An Unexamined Life Might Be More Fun

Me and Heather acting a bit goofy at the Polar Plunge last year.

My friend Tracy posted this quote: “Don’t take yourself so seriously. Nobody else does.” I’ve heard this before and there hasn’t been a day of my life when it hasn’t applied to me. I was raised by parents who were always asking me to behave a particular way, not to get in the way of anyone or be a bother, and not to (under any circumstances) be an embarrassment to myself or anyone else. When you’re raised with those messages, you become a bit serious about just how important you are in the grand scheme of things.

Truth is, though, everyone is mostly concerned with themselves. At a party, most people are only interested in how they look, what they say, and how they appear to others. And, if we’re all so wrapped up in what’s going on with us, we’re not spending a lot of time paying attention to others. When I think about the people I know who live a life not too serious, I only regard them with admiration. I often wished I was a bit more open to life and joyful, less timid and fearful. Okay. Sometimes maybe I would roll my eyes when my friend did something goofy in public, but I was secretly wishing I could let go once in a while like that.

I’m getting better with this idea. I will probably go to my grave without ever being labeled a free spirit, but I’ve taken the first step. I no longer think anyone is watching me or sizing up my behavior because I understand that most people can’t see past the end of their own nose. I also no longer truly care if they are watching me, scrutinizing my actions, or judging me. Let them look. This is my journey and I’m doing the best with it that I can. Now, if I could just convince myself that I don’t care if I’m acting like a jackass, then I’d really be getting somewhere.



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