On Being Yo’ Self

“Everybody’s gotta live

Everybody’s gotta die

Everybody’s got a right

To feel good inside

Everybody’s got a high

Everybody’s got a low

Everybody got to be yo’ self

No matter where you go.”

That’s Mr. Keb’ Mo’ pictured above with some of my best childhood friends, The Muppets. (One of life’s contradictions: being raised in a pickup-truck-and-gun-rack environment while learning lots of Jim Henson feel-good hippie shit. Thank the universe for my open-minded mom!) Anyway, Keb’ Mo’ sings a fun little song called “Everybody Be Yo’ Self” and it’s such a positive little ditty it got him on Sesame Street. I’m going to have to remember to cue up this tune a little more often so I can remember the joy in truly bein’ mice elf. (I’ll cue that one up too while I’m at it, for good measure.)

I bring this up because last night I was myself. It was St. Patrick’s Day, which I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass about, but hey, it was Saturday night and there was green beer down at the bowling alley, so we headed over there for a little socializing. I had plenty to drink and lots of laughs and posted a lot of silly stuff on Facebook, and generally behaved in a way that makes me glad I don’t carry the burden of being a teacher or any other “upstanding” figure around here.

Now, at this point I’d like to make it clear to my readers that I truly revel in getting a good buzz on, loosening up, and having fun jabbering with friends. It helps me come out of my shell and enjoy life more, because otherwise I tend to be a semi-loner who just likes to read a lot, cook homemade food, and worry about things I can’t control. I’m fortunate enough not to have an addictive personality (except maybe with chocolate ice cream), and I make it a point to enjoy my good fortune by indulging once in a while. If anyone reading this thinks there’s something inherently bad about that, then you may want to give up on my blog right now. (Also if you really can’t abide occasional cussing, because I love that shit.)

Anyway, the thing is, whether helped along by a few drinks or just on my own, whenever I am more outspoken than usual, or assertive, or a little bit of an oddball–whenever I pretty much disregard my concerns about whether I am pleasing anyone or whether I’m liked–I almost always have second thoughts later about letting people know the real me.

Today, though, as I think back on the fun I had last night and the stuff I’ve been revealing about myself lately, I don’t feel that way. Last night was another one of many varying forms of a good time that I’ve had in my life, and I hope to have a great big collection to look back on and laugh about in my old age. It’s been a long haul, but I think I’m finally ready to drop the burden of self-consciousness and stop worrying about whether people like me or not. I’m going to remember what Keb’ Mo’ says and apply it not just to myself, but to everybody.

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