Feels good to be at a place in my life where I don't care so much about what others think of what I think. Yet another reason why I love my 30's and why I know I'll love my 40's and my 50's.... I'm pretty certain that life gets better with age. With every year I grow older, I also grow more into
With this growth comes
and the realization
that so much is possible
Just by being
WHO I AM. Without Worry about what others think.
This wasn't always easy for me to do. Still isn't entirely. In my 20's I always felt slightly embarrassed by my energy, lack of verbal filter, laugh that could be heard from the down the halls, and tendency to say things that most people rarely even allow themselves to think. I felt like TOO MUCH sometimes. I was the person that definitely left an impression...just one of mixed reviews. It was easy to be ME but not so easy to be carefree about being ME after the fact. Often I'd come home from social gatherings and ask my husband "Did I make a fool of myself?!" and he'd smile and assure me that even if I did, he loved the fool in me, the untamed me.
I'd find myself coming home from my teaching job worried about whether or not I worded my e-mails the right way or if I came across as too much of a "know-it-all"with my desire to share about the books I was reading and the new ideas I had for change. I was fearful about sharing my ideas that went against the "NORM" for this reason but yet I had SO many of them...they were spilling all over the place. Worrying was exhausting.
My 20's brought more passion and ideas than I knew what to do with. It was seeping from every part of me but rarely did I feel entirely safe sharing it all with my colleagues, friends, or others in my life. I felt like my passion and radical views seemed too much for those around me. And who would take a 20 something's ideas seriously anyway, right? At least that's how it seemed. I didn't feel big enough to speak out too loudly about things. So, although I did live most of my life moments outside of the box, I wrapped things up before they got too far. I was worried about what others thought. I wanted to be accepted. I didn't want to be the squeaky wheel that stirred too much up even it did mean being true to myself. I wasn't confident enough to make as much change as I wanted to see. I was afraid of people saying
"Who does she think she is?"
I certainly feel these inhibited sides to my 20 something year old self creep up from time to time and keep me from being as courageous and outspoken as I'd like to be...she holds me back sometimes ...from making change and going out there and taking life by the reins. Sometimes, the other side to my 20 year old self comes out in full force too (this is the part I've held on to the most) and gives me just enough of that bold and daring dose of thinking big and believing in dreams that I need.
But, really, something has happened in me as I approach my mid 30's....
I've found so much more courage to go along with that passion that's still there. I've found so much more of a VOICE to stand up and say
"THIS IS WHO I AM."
Whatever I do with the rest of my 30's and the time ahead of me, I know that that feisty, free spirited, live with my whole heart, outside-the-box, passionate, and full of hope and belief in endless possibilities Amanda is and always has been there. I'm just not nearly as afraid to be true to her. Here's to hoping this Amanda will stick around always. My life is certainly more colorful with her helping guide the way.
Do you worry about what others think? Or did you at one point in your life? I used to a ton more than I do now. But I'm getting better with age. I suppose I still worry in some ways when it comes to motherhood, wondering if my ideas about education and religion offend people, etc.
Do you let what others think get in the way of speaking your mind, sharing your goals, and going out and making your dreams reality? Sometimes. But I'm really MUCH MORE outspoken than I ever have been before. This is refreshing. I can only hope it will stay this way as I get closer to a new chapter in my life and possibly go back to teaching, school, etc.