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It doesn’t matter which aspect of my life I’m talking about, I’m just not good at being told what to do. I dance to music that only I can hear and that makes me a bit cooky. Yes, cooky but never cocky. While being immensely obstinate, I also think I’ve got enough diplomacy that I can tell anyone, “thanks, but no thanks” without coming off as a know-it-all. Because I expect my opinions to be valued, I also value other people’s opinions. I may not be agreeable all the time but I will respect them.

One thing did irritate me recently: my UK and Europe itinerary. As soon as people learned about my planned holidays, they think they have every right to tell me what I should do and where I should go. And then when I politely say that it’s not on my to-do list, they look at me with wide-eyed disbelief and shock. Duh! It’s my holidays so I’ll tailor it any damn way I want to. If I seem to be “missing out” on the important trips and countries, that’s my problem then, isn’t it? Sure, I appreciate external input but please know that if I don’t ask for your opinion, don’t be so generous to give it freely. Again, it’s not that I don’t value other people’s advice because I do BUT only when I ask for it.  I don’t appreciate unsolicited advice especially if it’s coming from someone I’m not exactly close with. Now, if it were Frankie or Abbey (or any of my close circle of friends who will remain anonymous, lest I start hurting egos), then I won’t mind.

I’ve stopped talking about where I’m going to go because I hate being told, “Sayang naman, andun ka na eh.” Don’t think for one second I haven’t considered everything. I plan things according to my body clock; my financial capacity; and based on my own interests and passions. If a place or an experience doesn’t move me enough to want to see it, don’t force me. This is where diplomacy comes in handy. I’ll just smile and say that I’ll think about it and quickly change the topic. Rather than get into an argument and start spitting off words like, “It’s my holiday. It’s my money and I get to decide what I want to do,” or “Why are you so nosy? Go on holidays yourself, will you?” I would just rather grin and bear it and…

kill you in my mind, later.