Actually, I get to make my life decisions. Not you.

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

**Note: religious references included**

My church has an email list where ladies can ask for help, look for things they need, sell things they don’t need, etc…. I use it frequently because I’m a single mom trying to do the work of two people and I usually need some help. So a while back, when I wasn’t getting enough hours at work, I posted a notice that I was looking for odd jobs to make some extra money. A woman on the list contacted me and encouraged me to apply where she works. She was very pushy and adamant. (She totally ignores me at church, and has been distant the few times I’ve tried to start a conversation with her.) She insisted I should apply at her employer because the hours are kid friendly, and I’d be working while the kids were at school. She wanted me to be a school lunch lady. Now I don’t look down on that position or anybody who works it, but I really need to earn more money to get by. The pay was minimum wage, and the hours were only 2-4 hours a day. No way I’m going to support a family on that! So I put in an application for substitute work, but kept looking for something better.

On a whim, I ended up finding a job that I loved. It is completely different from anything I’ve done before, but it’s taught me a lot about what I’m good at and which direction I want to go next. I loved the job and got a lot of compliments from clients. I soon became a company favorite! However, the company itself was not stable, so I started looking for the same position in a better company about six months later. I again posted on the church list asking for ideas, and the same woman again suggested I go where she worked. This time she was a bit angry sounding and basically told me I “should have” gone where she told me to go. I hate “should haves!”

Within days, I found a new job in my new field with a far better company and slightly higher pay. I was very happy! Unfortunately, unlike the previous company, this one required I work Sundays, which is a no-no in my church. I made my availability as short as possible on Sunday, but I still have to work it from time to time. I feel okay about this, but I have trouble finding childcare since my church is against working on Sunday and most of my friends who baby-sit for me go to my church. So, I posted on the list asking if anyone had any advice or knew anyone who could baby-sit on a Sunday.

Oh. My. Goodness. That woman replied again and basically told me off. She didn’t just reply to me, but she replied to the entire list berating me for not taking the job she kept trying to get me to take. She even specifically noted in the message that she was telling the whole list so others could know. She was telling me off saying if I’d done what she said, I wouldn’t have this problem. It was so darned rude, that I didn’t bother to reply. Good grief!

I wasn’t about to engage with that inappropriate email from her, but in my head I was thinking everything I wanted to say! Here’s the deal, lady: I make the decisions for my life. Not you. I made the decision that worked best for my family, my income needs, and my conscience. I found a job in a helping profession, and I feel like this is the way God is leading me. I am so happy serving people and helping to take care of them, and I’m proud that I can do good work. I’m also realizing that I want to follow this lead because it’s a talent I never knew I had and it gives me more life satisfaction than the demoralizing office jobs I’ve been working. So basically, bossy pants, I’m going to go the way God is directing me–not some woman I barely know. I’m pretty sure He has more sense 😉

Oh it irritated me that she sent that message. I don’t think she’s an abuser or anything, but definitely a bit controlling. Some people just latch on to the idea that they know how to run your life better than you do. I think she’s living in some kind of la la land, too, because she is married to someone who supports the home and her work is just for extras. Maybe it’s just fine for her to work a few hours a week at minimum wage, but I have a mortgage to cover, and no one else to help pay it!

Like I said, I didn’t engage her, or reply with as nasty a message as she sent me, nor did I bother to defend myself. Frankly, it’s none of her business why I didn’t choose to obey her wishes. It’s just so bizarre that someone I’ve attempted to talk to twice in two years, (only to get a cold shoulder,) thinks she gets to control my life.

Nope. I am perfectly capable of doing that myself, thank you.

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