Will You Jump?
"But Mama, all my friends were doing it!"
"So, you mean to tell me that if all your friends jumped off a bridge, you would do it too?"
I remember thinking to myself that this was the most extreme example of succumbing to peer pressure I had ever heard and surely my choice to throw rocks at recess which resulted in a note home did not warrant such a morbid response. Parents certainly knew how to stick it to you, didn't they? And where do they all go to learn these common phrases that scare children half to death? Is there a book somewhere? Can I purchase it on Amazon? Is it eligible for Prime shipping? Because I have a fearless 4 year old who could definitely use a healthy dose of old-school parental caution.
It's amazing what sticks with you from your childhood, isn't it? Those familiar phrases, places, smells, and sounds that course through your consciousness like a cassette tape in that Sony Walkman you begged your parents for all year and finally got for Christmas, but couldn't use it right away because they forgot to buy the AA batteries to go with it.
And even though the words remain the same, they begin to take on a whole new meaning as you live life, experience the world, and create little humans who look up to you, taking in every single thing that you do. You start dissecting those seemingly incredulous warnings and attempting to make some sense of them, because your parents would never just say things arbitrarily, right?
"I don't care what so and so's mom lets them do. So and so's mom doesn't run my house or pay any bills around here."
"Just because they're doing it doesn't make it right."
"Everybody who smiles in your face ain't your friend."
In some heavy moments of self- reflection, I've recently been able to re-frame so many of these nuggets of wisdom to make sense in my own life. Maybe mama's words were less about the right or wrong of whatever shenanigans my friends were getting into, and more about teaching me the POWER of my own voice. That no matter what anyone else does, I can CHOOSE to do the opposite. No matter what type of wife or mother society says I should be, society doesn't get to make any decisions for me because society doesn't pay any bills at my house. Society isn't ultimately responsible for my physical, emotional, and mental health. I have the power to choose what works for my family. If Bean is on a first name basis with the UberEats delivery guy and calls him her friend when he comes to our front door 3 times this week, while the mom across the street grows her own organic vegetables in her backyard, that is totally fine too. The UberEats guy helped me feed my family and maintain my sanity this week. Not everyone you thought was your friend will understand and support your dreams, but your dream is still worth every single ounce of your passion and dedication. Because it's yours, and because it's what your heart beats for. Maybe people think I should just stick to writing my “little notes” and leave the blogging to the professionals. Well I have valuable experiences to share outside of those notes, so I can write what I want. My words are powerful and they will reach the people they were meant to reach.
I decided to take mama's words and infuse them with the power of MY voice:
"Even if none of your friends jump, WILL YOU?"
In a world that praises comfort, convenience, and conformity, will you choose to take the risk, even if it means standing alone? Will you dare to be different, to defy expectations, to change the game and make your own rules? Will you trust and allow the authority inside of you to lead when all the voices around you try to drown it out?
WILL YOU JUMP?
Start that business. Start that blog. Move to Montana and work on a ranch. Go back to school even if you have to work full time during the day and take night classes. Write that book even though people say it'll never get published. Stay at home with your babies when everyone says it's a waste of your 2 degrees and $100k of student loan debt. #yepthatsme
You know why?
Because YOU are responsible for your own happiness. You, and no one else. If you choose to play it safe and end up living an unfulfilled and passionless life, that will be your choice. You alone are the author of your story, so stop handing the pen off to other people. That pen is your voice and how you choose to use it is up to you. So speak up, be bold, and project that voice of yours even if it trembles a little bit. Because sharing your story and allowing your voice to be heard is what you were meant to do. Your authentic self is God's greatest gift to the world and if you allow fear to silence that voice, the world will never experience the beauty of your narrative.
So... WILL YOU JUMP?
Here, take my hand. Let's do it together.
Y'all I’m so excited to finally share that “The Refreshed Life Podcast” hosted by 2 sweet friends of mine launched this week and guess what y’all??!! I’m their guest!! Telling all about myself, my journey to self- care, my tips on managing life and entrepreneurship and all sorts of other fun shenanigans!! You don’t want to miss it!! Do yourselves a huge favor and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcast and have a listen to my episode !!