I’ve been on the planet for a while now and in this time I have observed people around me, and either have been amazed at what I have seen or saddened on many levels. As a child I was very different for many reasons, but mainly because I was raised in a family that basically ran a zoo out of our home.   It was a wildlife rehabilitation project and we raised and released wild and exotic animals that had been injured, or were in some sort of need.  In addition to this, my mother was the Irish Setter rescuer for The Cincinnati Animal Rescue League. We had many monkey’s including a chimpanzee that my parents rescued from a bar who we needed to detox from alcohol and cigarettes. We had pythons, boa constrictors, chinchillas, raccoons, birds of prey, etc, etc, etc. Every season the animals would come and go. My mom once told me that I really wouldn’t ever be able to have girls over to the house because they would not understand, and for the most part she was right.   I was often called weird and I simply did not really fit in.

When I think back at some of the memories, they were hilarious, but I can remember the pain of being judged and I was a sensitive kid.  I was someone who was always involved in comforting and feeding animals, and cleaning their cages, and it made me a very empathetic person.

In many ways, I just wanted to fit in with the normal kids. But when I look back now I realize what an amazing adventure my life had been.  How many people have had the experiences that I have had?  But as a child and teenager, I cared deeply about what others thought and it caused me great anxiety.  I wish now that I had been able to ignore what other people thought, and instead, I wish I had been able to focus on the positive things other people had to say.

It’s funny how I carried the trait of worrying about what others thought of me into adulthood. It was reinforced in so many ways.  In fact, as I continued in charitable and non-profit work with humans throughout my adulthood, I started to realize it was an epidemic not unusual to me. I felt an obligation to inspire people in my world to believe in themselves and not to worry about what other people thought.  I realized how silly it was for any of us to stress over the judgement of others, because life is short and it would be best spent finding out what is important to ourselves and going after that!  As far as the judgement of others?

Sarah Hale Folger.25

It doesn’t matter, everyone has a right to an opinion, but most of the time I’m learning that we should keep our opinions to ourselves.

It’s illogical to believe someone else should know what’s best for your life. As long as you aren’t hurting other people, doing anything unethical or immoral, why should anyones opinion about your life matter more than what your heart is telling you?

My mission is to be true to my heart, and to make my life count. I just so happen to derive a tremendous amount of happiness by encouraging others to be happy as well.  So consider yourself encouraged!

Sarah Hale Folger.24

ICU!  Do you see YOU? What do others think of you? Does it Matter?

Take a moment to answer these questions, you may be surprised at your answers!

I would love to hear from you.  Please feel free to share your stories with me!

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