There is a shadow of a teenager sheltered inside each of us. Sometimes (or maybe more than just sometimes) we worry about what other people think or if we look cool (enough) or about why someone doesn’t want to be our friend. I’ve grown, I’ve matured, and I’ve cleared the most daunting of these hurdles. I like who I am and allow others not to. I feel secure in my talents and skills and am gaining confidence to pursue my dreams with ever-increasing velocity. But, sometimes I still feel a little weird. I wonder what other people are thinking and predict that their minds are filled with less-than-pleasant thoughts about me. BUT – I do not let this stop me. I am trying to eliminate worry of vague public judgment as an influence on my choices. (note- the thoughtful opinions of trusted friends and family influence me on larger issues — this is about the trifles)

For example: I like to walk. I like to walk outside. I like to walk for exercise, sure, but I also just like to wander. I like to look up at the trees or into backyards. This is relatively uncommon, from what I have been able to observe. Sometimes I go outside for several walks in the course of a single afternoon. Short jaunts, as my schedule necessitates, but sometimes I will walk by the same house on the corner 10 times in the span of a couple hours. I used to worry that the inhabitants would think I was weird or up to no good. Let them think it-if they notice at all. It’s silly little things like this that used to cross my mind. They still cloud my conscious from time to time, but I’m learning to let go. Maybe I *am* weird. Maybe I’m not. Who cares? I like myself and know plenty of people who do, too! I work at a community college and at first this bothered me as I could easily be mistaken for a student. I wanted to find a way to tell people that I was in the middle of my master’s. My ego and snobbishness were allowing my vital energy to be tasked with something so utterly ridiculous! How silly! Why should I care what “they” think? Answer: I shouldn’t! Conclusion: Don’t!


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