as a good thing), but when it comes right down to it I often wish I could care a little bit less about what other people think.

I’m not talking about high school-esque scenarios here, like when the punk rockers used to yell profanities at me for wearing platform shoes (although I’ll admit that too was not a fun time).  I’m talking about real issues.  Grown up stuff.  Decisions and life choices that ultimately impact me the most, but that other people seem determined to resolve in my stead.

And yes, I know that when others try to intervene on my behalf they’re doing it out of love.  Blah blah blah.  I know that.  But I also know that there’s a difference between providing guidance and giving orders, and sometimes I think my loving mentors confuse the two.

It’s hard to have faith in yourself when others discount how you feel.

The little Jiminy Cricket inside my head has always been easily influenced, and for a long time I thought that was because others knew best.  But now I’m beginning to doubt.  I’m beginning to wonder if that little voice might actually know a thing or two.  I’m starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I do know what I want.  That maybe I’m not just wandering aimlessly, happy to be told what to do and say and believe.  Maybe I do have a sense of direction, and maybe that direction is just something different than where I’ve been told to go.

People all around me say I have potential.  I believe they’re right.  But now it’s my turn to determine where that potential will lead, and it may not be down the path my puppet masters wish for me to choose.

So if your puppet masters are exerting a little too much authority, politely say “thanks, but no thanks.”  Tell them you’re a responsible human being who feeds herself and clothes herself and pays her bills on time, and though you understand that they’re looking out for you, it simply isn’t necessary.

Explain to them that you’re a real boy, not a Jiminy Cricket or a green plastic army man, and that you can take it from here.

Trust me; you’ll feel better if you do.

And even if you make a mistake and choose the wrong path, try and fear not.  Those puppet strings never fully detach, and at times they can act as parachute cords.

Much love.

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