Friend, at some point in time we are taught to care what others think of us.
Do you remember your silly childhood antics? The way you would play without care or constraint?
I have fond memories of rollerskating up and down my driveway with the lyrics of Milli Vanilli’s ‘Blame it on the Rain’ blasting in the background, lip syncing to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” while making up elaborate dance moves that I still remember to this day, and singing into a broom handle along with “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood.
There was also playing tag on the playground and pretending that I was 007, pretending any stick was a wand that I used to cast spells, creating a ridiculous pantomime with my best friend at the park, and getting so consumed by playing capture the flag that I invested in full camouflage and face paint.
My music tastes were somewhat suspect, but the fun wasn’t. It was pure and unadulterated.
So many of my most pleasant memories are ones sprinkled with this kind of absolute uncaring. The moments where I felt free to act and do as I pleased without the worry or sense of judgment.
At some point we start to weigh our choices and actions based upon how we will be viewed, perceived, and judged. We let the opinions of others dictate to us what we feel is an appropriate course of action… pushing our own inner voice aside.
I have allowed the opinions of others to direct my path.
There was a time when, with pride, I shared a piece of writing I had completed with a partner – hungry for his affirmation and encouragement.
He offered neither.
He was mortified by my honesty, openness, and willingness to share my experiences with others through my words. He wondered how and why I would do such a thing, as it was his belief that these things should remain private.
I felt shame and doubt and hid my words away. I let his opinions change alter my course.
Here’s the thing. I recognize that we are all living a uniquely human experience, and while our lives can differ dramatically from one person to the next, there are certain things that are universal.
These are the things I wanted to write about, to let you know – friend – that you are not alone. That I am here with you. I understand your journey, for I am walking beside you.
How is it that as we become adults we start caring so much more about the opinions of others, letting it cause doubts in who we are and what we’re capable of?
I stopped writing as a result, but this wasn’t the only fatality.
We’ve stopped jumping in mud puddles, laughing in the rain, and singing at the tops of our lungs. There are no more dance parties, scaring ourselves with ghost stories, knee-wrestling, creating cheesy music videos, or staying up with our best friends for 24-hours just to talk and share our secrets.
Friend, let’s do these things. Let’s reclaim this part of our childhood, the part that acts freely without caring who is watching.
Your Trusted Friend ♥