Turning Points

Ever had an epiphany? This is a term they throw around a lot in literature programs in college. I was in one such program. An epiphany is a sudden, striking realization. Usually it has tremendous consequences for the way the individual perceives circumstances or even the world. In other words, it makes a lasting impression.

My epiphany happened 20 years ago, and because it is probably close to that anniversary date, I would like to share the simple epiphany I had that changed who I was and how I lived my life. Ready?

Arthur Fry, inventor of the Post-it Note. Image from the Wikimedia Commons.
Arthur Fry, inventor of the Post-it Note. Image from the Wikimedia Commons.

I was alone in my dorm room in college at dawn. I awoke not really anticipating the day. And that’s when it hit me.

I was taking myself too seriously, and I wasn’t enjoying my life because of it.

See? Pretty basic. But what a difference it makes. I decided then that I would let myself be silly. I would let myself be in situations where people might even be tempted to make fun of me and be OK with it. I decided that my life was to be enjoyed, and I would just do what made me happy (as long as it didn’t involve making others miserable because what fun is that?).

I could just decide to be happy.

I realize that not everyone has this luxury, but I did have it right at my feet, and I decided to scoop that up and let it happen. Who knew that only a short time later people would say stuff about me like, “How can anyone smile that much?” or “There’s no way you were ever shy.”

My gift to you today is this reminder that right now you are probably taking yourself too seriously. You are getting in your own way. Stop that. Be silly. Now, go put on your clown nose and your smile and make a fool of yourself. It’s pretty liberating.

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