I’ve had this friend for years. We go in and out of each other’s lives the way friends do, and she really struggles with something I struggled with for so long. She cares SO much about what everyone else thinks. Most times we we hang out in public, she’s constantly shushing silliness, afraid of having any attention drawn to her or us. And she hates it. She has always hated it, even though she wants to be free to be goofy, and crazy, and silly, and to enjoy life a lot more. By the way, she totally gave me permission to tell you all this so long as I don’t mention her name. Ahem. Jamie. Oops. Just kidding. Her name is not Jamie.

Anyway, we were recently talking (and laughing) about it after she practically hid herself behind a large potted plant outside of a big department store which I shall also not name. Now… What had I done that was so embarrassing? Good question. I’m glad you asked.

I told an old woman sitting at a small table that her hair was fantastic (it really was), and then proceeded to flirt with her and tell her if she was younger I’d be asking for her phone number. The old lady and I were having a good chuckle.

So, yeah. Jamie my friend and I were talking about it. I suggested maybe we just need a plan. You know. With some goals. Some harmless “rules” she could go about breaking to help herself break free already.

At first the idea sounded fun.

Then we came up with this list.

And I’m pretty sure I’ll never see her again.

I kid, Jamie. I kid. But I can tell you all that there were only two things on this list she was willing to commit to doing. The best I got on two others was “I’ll think about it.” And the rest? I believe her exact words repeated over and over were “no f***ing way” and “I could never.”

Whatever. I’m giving my list to all of you, too. And I guarantee that:

If you live life like my friend does, afraid to ever let go of inhibition, and afraid to ever break social norms, and afraid to break rules that don’t serve a purpose all the time…

And if you do everything on this list in the next few weeks…

You will be at least 400% more free than you are now.

A lot of rules are stupid. Other people judging us is stupid and is on them, not us. Gosh. Wouldn’t you want to die knowing that you got to live as yourself instead of knowing that you somehow laid low enough that other people rarely judged you? I would.

So here is the list we came up with, starting with two easy-peasy ones.

(On the next page because I need to support my green apple ale habit!)

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!