Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The wisdom of teenagers

My daughter whacked me over the head with her words the other day. She said, "Mom, you're too old not to be doing what you love." It shook me to the core because she is almost 18 and so wise. I've been asking myself if I'm living out my life the way I'm supposed to. Am I just floating along being safe because I can? I'm afraid to try - that's all. It took my teenager to tell me the obvious. Here is the column I wrote for the paper that came out the day after she told me her little nugget of wisdom. 

Slaying that negative voice in your head to attain your dreams

I wish that when I was born I would have had a written set of rules. These rules would layout in black and white just what I will achieve, what I will strive for and what I should never try. We all know I will never go to Europe and bring home funky salvage to resell – or will I? This dream seems far-fetched and ridiculous but has a grain of reality to it because it would be something I love. Do we tell ourselves no and never try because people don’t just up and go to Europe to track down salvageable trash. Yet when I type that into Google many lucrative businesses come up for my assessment. We should never have a set of rules, aside from the Ten Commandments, that tell us what we can and can’t do.

For me, every time I think about that dream of mine, whether it be writing George’s story, attaining that taco truck or opening up a little shop chock full of funky salvage and lots of books – something stops me. It’s a small, but largely negative voice in my head that starts telling me all sorts of things. “You’re too old, you can’t manage money plus you don’t even HAVE money!” Ever heard that voice? How about the one that tells you because of mistakes you made in the past that you will never crawl out of that hole and make your dream happen? There is also the mistake we make of when we see others try things, others with money at their disposal, randomly try businesses just because they can. That jealous green monster rears its head and we start telling ourselves only people with money can make more money. The rest of us will have to sit on the curb with our dreams tucked in our pockets because only the lucky people will succeed.

This has been the soundtrack in my head for most of my life. I would like to turn it off but it seems it’s on repeat. I no longer want to be that little person bobbing my head and congratulating others on their successes. I want to succeed – in a big way – and I want it to be because I did it my way. Not on someone else’s time OR dime. We all have it in us to make it big. For years I have been telling my children there is NOTHING they can’t do. I don’t want that ugly, negative voice in their heads as well following them through the years. The voice that says stay small, stay close, don’t go far, no one will buy that, you really think that will work, we don’t do things like that around here, just put your head down and work. I’m tired of these words. Instead I’ve given my kids words like this: don’t go to college around here, get out and see new places, fly far, fly big, your ideas are your path to big things, you are smart, you are MORE. They will succeed because it is in them to succeed. Now it’s time for me to listen to my own words. Nothing should stop me be it money, fear or negative voices in my head. It’s time to turn that soundtrack off repeat.