Ahh, what is that picture, you ask?
Well, that’s me, being an idiot.
The background: This past weekend, my kids, wife and I went to a Lehigh Valley Phantom game – that’s our local Minor League Hockey Team. We were joined by my buddy Pete, also a State Representative.
Like most sports teams, the Phantoms will entertain the crowds during breaks in the action with goofy contests on the big screen that is above center ice. This particular one was the “Awkward Dad Cam,” in which Awkward Dads were encouraged to strut their stuff.
Well. That’s my freakin cue.
Thus began the Macarena. Me, standing like an idiot, in a sea of sitting people, dancing the Macarena that had been entombed in my head thanks to one too many Bar Mitzvahs from 1995-1997. I was looking around for a camera and was about to give up when the above happened.
So, I’m the idiot in the leather jacket. My daughter is recoiling with laughter (at least I HOPE that’s why she is recoiling). My son is dancing, albeit wrong. My wife is cracking up. Only Pete’s daughter actually is in time with me!
So, yes, that was hilarious. I immediately get a couple of texts and messages (the only appropriate response to which was, “HEEEEEEEEEEEEY MACARENA!”), and one of those texts involved these pictures.
I ran with this, of course, posting it to my Facebook page. One of my friends commented that this was a very on-brand picture for me, which is funny because I had said the exact same thing in a text about it earlier.
A funny thing has happened in the past couple of weeks. I had a tough vote in Harrisburg, one that I had a lot of heartburn over. It put my head in a different place. I’ve never been one to care too much about what others think of me, but there’s an extent that I have to – I’m a politician – my success is literally based around what other people think of me.
But I’ve come increasingly to an important conclusion:
Life…life is too short to give a damn. That macarena was hilarious. It made everyone around me laugh, I got a bunch of texts, and it made me feel good. It made my kids feel good. I don’t need anything else. I went to bed smiling because of that.
It’s also probably not the thing I should have done as an elected official.
Life is too short. And let me ask you this: Don’t you look at those people who are who they are, no apologies and no regrets, and wish that was you? That’s who I want to be. I’ve never been particularly inhibited, but even less so now. Something snapped inside me. I like it. I want people to know me for who I am. That’s what I’ve done throughout my career, and that’s what I want to keep doing…maybe with even more honesty.
I don’t care what others think of me. Not really. And I’m going to try to keep that up. And I’ve found that there’s a real lightening of burdens if you feel that way. There’s one less item to keep track of, one less inhibition that keeps you from acting the way you want. I feel lighter. Feeling this way is well worth the risk.
Now, if you’ll excuse me…