No matter what you do with your life, people will interject all sorts of opinions on what is and isn't best for you. So, it's important to remember that there are loads of things you don't have to justify to anyone. The great thing about being a free adult is that, barring things that actually break the law, you can do whatever you want and live according to your own morals, whether or not they coincide with others'.
Growing up, we often learn that we have to justify our choices to our families. Our parents may, for example, threaten to cut off financial or emotional support or make our time at home unpleasant if we don't make decisions they approve of. Some families continue to do this after their children grow up. But often, even when they don't, we fear defying their will. Or, we fear doing things our partners don't like because we think they might leave us. Or maybe it's our employers we're desperate to please.
Of course, there are situations when you may have to justify your actions — for example, when they impact your coworkers or dependents. But you should never have to justify any of the following things to anyone.
1. Your Relationships
Our goal in choosing a partner or a relationship model should be to make ourselves happy. Our friends and families may be concerned if they see we're not happy, but they shouldn't penalize us for our relationships. It's OK to date someone the people in your life don't approve of, and you shouldn't need to convince them to accept your relationship.
2. Your Career
As long as your career choices aren't hurting anyone — by, say, leaving you reliant on them for money without their consent — you get to do whatever you want with your life. Don't dim your own light because you fear what others will think of your work. The world needs you to use your unique gifts.
3. Your Style
No matter what you wear, what makeup is on (or not on) your face, or what's tattooed on your body, some people will hate it and some people will love it. As Rick Nelson sang, "ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself."
4. Your Friends
It can be hard for an outsider to see why certain friendships work, but as long as you know they're working, other people don't have to get them. Unless someone's legitimately concerned that a friend is toxic, it's not their place to comment on your friendships.
5. How You Spend Your Money
As long as the money you're spending is your own, you're allowed to spend it in ways that others find totally wasteful, and as long as you're able to survive, you can spend or save as much of it as you please.
6. Your Sex Life
Some people are their happiest, most exuberant selves when they're having lots of casual sex, and some feel most at peace with having none at all. These choices are equally valid. Neither makes you less feminist or less respectable.
7. Your Identity
Matters of identity, like gender and sexual orientation, are totally personal and mean different things to different people. Nobody gets to say you don't act like the kind of person you identify as, because there's no one way to "act like" any group.
8. Your Spiritual Beliefs
Spirituality is by nature subjective, so if others disagree with your beliefs, that doesn't make them wrong or less valid than anyone else's. People can challenge them, of course, but you can reject those challenges. What's freedom, after all, if we're not free over our own thoughts?
In short, as long as you're not hurting anyone, you get to do whatever the heck you want. And if you ask me, that's pretty liberating.