If I had a blog, today I would write about living honestly.
“What will people think?” If I had a nickel for every time a parent, teacher, or other well-meaning adult sent this phrase my way, I would be a billionaire. While I admit that there is value in considering the consequences of one’s actions, I seems to me that the importance of what other people think weighs too heavily on my mind. Take yesterday, for example: I am in the process of getting a yellow Labrador puppy and, after what I considered “a lot of thought,” decided I’d get a black Lab as well. I emailed the breeder and she was glad the remaining black male would have a good home. Then I shared my plan with some of my more analytical friends and realized I was about to get in over my head. I weighed their cons against my pros and decided I’d better stay with one puppy for now. I was ok with the decision, even though “reason” is a real kill-joy, but I felt physically ill when I realized I’d have to email the breeder and retract my offer. “Oh my God,” I thought, “what on Earth will she think?”
As I lay awake trying to compose an email that made me sound realistic rather than indecisive, a new thought occurred to me: What if I really am a flake? What if I stop running from my fear of being exposed as emotional, prone to acting first and thinking later, and (OMG) utterly imperfect? I let this new paradigm float around in my head for quite a while, then decided to make the leap. I got out of bed and posted a simple email: “Hi, after giving my decision some more thought, I realized it would be better for me to have one puppy at a time. I’ll keep my yellow pup and wait to get a black later on. Sorry for the misfire. – Julie.” I still felt queasy, but at least I’d been honest and that felt good.
As I’ve gone about my work today, I’ve given this more thought and I think it has real possibilities. I don’t know how I will deal with what comes in the future, but I like the idea of accepting my idiosyncracies and letting them show. I can work on anything that’s giving me problems, but overall, it simplifies my life immensely. This way I am free to fail at things, make mistakes, embarrass myself, and even look stupid in public without the desperate need to cover my tracks and meet the world’s standard of perfection. I am Julie and I’m doing the best I can. What do you think of that?