Okay, I’m not literally going to get naked (although many dictionaries recently changed the definition of literally, so maybe I am literally getting naked). I’ll just come right out and say it: I have a constant fear of judgement. “But what will people think if I dye my hair? If I go vegan? If I quit my job? If I read tarot cards? Will they think I’m stupid, weird, woo-woo?” Revealing certain thoughts, lifestyle choices and hobbies that I hold dear feels like I am getting naked and opening myself up to harsh scrutiny. It is easy to let my fear of being judged prevent me from being fully me. That’s why when I started this blog I didn’t tell anyone. The things I write about here are deeply personal and the thought of sharing them with the world kind of made me throw up in my mouth.
I recently put my big-girl pants on and told a few people about Orange Steamboat (if you are one of them, know that I am thankful to have you in my life, and I trust that you love me no matter what weird shit I write about on the internet). I’m slowly starting to reveal myself in other ways as well. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve began doing tarot card readings for others. Simply convincing myself to make a post on facebook asking for volunteers was a ridiculously nerve-wracking experience. “What if no one volunteers? What if everyone thinks I am a devil-worshipper?” As it turns out, I had an abundance of volunteers and received some heart-warming feedback as a result of putting myself out there.
Sure, some people will think I’m a woo-woo nut job for reading tarot cards, and others will harp on to high hell about protein whenever I mention veganism and I might get some disdainful looks if I dye my hair. But I think the world needs more people who are willing to ‘get naked.’ I believe that we all have special gifts, insights, and passions that can make the world a better place. Too often these gifts are kept locked away out of fear. I know I can’t be the only person who is fucking terrified to be vulnerable. I don’t know much about life, but there’s one thing I’ve learned with certainty: the times when I experience the deepest satisfaction and the fullest sense of being vitally alive happen when I allow myself to be vulnerable. Sometimes it makes me want to puke, but I know that if I want to continue to grow and expand, I’m going to have to face this challenge again and again.
I used to associate being vulnerable with being weak or sappy. But I’ve realized it is possible to be both tender and tough. The criticism won’t kill me. What might really kill me, though, is living a half-hearted life in order to stay safe. I have firmly decided that I am not here to live a lukewarm life. Considering that alternative makes being naked sound pretty damn good.