free your mind…and the rest will follow*

Confession: I am 34 and still care too much about what others think. Shocking, I know. Me and 50 billion other women out there that feel the same way.

I spent most of my youth digging myself out of the people pleasing hole to emerge a confident, I’m okay with myself person. Then, I don’t know how or when it happened, I’ve dragged myself under again. How did this happen? I refuse to blame motherhood. It seems to be everyone’s go to target. It’s not marriage. I’m not going to accuse the people around me. Oh no, this is all about me. My choices. My problem. How I see me.

It crept up on me stealthy and sneaky. I have found myself justifying my decisions and looking for approval. I’ve been caught making a case for myself. I’ve been pleading my position.

I had this dream once (an actual in my sleep dream – not a vision or a well meaning wish) where I was in an open field that stretched out for miles. Part of this field was set up in stations. There were obstacle courses you could go through, activities to do and equipment to buckle on. There were slides to slide on. I attempted almost every station. I tried out and tried on. I slid. I jumped through hoops. At the very end I was heavy with fatigue and layers of clothes. Nothing seemed to fit right. Nothing suited me. The field was in front of me. I faced the miles that it went on for with no destination except the sun, shed my layers and began to walk.

I see what I’m doing. I’m wearing outfits that pull and stretch in all the wrong places. I’m putting on and piling up. And I want out from under something I’ve built. No one has done this to me. I learned a long time ago how to step out of the box. I’ve crossed the line. I’ve shut the lid and closed the latch.

I’m making decisions that I’m defending to others, but aren’t I defending them to me? These are not life or death decisions. They harm no one. I am my harshest judge and this is all in my head. I’m simply trying things out to see where I fit. Where do I belong? How do I see me?

I am the one with the tools. I just need to pick them up. I know how to do this and I’m going to let myself go.

*some of you may recognize that line. it is an en vogue (does anyone even remember them? i have heard rumors of a comeback) line from the song, free your mind. i’m not sure how it made its way into my head, but it did and it’s here. on my blog. i know that what they mean and what i mean are two entirely different things, but, whatever.

Swept Up


In Underdogs Unite
Kate from The Big Piece of Cake has started this website dedicated to the underdog in the blogosphere. She will even be hosting a spoof on blog awards which I thought was hilarious and I couldn’t help but say, sign me up!
Read what she has to say about Underdogs Unite.
Are you currently undiscovered? Do you have a new blog or business online and trying to get readers, customers or support? Were you nominated for an award you have no chance of winning? Or even better – did you nominate yourself? Are you just as talented if not MORE SO than the blogger who WILL win? Then you are an Underdog. And this is your chance to unmask. Tell the world (or the five people who visit this site) who you are and why your superpowers make the Internet a better place. Move over Superman and Wonderwoman – you’re not the only force to be reckoned with. Underdogs Unite!

15 thoughts on “free your mind…and the rest will follow*

  1. Kate Coveny Hood

    I am with you on that quest…

    And thanks for mentioning the Underdogs. There are so many of us out there! We really should have our own site…

  2. marn

    Ditto, ditto, ditto, and ditto. To all of it! What the heck happened to wonderful, unique, quirky, individual us. We just need to get behind ourselves and move forward, one day at a time and one step in front of the other….

  3. maggie, dammit

    YES.

    I wish, so badly, that I knew how to shed the weight of perceived judgment. I’m not there yet. I just don’t know how.

  4. Heidi

    kch, yay underdogs! you are sooo one of the good ones, kate.

    brandi, go to the site and check it out. 🙂

    marn, for sure. getting behind ourselves…exactly!

    maggie, i’m so surprised that i still do it. it’s like, come on already! but, i’m trying. maybe that’s what counts in all of this – that we’re aware and we’re trying.

  5. sugarlens

    I don’t necessary care what others think of me anymore, except those who are important to me like my husband, parents, and close friends.

  6. dawn

    heidi, i’m so hearing you on this. does it help to know that i’m 48 and i’m still struggling with the same issues? and what’s funny is that every time i think i don’t care what others think of me, i realize that i’ve been hiding all along anyways. OR, if i’m in a rare moment of authentic self, i then feel guilty for letting the real me fly around untethered! haha! it just never ends. but i keep trying anyways. by the time i find my tool box, i’m too tired to use the tools! 🙂

  7. LENORENEVERMORE

    I can relate! but I try to remember this; ” You can gain strength, courage and confidence, by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do!”~ Eleonor Roosvelt
    …errr easier said than done- haha!
    Wow that song brought back some memories… Great weekend to you beautiful! XO*

  8. Isabella Snow

    I remember that song (and the video) and now it’s in my head! Thanks a lot, LOL! And yes, you’re the one wit the tools — and it sounds like they’re all present and accounted for. 😉

  9. kendalee

    I have this great vision of you with the wrench of confidence in one hand and the hammer of fortitude in the other popping out of that box that you’ve just bust the lid off! Not to mention all the goodies in that toolbelt ’round your waist… 🙂 As always I am so impressed by your self awareness and honesty Heidi and that alone is a great tool set. Go girl!

  10. Heidi

    sugarlens, so, so great!

    dawn, yes. it does help. at least we’re aware that we’re doing it and not doing this for years not realizing wondering what went wrong…you know?
    i sure like you. 🙂

    lenore, beautiful quote. i love that you must do what you cannot do. love that. thank you.

    isabella, haha! it’s been in my head all week…i don’t even like that song!

    kendalee, thank you so, so much! what kind things to say. i’m going to remember this.

  11. Chris

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. There are days where I’d like to think I’m rising above that and growing as a person, but I have my off days, too. I don’t think I was ever someone who fits into society perfectly, so I suppose that helps the transition.

    Anyhow, you are strong and I know you can use those tools with great skill 🙂

  12. LMN

    First – I love the “Underdogs Unite”! That is too cute. And I find I only LIKE the little bloggers, so kudos to the little guys!

    AND, my two cents is that it is okay to get out of the box, and back in, and back out. Pick up the tools, put them down, change your mind and pick them up again. It is all okay. It is part of re-knowing and re-discovering ourselves and possibly even re-inventing. That is part of our perogative, and I fully support it. It is partially why I wear my skirt to work, instead of my sweats (I DO care what others think, and yet I don’t care that I care – AT TIMES). It is all okay.

    Love the tools, love the box, build it bigger, better, different next time. Or not.

    Again, LOVED your post.

  13. Tooj

    Free your mind….and the rest will follow. Be color blind….don’t be so shallow. LOL Serious post, light-hearted ending. Well, for those that know en vogue. LOL I fight the urge to justify myself daily. I realized it’s not about needing their acceptance so much as it is about needing for them to “GET”, understand, and appreciate where I am coming from. Make sense? I’ve thought about this topic a lot.

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