On July 31st I wrote a blog entry entitled “Dancing at the Wayside.” And in that blog posting I remarked that, “truth be told, I’m not nearly as flamboyant as I would like to be,” which is, of course, a true statement.

Which also immediately begs the question: Why aren’t I? What’s stopping me? What kind of twisted low self-esteem holds me back, makes me shirk from center-stage status, gives me a triple-dose case of introversion for no apparent reason?

Good question.

I spent 30 years as a public school teacher. And as such, I knew I often behaved more sedately than I wanted to “for appearances.” After all, whether it was all in my head or not, I felt I had a small-town community reputation to maintain. Riding my motorcycle about town was about as “wild and crazy” as I allowed others to see me.

But it’s been over three years since I retired, or as I like to say, “left the institution.” So what keeps me from dying my hair purple, getting a tattoo and wearing zebra-striped spandex shorts and pink cowboy boots?

Well, maybe not spandex shorts; nobody should wear spandex shorts.

But why not let loose a little? Why do I still hedge from feeling free to be me? I’m 55 now, and the person inside me has been screaming to get out for way too long.  Maybe it’s finally time to write that spicy novel, take that European trip, dance on the tabletops in Costa Rica and sing karaoke in Spanish.

Of course, I’ll have to learn to speak Spanish first, but the other things all seem immediately doable… I only have to take one tiny baby step today to make it happen.