I feel it.
On a visceral level.
More so now than I ever have in my life.
And it is FASCINATING me.
Is it an Ego thing?
A problem with authority?
Or just 46 years of people-pleasing fatigue…?
On Monday this past week, I thought for a moment about how lovely it would be to road-trip to Maine.
And then I started thinking about it longer.
And more seriously.
And then I did some quick research about how long it would take me to drive to Maine from Colorado.
Not because it wouldn’t have been SO much easier to fly (because DUH!)…
…but because WHAT a way to celebrate Independence Day.
Road-tripping for 31 hours.
And relying on no one but myself.
Long story short, I didn’t go.
Not because every fiber of my being didn’t want to go, because BELIEVE ME.
EVERY CELL IN MY BODY WANTED TO GO.
Basically, it came down to my kids’ last home swim meet this Saturday and not wanting to miss out on it.
And also knowing that I wouldn’t have as much time as I would want to devote to a proper road-trip.
But here’s the really interesting part…
I got my feathers ruffled.
And they were ruffled in a BIG WAY.
My husband and daughter told me to just buy a plane ticket.
A girlfriend double-dog dared me and I COMPLETELY wanted to take the dare. (What am I, 10?!)
My cousins tried to goad me into it by telling me I would NEVER do it, and I was all talk.
And this one was my favorite…
“I guess the others were right that you wouldn't dare…and here I was beginning to think you were the wild child of the family...”
OH MY GOD, you guys!!!
OH. NO. HE. DIDN'T.
That one knew EXACTLY which button to push.
I wanted to jump up and down like a petulant 3-year- old and say, “I AM the Wild Child of the family, dammit!”
I was TOTALLY going to do it!
I’m NOT all talk!
And then I got sad about that.
What is WRONG with me that I would let these funny, loving, well-meaning people all get under my skin like that?!
I am not even CLOSE to evolved or enlightened.
Now, the last few years have not been easy.
I have been making changes, and some of them have not been easy for the people around me.
And yet, with every change I make, I want more.
I am hyper-aware of everything that I am doing in my life right now, and of also making sure I am doing them for the all the right reasons.
When I got a tattoo, it wasn’t to rebel or prove anything to anyone.
It was because I had just accomplished something monumental and wanted to celebrate the occasion with a saying that had grown to mean a lot to me.
When I decided to let my hair grow longer, it wasn’t because I wanted to look like anyone but myself.
But I HAD realized that I had been telling myself a story my whole life about what kind of hairstyle I could have with my fine hair, and what kind of hairstyle I could have if I wanted to be taken seriously as a professional.
But then I decided I WANTED long hair. Period. So the fine hair naysayers and judgmental professionals could suck it.
And when I recently got my nose pierced, it was because I had been admiring them on friends for a few years, and had wanted one of my own for a while.
And I realized AGAIN that I was letting other peoples’ opinions mean more to me than my own.
So in a moment of nothing but pure self-love, I did it for myself. And no one but myself.
Lately, if I find myself doing something that others might judge or disapprove of, I check in with myself and make sure that I am doing this for myself.
Because it makes me feel empowered.
Or because it’s just plain fun and I want to have more fun in my life, dammit.
So what started as an idea for a simple road-trip to a place I loved turned into something much more symbolic.
It turned into a desire to celebrate my own personal independence.
Independence from what others’ think.
Liberation from anyone else’s approval. Or disapproval.
And a commitment to my Self.
My own wants, desires, and needs.
No matter how much anyone else might disapprove of them.
No matter how much anyone around me might struggle to understand.
Because you know what?
I have figured this much out, at least…
You are not the boss of me.
And oh, how I LOVE how that feels.