I usually don't hear a lot of wisdom in the elevator.
There's a group of almost all 20-somethings that occupy floors 2-6 of my building. I work on floor 12. Nearly every day at 5, the elevator stops on at least four out of five of these floors on the way down. Floors 7-20 have a collective dislike of those people. (Really? You're 24. Take the stairs two floors.)
They pour into the elevator, clad in Vineyard Vines t-shirts, earbuds, leggings-as-pants and Ugg boots, talking about mustache parties and whatnot, until we inevitably reach their last two floors and can't possibly squeeze anyone else on, so we stop for no reason.
And the fact that they consistently defy of the laws of physics by squishing approximately 219 bodies into 1 elevator in no way activates my slight chlostrophobia...
(Since I'm married and also a goody-goody, I sometimes talk about people who are more or less my own age as if I'm an old Jewish woman calling them things like "mashuganas" and "hoodlums." Or I could just be Liz Lemon.)
The other day I was a little later leaving work (the benefit to them all being around my age is that they are out the door as soon as the clock hits 5), so I rode down with 4 people instead of 25.
When I got in, a man wearing five-finger shoes (to work) was telling an older lady about how comfortable they were and how helpful they have been for his knees.
Admittedly, I thought it was a little strange to wear those to work, but hey, power to him.
After they discussed the shoes, the man said something about them being unusual, but he didn't care.
The woman responded with something that stuck with me:
"Life's short. Do what you wanna do."
As someone who is slowly learning that it matters little what other people think, this really struck a chord with me.
It was like this mantra was a gem of wisdom her probably-60-something years of living had taught her and she was imparting it to us. It probably wasn't that intentional, but it was encouraging to me nonetheless.
I loved it.
If you want to wear five-finger shoes to work, do it. (Y'know, as long as it doesn't get you fired.)
If you want to dance around with your iPod in the mall, do it.
If you want to be an artist, be an artist. No one ever said you had to do something 9-5 and get a paycheck for it in order for it to count (though that may be what we think). Maybe you can work on it nights and weekends until you can get a paycheck for it. But if you're an artist, be an artist.
If you want to pray over your lunch in public, do it.
Oftentimes it matters very little if something you do causes someone else a little tension.
If you're not hurting anyone, go for it.
Just because you're not doing what someone expects of you, or doing it a different way than they would, doesn't mean you're wrong. Maybe if it makes someone else uncomfortable, they can sit with their own tension, and you can let it go.
Life is short. Do what you wanna do.
Have you ever done anything a little unusual or unexpected without worrying what others thought?