I went shopping the other day, in one of those kitchy little boutiques that have all kinds of knick knacks. A shop that’s sole purpose was to cover the Earth in t-shirts and dog sweaters that say things like, “If you think I’m cute, you should see my owner!”. Truth be told, I love these stores. I love that when I walk in I immediately feel a sense of ease. Almost everyone is relaxed and smiling. Almost everyone is in the market for a #1 Mom coffee mug or a smiley face keychain. How can you NOT love a store built on happiness?
So, on this day as I browsed through keychain’s, mugs, t-shirts, and yes…a dog sweater…I saw a pin that while fun, struck me as a little sad. I wasn’t expecting that. It said, “I just want people to accept me for who I pretend to be”. It wasn’t the neon pink background and purple lettering that stopped me from smiling. It was the message…it got me thinking.
I thought, how many times would this statement have pertained to me? “I just want people to accept me for who I pretend to be”. How many smiles have I worn that weren’t real? How many times have I had to “pretend” in order to feel included? More importantly, WHY did I do it?
I view life like this…it’s all a little bit high school. For some, I think that the fear of being “unveiled” can happen at any age, and most certainly happens at young ages in school. I mean, really do we ever grow out of that phase we get into as adolescents? Wanting to be liked? Wanting to be noticed, or worse yet, to blend into the wall? This fear is born in school, travels with us through adolescence and then sets up shop in our cubes at work.
How can we be sure to show up in our lives? To have a “bring yourself to work day”? How can we break through and starve the fear and feed the confidence? The answer is simple, but it isn’t easy. Every day we can break through by simply making sure we live in each moment, answer questions with our truth and most importantly by believing who we are and what we offer has worth.
All these thoughts from one neon pink and purple pin. I would hate to see what would happen if it was a mug…or Heaven forbid, a dog sweater.