At the beginning of the week, I had a dream where I was hanging out with a variety of random people from my life, both male and female. Quite a bit into the dream, I realized I wasn’t wearing a shirt. I was just standing there in my bra and jeans. This wasn’t the typical dream where you realize it right away and freak out. I had been having full conversations with these people for quite a while. We had done stuff. And THEN I realized I had no shirt. At this point, I was horrified, of course, but I couldn’t just hope no one noticed. OF COURSE they had noticed! How long can you hang out with a person and not realize they are missing something as basic as a shirt? The answer is half a millisecond. And I had been with these people for hours! I had no choice but to just own it. None of them had mentioned it. And no one had treated me any differently shirtless, so I just decided to just own the situation.
I don’t remember what happened in the dream after that, but I woke up empowered. I was different all day. I was firm in my choices. I didn’t make excuses. I wasn’t apologetic about my feelings. I didn’t feel like I needed to impress anyone. It was great! I didn’t realize this was connected to the dream until I went to bed that night. As soon as I closed my eyes, I was shirtless again and I remembered it all.
I honestly hope to never be caught without a shirt in reality. But I also hope to not live my life in fear of it happening. This dream taught me an important lesson. If I say: “Consider a giant party where friends, ex-boyfriends, family friends, your parents’ friends are all gathered together and eating food. What is the worst thing that could happen?” Going shirtless might be one of the things you list. And my first thought in my dream when I looked down to see my bare belly and white bra was “this is the worst possible scenario.” But it was too late. There I was, standing in the middle of all these people and I had no shirt. The bad thing had already happened. And I had two choices: scream and retreat and never show my face again or move on.
“Baring all” is hard. We always keep opinions, passions, or parts of our personalities figuratively clothed because we don’t want to stand out, be ridiculed, or end up embarrassed. After spending a day figuratively shirtless, I felt great! I got a lot done. I didn’t worry about how my actions would be interpreted or thought of by others. And I realized how much I adapted conversations, actions, and personality quirks to the people around me.
I’ve had days where I fall flat on my face in front of everyone (both figuratively and literally) and the rest of the day I try to recover by proving I’m more than just the girl that fell. This is the wrong mentality. Everyone falls. Everyone gets caught shirtless (please not in reality). But instead of pretending it wasn’t us that fell, it’s time to OWN IT. Prove you can get up and be the person that fell down AND recovered in an amazing way!
This all goes back to the ultimate mantra of Be Yourself or Just Do You. If you’re in debt, the bad thing has already happened. It’s time to own it and move forward. If you’re not embarrassed about your finances, it’s still time to own them. The things that make you excited are not the same things that get me excited. And what’s “best” on paper isn’t always the best way for you to save money. I travel with 3 kids and that’s worth my savings. I buy individual dishwasher pods because it’s easier to get them in the dishwasher and lock it before my son makes it over to pull dishes out. More expensive? Yes. Worth it for me? Yup. We are aggressively paying off our mortgage with a less than 4% interest rate early because we want to be completely debt-free. No apologies. We are focusing on our Roth-IRAs instead of a 401k or traditional IRA because it feels better to us. It’s that technical. Going shirtless feels great!