How Embarrassing (A hiking story + Sierra Club)
Hi friends, So I went hiking with a random group of strangers in the rain this weekend at Riverview Park. I had my trustee florescent pink Victoria's Secret PINK umbrella with me. This thing is brighter than a road cone. The group was a rather "outdoorsy" one... I'd probably call most of them "REI-chic". I'm decked out in my pink plaid rain boots and PINK umbrella with a teal coat. I love being colorful, but around a group of nature loving, neutral color wearing, tree & mushroom identifying, amazing human beings... I *could've felt a little out of place. An older lady next to me strikes up my first conversation... "how much does one pay for a bright PINK VS umbrella?" The fact that people actually thought I paid for it, and lord knows how much... is *almost embarrassing. I tell her how I got it for free a few years back with a larger order and how the original price-tag said $60. She scoffed and proceeded to show me the bank name on hers that was obviously SWAG (shit we all get). I love it though. It's the most sturdy umbrella I've ever had, which is pretty much all that matters in the world of umbrellas. This brought up an old memory... so I shared it with her. A few years ago when I first started dating my husband, we went to the Vintage Grand Prix at Schenley Park. The weather called for rain so we took my umbrella. It ended up being a gorgeous day!! So much so, Constantin decides he's tired of carrying around a useless umbrella and opens it up for a sun shade instead. Here's this grown man, walking around in a very public place, sporting a florescent PINK VS umbrella, in the middle of a sunny day, in a town I was brand new to. Guys, I was borderline mortified. I begged him to put it down and to his delight, the more embarrassed I got, the more he flaunted it. One of my favorite things about getting older is how significantly less embarrassed I get over things. Thinking now about how embarrassed I was about something so silly like that, is almost embarrassing in itself. This lady and I kept chatting about why it's so important to frankly not give a shit what anyone else thinks of you. If they truly care to learn the real you, and not just your appearance then they will. Otherwise, their opinion is not worth any space in your already anxiety filled mind. Embarrassment isn't an emotion that stands on it's own. It's often paired with things like doubt, self-consciousness, lack of confidence, guilt, shame, or pride. Next time you're feeling embarrassed, take a second to see what else is under there. Mine was from being not so sure of myself and a lack of confidence. Sooo self-conscious. With a couple more years under my belt, a lot more yoga, exploring my emotions, meditation, and learning to take up space and be present in my body... I've pretty much nipped this embarrassed thing. Although I see it rear it's head every once in a while, but at least the awareness is there to tone it back down. You are unique. No one else is like you. If they don't understand why you're presenting yourself or acting in a certain way, that's their problem, not yours! Do you, boo! To be honest, the people who judge the most, are also the people with the least amount of confidence in their own self. They're probably just jealous that you are expressing yourself without shame, because they haven't figured out how to be that comfortable with themselves yet. And if it IS actually embarrassing, like squatting to poop at a populated hiking trail (yes, me, a couple years ago, it was necessary)... OWN IT. Speak your truth and claim your weirdness. You're simply giving others the permission to do so as well. On this hike, I *didn't feel out of place, because I was doing what I love to do. I *wasn't concerned if anyone thought I paid big bucks for my umbrella.....even if I DID SPEND $60 ON THAT UMBRELLA, I'd still bring it to events on rainy days. Whether it's skeet shooting, race car driving, outdoor mall shopping, pumpkin picking, or a VS outdoor runway show... it keeps me dry. Think what you want. I know and love who I am, your uninformed opinion wont change that one bit. I now know why parents love to embarrass their children and I'm secretly excited for those days ;P So <<YOU, READING THIS>>, you don't still get embarrassed over things do you? Didn't think so :) Because you're awesome just the way you are. SIDE NOTE: The hike was with the Sierra Club. Since this day, I've now joined forces with this amazing organization and am a Sierra Club Outdoor Leader myself. The relationships I made THAT DAY are growing and it's an amazing feeling to look back and KNOW you were exactly where you needed to be to begin a new path in your life. <3
So much gratitude!
From that day (umbrella hidden from view)