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  • Writer's pictureMariana Carvalho

Your Decisions Just Need to Make Sense to One Person: Yourself

One of these days, talking with a friend, we talked about how much we criticize and judge other people’s decisions based on our own experience. We point fingers from the comfort of our homes based on our own insecurities and projections.


With the internet, it has become even easier for us to take possession of the gavel and give our own verdicts on other people’s lives.


Take a step back and pay attention.


I don’t say that because I have never done it. I say that because when we become aware of what we do, we can avoid it. Or, simply, being more compassionate with the people around us (or with the thousands of people we interact with on social media daily).


I say this because I was also on the side of the person who was judged.


Judged for having left the Marketing field (Humanities), left everything behind in Brazil and came to the United States to study Computer Science (STEM), and heard from people close to me: “but you’re not in STEM. What are you going to do in the Masters?”. This decision was not only made by changing careers but also by moving in with the person I loved.


“What do you mean you’re going to live with him? But you only dated him long distance.”


They didn’t understand. And maybe they would never understand.


But those decisions only had to make sense to one person: myself.


While I heard and saw people turning up their noses, I also had my family and some friends supporting and encouraging me to follow my dreams. I understand that having the support of people close to us comforts us (and gives us confidence) to make the decision. However, expecting them to support us every time would be a disservice to our dreams and desires.


Ultimately, the consequences of our actions are ours alone. This is the perfect equation of life: make a mistake, get up, get it right, make a mistake, get it up, get it right… in an infinite loop.


I always tell my mentees (especially those making a career transition): not everyone will understand your decision to change careers (even if it is once, twice or three times). Your decision to move to a different city, state or country. Your decision to stay away from your family. From quitting your high-paying job to making a living off your art.


Your desire to explore the world. Your desire to marry. Or not getting married. Of having children. Or not having. Of buying a house or of being a nomad.


Not everyone will understand.


Do you really want them to understand?

No one will wear your shoes. Only you. It doesn’t matter what others say. Since they’re always going to say, why not just be… yourself?


In honor of Glória Maria (RIP), one of the greatest Brazilian journalists, who passed away on February 2, 2023, I share this beautiful video for inspiration:


Whoever will judge me today will not lie there in the coffin in my place. So what do you want me to do? Am I going to live according to people’s opinions? No way! I’m going to live my way.” — Glória Maria.


May we live exactly our way. Making the decisions that make sense to us and our hearts.



Mariana Carvalho is a writer and career mentor, Latino 30 Under 30 2022 by El Mundo Boston magazine, Mentor of the Year 2023 by WomenTech Network, with over 12 years of professional experience, the last 7 in corporate America. Connect: Mentoring | Medium | LinkedIn | Instagram | Threads | Website

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