This morning I woke up and panicked because I couldn’t think of a single thing that scares me. I decided to walk Holly, my five-pound Pomapoo (that’s breeder-talk for mutt) and mull it over. Walking in my neighborhood, a car drove by. I started to raise my hand to wave when I was hit with a quick succession of negative thoughts. What if that person doesn’t know me and thinks I’m stupid for waving at her? Or wonder if I do know that person and they don’t wave back? Is my eyesight good enough to distinguish whom the person is and therefore enable me to make the important decision to wave or not to wave? Will I look like a fool if I wave and the person is actually not a neighbor, but someone just passing by?
Embarrassed, I started scratching my head as if that were my intent in the first place.
Ding, ding, ding. My next realization was that I am afraid to wave at people driving by my house! How ridiculous! What’s the worst that could happen, people perceive me as friendly? Oh. My. Gosh. What a tragedy!
I thought about Eiler Larsen, the famous greeter from Laguna Beach, CA who would stand on the street corner and wave at all the cars and pedestrians. Of course, everyone thought Eiler was eccentric, but he was also loved. He once said, “They may think I’m crazy, but when a motorist comes to town, tired and weary of the traffic, and smiles when he leaves, does it matter what they think?” I want to be like Eiler.
This evening, I set out to attack my fear and wave at every single car that passed. It was only embarrassing at first. The cherry on top of the dare cupcake was that every single person waved back – and one of them was a sheriff! For a second, I have to admit I thought someone called the cops on me, but he just waved and drove on.
There’s no reason to be afraid of being friendly. It only makes people happy, including myself!
Here’s the proof!