I braved the heat and took my daughter for a walk yesterday morning. It's cool enough before the sun comes up, but once the sun peeks over the mountain, the sweat starts pouring.
I pushed her in the stroller around the neighborhood and actually attempted a little bit of jogging. I also, hesitantly at first, did some arm exercises while I was walking, one hand pushing the stroller, the other waving in the air. I almost stopped after the first arm curl ups but then decided that it doesn't matter if people saw me looking crazy with my arms flailing around. (It did look better than flailing, but still funny looking.) I was obviously dressed in exercise clothes and out taking a walk, so adding in a little jogging, walking lunges, and arm exercises made sense. I figured that if people thought I looked funny, well, who cares? I was out exercising and they weren't, so I win!
Then in my creative writing class this week, a group of university students taking a communications class visited our writing class for their group project. They told us a story about themselves, and our writing exercise was to act as a psychologist taking notes and then read it back to them for their critique. It was a little intimidating at first to be asked to analyze someone then tell my findings to their face. But after a couple seconds I figure that chances are I would never see these people again, so what did it matter what I said?
Life is much easier when I can let go of my inhibitions and feel free to be myself around people. Oddly, it can be easier to do that around strangers, rather than people I know. Probably because with strangers there will be no accountability later. But if I can be true to myself and let me be me, then it will make life less stressful and more fun.