Rule #8: You do you, and I’m a do me.
We can all stand to learn a lot from hip hop songs, y’all. I love me some Tupac, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and even good ole Coolio. True story: the first CD I ever bought was Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise in the third grade. I still know every word and take every possible opportunity to prove that fact whenever it’s karaoke night.
Now that I’ve confessed my love for the bootie music, have you ever heard that song, “Teach me how to dougie, teach me, teach me how to dougie?” I love that song not only because it reminds me of a friend of mine who would find his inner hip-hop artist and bust out the full dance moves to this song no matter where we were. But, I also love it because Doug just so happened to be my dad’s name. And sometimes, I needed him to teach me how to “Dougie”.
My dad always used to tell me to “be the duck” as in: let the water roll off your back. Let it go. Be the duck. Don’t let things get to you. That was the Dougie way. Or at least the way he tried to live.
Another great part of the “Dougie” song is the line that says, “Now you just do you and I’m a do me.” That’s something to live by. I don’t care how ridiculous you think the beat or the lyrics to that song. You’ve gotta respect the message: YOU DO YOU.
I think in today’s world we are constantly, and I mean CONSTANTLY, sucked in to worrying about what’s going on around us. This worry comes in two forms: 1) we worry about what other people think of us and 2) we worry about what we think of other people.
That first worry is probably the one we can most easily admit, ‘m I right? Like, “Gosh I hope I didn’t say ________ the wrong way to ________.” “I wish I were about 10 pounds lighter.” “I can’t keep my house as clean or well decorated as ________.” “I don’t cook as well as ________.” “If only I could get that promotion, I’d be as good as ________.” And the list goes on. You can fill in whatever you want as the reason you’re worried about what others think of you. Point is: we all have those worries.
I always envied my dad in this particular instance. The man couldn’t care less what other people thought of him. He was the duck. Teach me how to Dougie, you know what I mean? I cared (still do) so much about what other people thought of me growing up. My dad would constantly find ways to get me to laugh at myself or act a fool in front of my friends. I specifically remember one time when I had asked him to play the guitar while I had some girls over to play one time. He played, “American Pie,” and to say that it wasn’t the ‘coolest’ song to play in front of a group of middle school girls was an understatement. A few of them laughed at him (and me), but he just stared me right in the eyes and kept playing. It was a lifelong message of YOU DO YOU that I will never, ever forget.
Not a one of us has the same path as any other. We are all different in every possible different way. And that’s what makes us similar. You feel me? We all have our own journey. And the more out loud that we’re willing to live that journey, the better off we all are. The strongest, most confident people I know are the people who have long ago stopped caring what everyone thought of them. It’s such a freeing feeling. Imagine how much better our Dougie Dance would be if we just said, “Screw it. I’m a do me.”
The second worry we all have (but probably don’t as easily admit to) is the worry about what others are doing with their lives. Now, I’m not going down a political rabbit hole here, folks. And I’m not talking about when people do things to harm others physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m talking about worrying what other people are wearing, how they’re raising their children, how they choose to spend their free time, whether or not they get plastic surgery, what their religious affiliation is, who they choose to love, and on-and-on-and-on we go. If it is not harming you, MIND YA BIDNESS! YOU DO YOU and let them do them. Be the duck. Let that water roll right off your back and move on.
I’d wager that if we spent more time focusing that negative energy we sometimes throw at others into positive energy towards the things we want to achieve in our lives, the world would be a very different place. And we wouldn’t be so cranky.
So, with all of that said, go do your dang Dougie. Go dance your dance. Wave that freak flag high. Be that funky duck. YOU DO YOU, and I’m a do me.