You’ll come upon a time in your life — probably at a major life event — when you have to decide between pleasing yourself and pleasing others. Here’s some big news: It’s okay to choose pleasing yourself.

You may be labeled selfish, immature and inexperienced, but you have to go with your gut. Some situations require you to think about your own happiness. After all, how can anyone else around you be happy if you yourself are not happy?

A wedding is one of those big decisions. As soon as you’re engaged, the advice starts rolling in. You should get married here. You should have a budget wedding; you should have a big wedding. You should invite these people; you should just send announcements to these people. You should think about these things. It can get to be too much. Suddenly, you’re caught planning a party for everyone but yourself. So you chose to screw it all and elope.

You choose to go to Savannah, Georgia, for a beautiful, intimate ceremony on the porch of a B&B. You choose to actually have the New Year’s Eve wedding date you want without worrying about everyone’s schedule. You choose to have no one there but your spouse, a pastor and a photographer. You choose to road trip down to Miami the day after you’re hitched to go on a luxury cruise. You choose to spend the money on yourself and your spouse. You choose to put the time and energy into planning a trip that you’re beyond excited for. You choose to treat yourself and give yourself the best memories possible. You choose happiness.

Yes, feeling are hurt, but you realize it’s a day that is about no one else but you and the person repeating the vows back to you. While you recognize that you’ll need your family and friends all throughout your life, you’re ultimately choosing that one person. That one person will be the only one there when you’re in the worst fight you’ve ever had. That one person will be the one you have to keep the romance, passion and love alive for. That one person is who you’re marrying — end of story.

So next time the big life decision presents itself, think about who needs to be happy with the choice. Where will you go to college? What will you major in? Where will you settle down and build a home? What will your wedding look like? How many kids will you have? How will you raise your kids?

Those choices are yours — own them.

It won’t be easy. You’ll have to learn to trust yourself, but you’ll get there. When you do, you’ll be a confident, assured and independent individual.

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