The other day I was saying goodnight to my kid. I asked if he needed me to be around when he woke in the morning, or if his alarm was set and he was okay and I could head to the gym. “I’m good,” he answered. “You do you.”
“You do you.” That made and makes me smile. It was a simple way to say, “go do whatever you want to do Mom,” and it’s also a profound statement, even if it’s not what my kid meant.
“You do you.” Isn’t that, in many ways, what we all want? The space and freedom and self-confidence to be ourselves? The knowledge that we can be weird and we can be wonderful, that we can be stubborn and we can be silly, that we can be tough and we can be terrified. That we can be our authentic selves, just as we are. That we can want what we want (and sometimes get what we want), and while we happily may take others into consideration, we don’t have to worry that we’re too needy or that we take up too much space or that we’re too demanding. That we can just do us – blemishes, beauty, and all.
We learn at an early age to conform, and many of us learn to decipher what’s wanted or expected of us, and to deliver it no matter what. When my mom left to move into the Church, not only did she leave, but we were told we were lucky to have her leave. I knew that it would be sinful and wrong for me to miss her or to be mad or sad that she was gone. And I did miss her, and I probably was both mad and sad that she was gone, but I was told – and I believed – that I was bad for feeling that way. I learned very clearly not to “do me.”
I still can have a backlash when I ask for something. When I voice a want or a need. Immediately my brain kicks into “wow, that’s selfish Lisa!” Even when I reality-check with other people and they assure me that stating a want or a need is not selfish, my sometimes warped brain knows better…and knows that it is and I am.
I am learning that that’s not true. That that’s not selfish. That I can mess up and be bitchy and stubborn and impetuous and emotional and cranky, and even selfish, and that that’s okay. I can do me, whatever and however that is right now.
I’ll do me. You do you. Enjoy it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!