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As I do every morning, I put shoes on to walk my dog, Cosmo.

On this particular morning, I chose the stylin’ cowboy boots I bought second-hand at a boutique in Richmond, Virginia. Unlike all days prior, my reason for wearing them was not because they are cute and comfortable. It was an entirely practical decision, because – snakes.

Rattlesnakes, specifically.

Since November 2017, my guy and I have been living a fully nomadic RV lifestyle (that’s our Airstream in the picture below). We travel the country, exploring at our own pace, each working remotely.

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The nomadic lifestyle teaches you things, and I love learning about and experiencing new places. Upon our arrival at Oliver Lee State Park, we were informed that rattlesnakes are plentiful. Situated alongside the Rocky Mountains in southern New Mexico, the park is in a beautiful remote location. For two weeks, we called this place home in our “condo on wheels.”

Snake bites, we were told, are rare – though they do happen. And when they do, bites tend to strike the lower leg. Turns out, my boots not only serve as a fashion statement, they are also smart: snakebite prevention.

While walking Cosmo around the park in my boots, I said hello to the RV neighbor I had met the day before. He was chatting it up with people at a neighboring site.

He turned to them while pointing to me and said, “She’s famous.”

“I am?” I said.

“Well, I don’t know, but you just seem like you’re famous.”

I’m not sure what he meant exactly, but after some ruminating, here’s what I took it to mean:

Confidence and presence don’t go unnoticed. Since no matter where I am, I’m home, there’s no point in “vibing” like a stranger in a strange land.

Though for years, I tried to fit into the mold (of a 9-5 job, status quo norms, the expectations of parents, teachers, bosses – even friends), I simply didn’t fit.

When I stopped trying, I also stopped energetically apologizing for standing out.

By giving myself full permission to be me, I find it’s so much easier to celebrate and allow other people to be fully themselves too.

If you notice me, great.
If you like what you notice, great.
If you don’t, great.

The experience brought to mind this quote by Brene Brown: “The greatest barrier to belonging is fitting in.”

Be YOU, fully, without apology. Anything else is snake oil.

Whether you are barefoot, in cowboy boot, heels, sneakers, or sandals … walk on the earth like you belong, because you do.

Written by: Tara Sage, curator of Sheulogy.com + founder of TaraSageCoaching.com 

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