You know how, you spend a lot of time liking stuff, and then you realize you really don't like it at all?
It's peach season, and everyone is raving about peaches. I love a good peach. But I rarely get a good one. Peaches make me feel.....meh. And then people all but insist that peaches are a must right now, and if you don't have a peach you're about to be voted off the island. (you big weirdo) And then I buy peaches, and be underwhelmed and puzzled (why do I keep trying these?) and lemming-ing right along.
I started riding my bike to work this week. Four miles there, four miles back. This has been grand, and surprising. Getting ready in the morning is different- tight shorts at six AM are just OK. A neon yellow mesh vest and a bike helmet. These things can be challenging to my vain-ish self. And people, in cars, and when I get to work, might think I look stupid. Or worse, like a show off. Or like I'm not going fast enough, or like I'm some sort of imposter, not a real cyclist. And that I'm doing it wrong. Trying too hard.
I bought lights and road tires for my bike months and months ago. I was so excited to ride my bike to work. And then I chickened out. Why? Because I was scared of what people would think.
And, really. That isn't me, right? I'm cool and hip. Certainly not worried about what other people think. Certainly not.
Well, that's a big fat lie. I worry what people think. A LOT. I think that's a top twenty reason why I drank: I knew I was A-) worrying about what people thought so then B-) trying to be what people would like and C-) sad that I never felt like me. It's kind of like my life was a glass slipper, and I was trying to squeeze my Cinderella self on in, except I was a lesser well known stepsister who didn't really even like slippers.
My bike rides have given me a whole new perspective. It's MY ride to and from work. So if someone looks and sees me and thinks I'm dorky in my vest, or not pedaling fast enough or working hard enough, or trying to be something I'm not.....well then. So be it. I just pedal and smile and say to myself "My ride. My life. My ride. My life."
Do you ever notice that you are so so hard on yourself, and that you think that other people are always doing it right and you are always doing it wrong? Me too! Me too!
I put a load of energy into trying to figure out how to be what everyone else liked that sometimes I didn't really know what I liked! I tried for years and years to be "other people cool" and that was exhausting. And (surprise, surprise) I'm a lot more at ease when I'm just being me. Liking what I like.
I just finished reading "Happier at Home". The author has commandments for herself. The most important one is "Be Gretchen". I am totally stealing this. Except for the Gretchen part. I've started, when I'm faced with a choice, or I'm doing a thing, I say in my head "Be Amy". (breathe) "Be Amy".
And, no thank you, about the peaches. But if you like them, go ahead.