Rediscovering My Very Dumbest Self

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red Target ball in parking lot

Moving is a great time to change. Little changes like adopting a new habit, or breaking a different one can sometimes be made almost seamlessly as you are already in the “everything is new” mindset.

Sometimes you can even spring into giant shifts and reinvent yourself.

For instance, when I went away to college, suddenly I was a vegetarian. I’m not sure how long I had been mulling that over in my mind, but the day I got there, I was Jeanette the vegetarian, because that’s who I wanted to be then, and it fulfilled some sort of need I had to be different.

I also started to dress like a damn clown and my hair was the color of bleached nothing, and I tried really hard to take up smoking and mean it.

My point is, no one knows the ‘before’ you, so you can be anything you want to be in the ‘after’. Did that sound vaguely like a metaphor for death? Eep.

Since I am slightly beyond trying to get attention for being different, I’ve decided that with this time around I will try to make a bunch of subtle changes in an effort to become happier and healthier.

I’m a sucker for podcasts and have been listening to buttloads of them with our giant school commute now, so I’ve picked up all sorts of wise tips and tricks that I will be attempting to implement into my daily life. More on those later.

The whole point of this post is to tell you about one of them: I am trying not to worry so much about what people think of me. Jesus, that’s a crazy one. Being 45 helps a lot, but I still find myself not doing or saying things because of how people might judge me. We all struggle with this- some of us more than others, obviously.

When I walked into Target yesterday, I spied a fellow re-painting the big red Target balls that presumably protect Target from runaway cars. I instantly felt the need to get a photo of him, because I love those balls. Who doesn’t love Target balls? Balls.

Instead I walked right past him, into the store, quelling my urge to take a photo of him. I told myself that if he was still there on my way out, I’d get up my nerve and snap a photo.

Then I had an even brillianter idea. I wanted to paint that ball. I wanted a photo of me painting that damn ball. I obsessed and giggled about it the whole time I was shopping, and when I exited the store I scanned left- no ball-painter. I scanned right, and BOOM he was on his last ball.

I’ll be damned if I didn’t turn into a little pansy chicken butt right then and walk straight to my car. As I drove past him, I felt that horrible feeling of being disappointed with yourself. This is the moment I would ordinarily silently yell, FUCK IT, and drive away, letting that tiny disappointment fester in my brain forevermore.

I think we build up a little reserve of scar tissue in our brains from moments like this.

This time, I quietly said aw, fuck it, hopped out of my car and approached the guy. I was too mentally tired from all my internal chatter, and physically tired from having a cold, so I didn’t even pretend like I was asking him this crazy! wacky! bizzaro! thing.

I was pretty much like, ‘hey, would you mind taking a photo of me painting the ball?’

So he complied. He even took 2, because he didn’t think the first one was good enough. Bless his little Target ball-painting heart.

I thanked him a whole bunch, and he laughed and said that was a first for him. I slapped him and told him to keep his eyes on his balls and strode away, confidently.

That last part probably didn’t really happen, but the photo did.

HOLLA

18 Comments

  1. 05/15/2016 / 7:55 am

    I love that you did that 🙂 More women should

    • 05/21/2016 / 6:34 am

      Totally agree. I feel like it’s something my 6 year old would ask to do- maybe we need to take more cues from kids and do things like roll down hills, run up to strangers and start chatting excitedly, grab 5 straws at Starbucks and play with them. The world is a fun place, right?

      • 05/21/2016 / 12:03 pm

        We do 🙂 I’m doing my best to get female entrepreneurs to play. It can be a fun place if you play.

  2. peggy
    05/15/2016 / 12:43 pm

    I adore you and your wacko self, J!

    • 05/21/2016 / 6:32 am

      Heh! It was definitely fun- Ima see what kind of trouble I can get into today; I need another fix. 🙂

  3. 05/15/2016 / 1:02 pm

    I hope you painted your name in there secretly! Your very own Target ball. I actually thought that you had taken it upon yourself to paint the Target balls. Ha, that can be your next project!!

    • 05/21/2016 / 6:31 am

      How freaking awesome would that be?! I want to be the Banksy of the Target balls- hit a new store every night.

  4. 05/15/2016 / 6:59 pm

    Way to go Momma! And while you’re at it, here’s one for the road: Balls, balls Balls..
    Ok ok, a few.

    balls. I secretly say that a lot more than “insert s word here”–I thought I was the only one that liked that word! ????

    • 05/21/2016 / 6:30 am

      Ha! You crack me up. And yes, it’s strangely satisfying to say, right? And so random. I need to find some more ridiculous things to say instead of my old standby words…

  5. Laura
    05/16/2016 / 4:39 am

    I love this. That internal struggle is utter crap, why can’t we just be the person we want to be. I’m unsure when it even started for me, I too have moments where I go “i’m too old to care” but still that struggle is real. May there be more giant ball painting adventures in your future. xx

    • 05/21/2016 / 6:20 am

      I have to say, I love that it’s a bit easier to not care now that I’m older, but it also takes some allowing yourself to stay in that moment – know what I mean? As opposed to racing to get on with your day because you have 30 other things to accomplish. That’s another thing I’m working on: slowing down. So hard. Thanks for your lovely comment. 🙂

  6. 05/16/2016 / 5:59 am

    I love those darn Target balls. My kids call them eggs and when they were smaller they used to sit upon the Target balls and call out “Look! I laid an egg!”

    May we be as weird as our kids someday.

    • 05/21/2016 / 6:17 am

      I’m totally sitting on them for a while next time I go to Target (which is pretty much every day.) Mama bird needs to hatch a baby TARGET!

  7. 05/16/2016 / 11:14 am

    HOLY SHIT I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
    Not only did you do this, you said balls in a post.
    You are the wings beneath my wings.
    Marry me.

    • 05/21/2016 / 6:15 am

      I will marry you. Yes I will. Are you free next Friday? Can we have a giant, 16-tiered wedding cake?

  8. kt
    10/04/2016 / 4:10 pm

    ummm, where’s the photo?

    • kt
      10/04/2016 / 4:11 pm

      oops, sorry, the photos didn’t load on my puter. sad….

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