Life is vulnerability. As scary as it sounds, you’ve gotta put yourself out there. Whether that’s going all-in on a blossoming new relationship with your dog trainer,or finally belting out an off-key rendition of Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister,” at the local karaoke bar, every chance you get, you need to take a leap of faith. Like a bullfrog taking communion. You’ve gotta love like you’ve never had your heart broken, sing like no one is listening, and no matter what, you absolutely gotta dance like nobody’s watching from the narrow slits of a shutter closet door.
And even if somebody was watching, your worth is not determined by all of the negative thoughts that everyone is thinking about you. You are strong! You are capable! Instead of worrying about all of the negative things that other people are definitely going to do or say, you need to cultivate inner strength. Every morning, you’ve gotta look at yourself in the mirror and recite a mantra of personal affirmation loudly so that if someone were in the linen closet, they could hear you, but they’re not, so don’t worry.
Don’t spend hours going over all of those flaws that others see. You’ve gotta eat like you’ve never had food poisoning, smooch like you actually brushed your teeth this morning, and leave a full plate on the hall steps with a ham sandwich and maybe some kettle chips like no one is going to sneak out in the middle of the night and eat it in the dark.
Trust me: I’ve watched so many people go through life consumed with concerns that someone is watching them. They don’t put themselves out there at work and ask for that promotion because they’re too busy trying to find their kitchen utensils that are mysteriously disappearing in the night. I know it’s tough, but you need to go right into your boss’s office and tell him that you deserve a raise, like no one is stealing your cutlery and using the stainless steel to repair a busted circuit board.
And then you’ve gotta start eating your Raisin Bran with a fork like you haven’t clearly heard something clanging around in your kitchen cabinets late at night. And also like you didn’t wake up in the morning to a burning stench like someone had been soldering in your living room all night. Laugh like you don’t have a mouthful of popcorn shrimp, write poetry like you aren’t confused by onomatopoeia, and play the saxophone like you didn’t stop going to lessons after the Clinton impeachment.
As the old saying goes, people seldom even think about you. This is true whether it’s Kathy from the office or really or really any humanoid creature from any dimension. People have their own stuff going on, whether that’s their own insecurities about recent weight gain or about being stranded in a different dimension because a crash landing broke a critical piece of their space-time ship.
To be sure, everyone you meet is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. Sometimes, that’s a battle with feelings of self-doubt, and other times it’s a battle with the amphibious creature that guards the interdimensional rift that opened behind your beach towels in your hall closet. We’re all just doing the best we can.
This is the funny thing about human nature: People run from a downpour, but then stand in showers getting wet? Then, they clean their bodies with colorful goo from a bottle, but then scream in the middle of that very same shower when they notice a trail of similarly fatty organic slime?
This is all to say that you shouldn’t trust every thought that pops into your head because sometimes they lead you astray and make you a slave to societal expectations. This is your wake-up call! You are a beautiful, powerful, wonderful human! Walk like you don’t have a rock in your shoe, blast that ska playlist like your neighbors haven’t filed a noise complaint, and dance like nobody's watching. Because as soon as the Space-Time Augmentor is fixed, nobody will be.