I realized the other day as I was grocery shopping and bee-bopping to the music playing over the speakers that I had finally reached “that age”.
You know, the age that requires quotations.
I had reached the age where I had started to sway to the sweet grocery store tunes.
I hate to even type that although I must say that Paula Abdul really did stress the fact that opposites attract in a fun and funky way.
Anyway, as I was swaying to those sweet tunes and my son was giving me heavy side-eye, I realized that I had reached the point where I didn’t really care what other shoppers thought about my moves.
I remember being my son’s age and thinking that I would surely die if my mom started to bust out her moves in public.
Even worse if she popped her thumbs up, tucked her elbows in, and did that mom jig.
The absolute anguish.
I also remember her laughing at my pure disgust of such topic.
Now, I am the one laughing.
Now, I am the one rocking the mom moves.
Now, I am the one looking at my child and taking pleasure in his almost certain moments of public embarrassment panic.
That feeling of not really concerning yourself with how others view you at any given moment.
That feeling of living in each second and wallowing in the absolute absurdly odd joys of life.
We all remember walking in on the first day of school.
Walking in on the first day of work.
That uneasy feeling where we feel like surely our dress is tucked into our underwear.
Or that toilet paper is stuck to the bottom of our shoe like a celebration for one.
Why do we do that to ourselves?
Why do we place the pressure on ourselves to BE perfectly in a straight line when surely, we were all made to be a squiggle?
Yes, there is something completely freeing about being able to sway in the grocery store and pretend that the cracker aisle are all of your fans.
It really got me thinking about how much pressure we place upon ourselves at work, in relationships, as parents, as friends … in LIFE…
Finding your groove doesn’t have to take us so long.
Now I am not saying march into your CEO’s office and start the macarena.
…although that would be epic to see.
I am saying STOP holding yourself back from bursting out the ideas that you have.
Stop being quiet when you want to give a compliment.
Stop making yourself small to fit the polaroid of how you THINK people should view you.
Start taking your coworkers to lunch and sharing a laugh.
Start leading by a “JUST BE YOURSELF” example.
I’ve been in the workforce for a long time now.
I wasted a lot of those years trying to mold and mesh myself into whatever that particular world needed me to be.
Now, at 40 something, I am in a world that not only accepts the quirky gal that I am but WANTS me to be authentically me.
I happened to find that within a credit union.
It took a bit for me.
I had to stop apologizing for who I am and start owning it.
I had to stop morphing and start standing proud.
I had to enjoy the moments and not dread the days.
Sometimes, you will find yourself having to be that ray of sunshine for someone else.
Did you catch someone singing in the work bathroom?
Join the song!
Do you see a coworker’s phone that has a screensaver of your favorite tv show?
Share that with them!
This world was not meant for cookie cutter employees.
Not cookie cutter spouses, children, students, or anything for that matter.
If there were a “Where my weirdos at” flag, it would be flying proudly at my home and in my office every single day.
Bring me your weird.
I will raise you a shimmy in the grocery store.
We need to be celebrating each other for what we bring to the table.
Especially at work.
Sometimes you can’t bring your bedazzled seat with an overhead disco-ball to the table, but you can STILL keep that sparkle.
Those sparkles lead to sparks and those sparks invite others to join you.
What a collaborative party of awesome THAT is.
Listen, I don’t care who you are everyone needs to be given the platform to be organically who they are.
I say if you are able to do that as an employer and coworker, you have tapped into a secret ingredient of happiness that reaches next level.
Find those awesome personality traits and shine a spotlight on them.
Watch them grow like flowers in the sunshine.
As for me, I will continue to hold not so private concerts in the grocery store because I’m happy where I am in life…
And because Paula makes me a c-c-c-cold hearted ssssssssssssssnake.