I am not what you would call a graceful person. I fall down a lot. I bump into things. I trip. I stumble. I spill food. I drop things. I break stuff. Not only is this a general crummy situation, but I never have cool injury stories. I’m generally surrounded by wonderful empathetic humans who ask what happened, and I’m habitually embarrassed by my injuries. This has become something that actually often keeps me “in hiding” when I’m obviously injured, something that I’ve discovered is a risk of working at home. You see, much of my body is not seen on most given days by anyone other than my immediate family, so if I’m embarrassed about something I just squirrel myself away. This won’t do.
My husband is one of those amazing people who is smart and funny and handsome and happy. Not even just happy; Husband is joyful. He is the embodiment of “dance like no one is watching” and does, literally, and often. He’s plays music all the time and when one of us is in the kitchen cooking and the other comes in, he will wrap his arms around me and just start to dance. He does this with Daughter, too. Sometimes he isn’t even listening to music but provides his own. He has many habits like this and I know that I’m a lucky lady. And yet I am always hesitant, even in my own kitchen, to dance with him because I will look ridiculous.
Husband tries his best to make me feel like I don’t ever need to be embarrassed. I’m told wonderful words all the time that are meant to make me feel comfortable in my own skin. Still, though I’ve tried, when I dance I feel like everyone is watching. Logically I am very aware that it’s not all (or most, or even a little) about me. No one is making fun of me in the restaurant for knocking over a glass. The man who held the library door open isn’t laughing at me for running into the door jamb. I do not need to die a little inside. Stop being ridiculous.
What I realized is that I’m constantly living inside my head and making situations that just aren’t there. This imagination run amok is making me not live my life in a way that would make me the most happy. I want to dance with my husband! Who cares if I look awkward! I should be able to say, “Oh, this knee injury? No, I wasn’t skiing or anything. I stepped on an Expo marker,” and not be ashamed. Who cares if I twisted my ankle simply stepping off a curb instead of running in a marathon? Does it matter that I have a black eye because I was reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows again and I dropped it on my face as I fell asleep? It doesn’t! Or, maybe it does. Maybe that one is bad…. Still, these are signs of my uniqueness. I decided to own my individuality.
When I picked up Daughter this week, one of those amazing empathetic people said to me, “Oh! Did you sprain your finger? How’d it happen?” “Well,” says I, “I was playing ski ball. Like. A Boss.” And I was, too. People laughed, sure, but they laughed with me. It was joyful and I was part of it and they thought, “This lady does not mess around. I like it.” You know what? I like it, too.