You often hear people who have had some sort of near death experience talk about seeing things in a new light. Suddenly their priorities are much more clear, they’ve realized that ‘life’s too short’ isn’t just a great t-shirt design. They start climbing mountains, running marathons, starting businesses and becoming charitable members of society.
That’s great. Having a new lease on life is never a bad thing, especially when you’ve had a chance to renew the old one. I’m sure the simple things become magnificent. The sun on your face is probably like God smiling on you, chocolate tastes like some sort of angelic nectar, and the sound of a baby’s laugh rings like choir bells. Marvelous, really.
There’s just one inherent flaw in the whole situation.
I don’t want to have a near death experience. That sounds horrible.
I want to enjoy my life before I’m reminded of my own mortality. I want to at least try to be the person I knew I could be when I was a kid, not the version of us we become when we grow up and start paying bills.
Most days I’m able to be that person to at least some degree. Some days it’s harder, but I always try.
Sometimes, whilst dancing exaggeratedly in my car, I realize I don’t have tinted windows anymore. People can actually see me doing the sprinkler while driving down the road. Shortly after that I almost always realize that I don’t care. I think the world would be a better place if more people put less stock into what others think*.
In the end it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you, except for you. Believe it or not that’s also true in the beginning and the middle.
I know the fear. The fear that you won’t be accepted, that you won’t get the job or be invited to go. Get over it.
Conforming to become someone you’re not only serves to keep you from being the happiest version of yourself, whereas being the most true version of yourself could actually open doors that didn’t even exist before. You might even inspire someone else to do what makes them happy, and we could have some sort of happiness revolution. That sounds much better than the zombie apocalypse.
So go do the things that make you happy. Dance, sing badly, draw or write or take an acting class if you want to, laugh at a totally inappropriate time, go for the dream job or move to that new place.
Just exactly what is the worst that could happen?
*Disclaimer: I don’t mean do bad things, or hurt people just for the fun of it, or steal or lie or anything else you know you shouldn’t do. Don’t be a jerk. If any of those things make you feel good you should probably seek some sort of counsel and stay away from the general public.