So I got my hair done last night. I’d wanted to lighten up for the summer and was planning on getting highlights. But I also wanted to do something fun and different. Problem is, I took a new assignment at work (focusing on Very Important People) and I was worried that they’d be very unhappy if I showed up with purple streaks.
And then my stylist told me her story. She was at a job in sales making 100k a year. And she hated every minute. She wanted to do something she loved, and that meant being creative. So she quit her job, went back to school, and became a stylist. She took a huge paycut but she loves going to work every day. (and yes, I could turn this into a story about following your dreams, but that’s a topic for another day!)
Then she said – “You don’t want to be a fifty year old woman who always regrets not doing this. Have fun, go for it!”
And I realized she was right. There are so many things I don’t do because I’m afraid of what other people might think. And I didn’t want that regret, so in a tiny act of rebellion, I did it.
And I love it. And the people I work with so far have thought it cute and fun and daring.
And then I realized, I’d told myself a story about how I “should” be behaving as Jamie the Day Job Worker. I also had a story about how I think other people are going to react, which may or may not be based in reality. I even had a story about how my stylist saw me as a client.
We all tell ourselves stories – and it’s amazing how much those stories affect what we do or don’t do. How we respond to a situation or person. What we think is acceptable behavior.
I’m not going to self publish because people will look down on me.
I have to have an agent/traditional publishing deal/sell as many copies as Author X to be successful.
People will think I’m a freak or think I’m irresponsible if I have purple hair.
That person’s comment was directed at me, I know it!
I can’t do that, what if I fail and everyone finds out? They’ll judge me.
All stories I’ve told myself. All of them untrue. All of them holding me back from doing something *I* want to do or saying something *I* want to say.
It’s funny, I write stories all day, but when it comes down to it, the biggest fictions I find are in my own mind.