Embarrass Yourself Publicly

I am so incredibly fortunate to have a hoard of crazy, inspired femme-preneurs around me in spirit on a regular basis, but every once in a while, we all come together for a few days of intense collaboration and mayhem.  There may or may not be a generous helping of booze and late night slumber parties thrown into the mix.  Ultimately, we always leave our journeys feeling incredibly exhausted and reinvigorated all at once.  The following story took place right after one of these insane weekends.

So I was hanging out in the airport before we all parted ways and the discussion circled around to politics.  We are an incredibly diverse group of ladies when it comes to our religious and political beliefs.  We run along the entire gamut of beliefs from staunch conservative to vocally liberal.  As usual, getting into a political discussion was the root of all the evil.  And by “all the evil,” what I actually mean is three full-grown women laughing out loud so hard that both tears and pee were very real possibilities, while dozens of startled onlookers stared at us.

Our conversation was completely generic (ish) and would have sounded like this to almost anyone casually eavesdropping:  “Blah, blah, blah. . . Lesser of two evils. . . Blah, blah, blah. . . Didn’t like any of the candidates. . . Blah, blah, blah. . . I’m kind of a socialist. . . Blah, blah, blah. . . Bernie. . . Blah, blah, blah. . . Always has dandruff on his suit. . . Blah, blah, blah. . . Really wanted to like her as a candidate. . . Blah, blah, blah. . . The emails really bother me. . . Blah, blah, blah. . . My husband really feels strongly about. . . Blah, blah, blah. . . Helped raise money. . . “

Then, the moment of truth came out.  I put my foot in my mouth.  I actually, in true three month old style, grabbed both of my feet and shoved them so far in my mouth that I made an awful, loud choking sound.  And that choking sound may have come out in the form of the following words. “I really want to like your husband (thought one).  But he is a SEXUAL PREDATOR (completely unrelated to thought one).”

Have you ever said something and the exact millisecond that the sound spews out of your throat, you start to reconsider what you are saying, but it is already out?  And the person on the receiving end of your poorly thought out verbal vomit looks as though you had picked up a raw fish, swung it like a baseball bat, and knocked their expression out of the ballpark?

If you haven’t, I normally don’t recommend this type of behavior.  If you have, you know that the split second between the end of your poor choices and the other persons response can feel eternal.

People throw out flippant phrases that have lost any meaning in their kitschiness like “Find your tribe.”  Without even touching upon the sheer ignorance of that type of a statement, let’s dig a little bit deeper into the idea of YOUR people.  When you think about finding your community of like-minded people, are they minded like you OR rich in diversity (thought diversity, style diversity, physical diversity)?  Are you looking to your community to affirm you and help you feel secure as you are OR is your community there to challenge and inflame you, while loving you and lifting you up FOR your differences?

When I first joined the community team at the Rising Tide Society, I was afraid to be fully myself.  The other women around me all had so much pizzazz and heart and polish.  I had pit bulls, bad 80s music, and a head filled with imposter syndrome doubt.  I felt incredibly out of place.  I was not a fish out of water—  I was a fish attempting to cross a tightrope strung across two skyscrapers.  I never imagined that these women who had different beliefs than I did, different brands than I do, and different aesthetics than I would actually be the exact community that I needed to help me push through and aggressively strive to take myself and my business to the next level.

Your people don’t need to think like you or be like you to change your life and make you feel at your most comfortable.  I was standing in an airport with an incredibly loving, casually artful mom-preneur painter and an impressively organized, nautically prep-styled planner whose husband I just accidentally accused of being a sexual predator.  And we all laughed together like there was never a funnier moment in our lives. Because they understand the spirit of my enthusiasm (for life, business, politics, and more) all comes from a deep seated passion for humanity.  Even if I can be all dark and twisty at times.

I found my persons.  Now stop reading, and go find yours.  If they look just like you, consider looking for a few more.

Ashley GerrityComment