It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
Ok, let’s get real here. Hands in the air if you’ve peed your pants and your age is not a single digit. Don’t be shy, get those hands in the air.
Hmm. I can’t see you so it’s tough to estimate a percentage, but I bet a lot of you out there have peed in your pants before. If your hand is in the air, you can stop reading since you already know what I’m about to say.
If you’ve never peed your pants or you’re lying that you’ve never peed your pants, keep reading.
Spoiler alert, this doesn’t turn into a kinky pitch for golden showers or any kind of pee related sex. But what I am going to do is convince you that sometimes, the horrible, most embarrassing things in life are actually freeing.
We exert a lot of energy trying not to embarrass ourselves. But really, once you learn to survive embarrassment like a champ, life gets a lot easier.
I peed my pants while I was teaching a class of 25 eighth grade students. I didn’t plan to do it, but it happened anyway. My class was doing a science experiment where they had to do 25 jumping jacks. They were being giant babies about it, so to nudge them to action, I challenged one of the boys to a race.
We stood at the front of the room and I instructed half the class to count my jumping jacks and the other half to count his.
Although I knew that I had recently given birth to a baby, my head was in the game and I was only focused on one thing: winning.
Until I became focused on something else — the warm river of urine that I felt flowing down my leg after the fifth jumping jack. My pace slowed, but I didn’t quit. I kept jumping, and the pee kept coming.
When I snuck a glance downward to survey the scene, my heart leaped with joy. I was wearing a denim skirt with leather boots, and the pee was running right down my leg and filling up the boot. Despite my full bladder emptying, there wasn’t one yellow drop on the white tile floor!
I could have done a lot of things. I could have called the office and asked for someone to come watch my class while I got cleaned up. I could have taken half a personal day and gone home. I could have run out of the room crying.
Guess what I did though?
Like a baller, I just kept on teaching. At the end of the class, I went to the bathroom and tipped my boot into the sink. Totally gross, but I discovered something awesome about myself that day.
I learned that I am a machine and I can teach through pretty much anything.
In the years since that day, I’ve taught through kids fainting, crying, farting, screaming, humming, tapping, and clicking. I’ve had the seat of my pants split open, a student scream at me that I was the worst teacher ever invented, spilled coffee, splitting headaches, upset stomachs, and more. But in the really trying moments, I think to myself:
“If I can teach through peeing my pants, I can teach through anything.”
So that’s the upside of peeing your pants in public. Once you’ve done it, you feel a certain superpower — like nothing can phase you. Sure, it’s awkward and embarrassing. But it’s also totally survivable. No matter how embarrassed you are, you can get through it. The sun still rises and sets whether you need clean underwear or not.
We spend so much time worrying about small, inconsequential problems. We worry about how we smell, the angle of our eyebrows, our weight, our sagging boobs, our bad breath, and our frizzy hair. It leaves us too exhausted to tackle the big problems, which is why we fall asleep at night feeling frustrated and unsatisfied.
I’m not suggesting you should go out and pee your pants just for the hell of it. What I am saying though is that you’re going to do some stupid, embarrassing stuff in your life. Maybe you’ll puke on the subway or drop your entire lunch tray in the cafeteria. Maybe you wear your shirt inside out or give a presentation with spinach in your teeth.
But who cares? Imagine how much extra energy you’d have if you really never spent one second worrying about what other people think of you?
What would you do with that extra energy? Write more? Solve problems? Run for office? Become an inventor?
If you do become an inventor — just a thought — maybe you could make a line of diapers for teachers who just had babies?