The greatest freedom I've ever had in my life is to just not really care about what people think anymore. I mean - who the fuck are "they" anyway? I live my life with certain principles and virtues, balanced daily on whatever preoccupies the mind. We make decisions everyday consciously or unconsciously - what we wear, what we eat, when to eat, when to blink, what to say - and we balance these out carefully with our experiences in life. Our decision-making process is balanced like an equalizer. At times, maybe religion, God or some moral foundation takes a priority in the equalizer. Sometimes it may be the law, our parents' rules, a friend's advice, the movie we watched, the book we read, or any kind of experience. At the end of it all, our decisions are made to bring out one thing, which is our own happiness.
And happiness is inherently your own. No one else in the world can understand what the smile on your face means, except you. Only you can fully understand what that smile means, and what happiness there is. And if you're totally happy, then who the f*** are they anyway?
So, do what you want in life to make you happy with only the happiness that you can understand and live. After all, your life is yours. You are the unique occupant of your own time and space, and you are responsible for the happiness in that time and space. Only you!
Learn to love yourself and be happy, and understand the true meaning of your own happiness. If your happiness is to please the people around you, then I sincerely hope you have that smile on your face that no one can take away. If your happiness is to piss people off, then I sincerely hope you have that smile on your face that no one can take away. At the end of the day, what matters most is that YOU are happy. And it's because you know you're happy, and not because someone told you so. So many people can tell you this and that, but it really all boils down to you being happy. And when you're happy, you will have it envelop your entire life and it will glow all around you. And ultimately, you will be free of any care, free of any discouragement or any negativity. Just because you were able to say - Who the F*** are they anyway?