While picking up my mail I ran into my wonderful neighbour who took one look at me in my large wild hat and Sweetleg tights covered in bright rock n’ roll roses and said, “Well, you don’t care what anyone thinks, do you?”
Without a hitch I replied, “you got it; not even one little bit.”
With an approving nod and a ‘you go get’em girl’ smirk he simply said, “good for you.”
I made my way up to my condo picking through my newly acquired mail and stopped with a laugh as I realized that it’s actually true. I honestly don’t care what people think. Which is a tremendous deal for this redhead who grew up working for the approval of others like it was an Olympic sport. Being worried if I wore something that wouldn’t let me blend into the crowd, or doing something that may be deemed strange, was just a natural part of my day. But it took away from me feeling joy and frankly, wasn’t any fun. So to realize that all of work I was putting into releasing my comfort blanket of others approval felt like a great accomplishment.
Then, the following day while walking out of one of the cute boutique shops in Burlington a man walking past me gave a caustic laugh and called out, “nice hat”. Although his comment was oozing judgmental sarcasm, I smiled, said “thanks” and kept moving. I wasn’t about to waste my time returning his twisted compliment by mentioning his desperate need for a haircut or fashionable reflector vest he was wearing as a coat. I simply heard his comment the way I wanted to; he may have been playing a bully card, but I only heard cheer.
Because no matter the intentions behind someone’s words,
I have the power to interpret them any way I choose.
It’s not good enough for me to work at not worrying about getting the approval of others, I need to know how to navigate through the crazy that is chucked in my direction that challenges my decision to let me truly be me. I need to,
not just let mean comments bounce off of me, but recycle them into something useful.
compliment myself and therefore giving myself my own stamp of approval instead of looking for it outside of myself.
have FUN letting my freak flag fly!
After all, the goal isn’t to fit in, it’s to continue giving myself the freedom to know and understand this person I call, ‘me’.