Well boys and girls and folks in between, I’m back again. As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been blogging a little more frequently than in the past. This boils down to me just having more to say and wanting to express myself more lately. I’ve always been very open and expressive but as of late, I’ve felt more compelled to do so than usual. Maybe it’s because I’m reading more, or because I enjoy writing this blog, or I don’t know but either way, I have a feeling that these blogs will follow the same pattern of a new entry every few weeks as opposed to the every month or six (haha). Anyway, enough with the jibberjabber; on with the blog!
As those who know me personally know, I’m a teaching assistant at a special needs preschool. During the summer, starting in the first week of July and ending in the middle of August, my school has a 6-week summer session. During those six weeks, on Fridays, the school has “Friday Fun Days” that are themed and usually include activities. This past Friday was Superhero Day. Staff and students were encouraged to where superhero themed clothes, costumes, and accessories.
Now, to put things into perspective a little but before I continue, I love laughing. I prefer comedies to any other genre of film and television. In fact, one of the issues I had in my last relationship was that I felt like there wasn’t enough fun in it. I wasn’t laughing enough. I have gone through different stages of depression on two separate occasions in my life. Because of that, I value laughter and fun so much. I need laughter and fun in my life, even if I have to create it myself.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a total goof and I have absolutely no problem making a joke out of myself for the sake of other people’s laughter. I’m a clown/jester. I also love my job and I find what I do to be very important. I do whatever I can for the kids, whether it’s being my school’s tech person so that I can ensure that the kids always have working technology or bouncing a ball as hard as I can because they lose their minds at how high it can go or letting the kids chase me for 20 minutes straight during recess, etc, etc. You name it, I do it or would do it. With that said, as soon as I heard it was Superhero Day, I knew what I had to do. I called my brother (the biggest comic book fan I know) and asked if he had any superhero costumes, which of course he did. One of my coworkers also jokingly told me she’d bring her son’s cape and her daughter’s tiara for me to wear to which I told her I would be more than happy to. All week, she reminded me of it, as though it was a threat instead of something I was actually excited to do for the kids.
On Friday morning, my brother brought his Captain America costume to me and my coworker brought the cape and tiara. I went to the bathroom and gladly donned a silly looking outfit comprised of a full-body one-piece Captain America costume, a child’s Batman cape, and a plastic toy tiara. I walked out of that bathroom happy and excited, expecting my coworkers to embrace and appreciate my dedication to our school and the kids we work every day for. Some did. Most didn’t, and herein lies the point of this entry.
While there were definitely a bunch of my coworkers that got excited at my costume and took pictures and complimented me, the majority of them gave me judgmental looks, told me they couldn’t take me seriously, wouldn’t look at me, and some didn’t even want to be next to me while I was dressed up. Why? To stay in the theme and to quote Heath Ledger’s Joker, “why so serious?”
This is an example of something that I’ve seen way too often in my life and see almost daily. For some reason, as a society, we tend to take ourselves way too seriously. There have been so many times where I’ll mention doing something silly, like wearing a ridiculous costume, or even singing karaoke, and people reject the idea and act as though I’m crazy for even suggesting it. Why? Out of fear of embarrassment? Fear of what other people might think of us? Why do we care so much? Why are we so concerned with what other people might say about us? What effect will it have on our lives or our physical health? Odds are, none. In fact, people will probably begin to look at you as a fun person with an admiration for your courage and carefree attitude.
In my life, I’ve often teetered back-and-forth with the idea of caring about what other people thought in terms of feeling embarrassed if I did something that I thought was silly. I get it. Who wants to be ridiculed and made fun of? As humans, we have this innate biological desire to fit in and be accepted. Doing something viewed as ridiculous makes you stand out and no longer like everyone else. The idea of being silly when no one else wants to be lends itself to being singled out.
I’ve always enjoyed being goofy and a clown and making people laugh, regardless of the expense to me, personally. When I was younger and an opportunity presented itself to doing something outrageous that could be funny, I would sometimes worry about feeling embarrassed or people laughing at me rather than with me, but usually my desire to laugh would take over and I’d just do it anyway. It didn’t always go well but fuck it, I gave it a shot. As I mentioned in my first entry to ‘Here I Blog,’ I had a conversation one day with my sister that really cleared my brain of worry for what other people think (feel free to go back to that entry here https://williamap.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/here-i-blog-the-return-of-the-blog-fuel/ for that conversation).
I don’t get it. There is so much fun that could be had if we all just let go. We all take ourselves so damn seriously that we lose out on chances to really enjoy the hell out of life out of fear of what, embarrassment? Come on, people. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for taking your passions seriously and really giving a damn about your career/livelihood/passions but we don’t have to take ourselves so seriously. How about this – I literally have no idea how many people, if any, read this blog or will read this entry in particular, but I have a challenge for anyone who is reading this. Here it is: Let go. For one day, let go and do something completely silly or ridiculous or goofy or outrageous. Wear a costume or sing karaoke or have a lip-sync battle or wear your hair in a wild style – something! Let’s call it the “Fun for a Day Challenge.” Take a picture or video of yourself and post it in the comments as proof. And don’t forget to pass the challenge on to a friend! Unfortunately, I don’t really have any money to offer as some sort of incentive (I’m open to suggestions), but I’m confident that if you do it, you’ll have an awesome day, you’ll feel great, and it could start a fun, new chapter in your life.