As I frolic around in NYC for two weeks I keep having these moments of 'OMFG, this is real life." Currently I'm writing this post, drinking coffee, and going to get a bagel here shortly and then I'm being a tourist with one of my childhood friends while she's visiting the city.
I'll make a few Instagram posts, respond to client emails and send out new client plans today--from my computer here, in NYC. HOW IS THIS REAL?
When I tell people what I do, they always tell me how cool it is. Yeah, it is really cool. I feel insanely grateful that I'm able to now 100% work for myself. This journey was a long time coming though, and it all started with my dad.
I Never Thought I was Smart
I never thought I would amount to anything. Which is a story I created for myself when I was little, like 7 or 8. I don't remember why I first told myself I would never be good at anything but that's what I did.
As I got older and my friends decided what they wanted to be when they "grew up", I was completely perplexed. WTF? I have no idea what I want to do. I'm not smart enough to be a doctor, I would think. I don't want to sit behind a desk, or work 9-5. Did this make me lazy? Did I just suck at life?
I tirelessly would write down ideas, I'll do this, or that, or maybe this, what about that? Do I have to pick just one?
One day things clicked for me a little bit more, I realized that I wasn't searching for a tittle--I was searching for a feeling.
I wanted to be happy in whatever it was I chose to do.
Growing Up On The Sidelines
I grew up quite literally on the sidelines of Crew Stadium, watching my dad train professional athletes. My dad would wake up to read and write. He would smile as he coached his athletes, and they would smile and have fun too. We would travel with him to each session, each game, and every meeting.
You may have met my dad and thought he was the "cool fit guy" (or maybe I'm biased and making this up). To me though, he was a silent teacher as to what would be some of the most important lessons I'd ever go on to learn.
He would teach me that you can do work that makes you happy, and that you don't have to fit into some box of 9-5 just to pay your bills.
He would teach me that kindness rocks. That being kind is everything.
He would teach me that my art matters.
He would teach me that my voice matters, and to never give up on what you believe in.
He would teach me that it's okay to be different, that I don't need to seek validation by being "normal".
He would teach me that some people won't like who I am or what I do, but it's okay as long as I believe in me and what I stand for,
He would teach me to question what exactly it is I stand for, why am I here? Who am I serving and why won't I give up?
He would teach me that if you believe in it, it can happen.
My dad taught me many lessons. I owe the growth of Strong Chicks Rock to him--because even when I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew it had to be something I loved and something that made me happy, because that's what I saw growing up.
When I wanted to quit SCR and roll up in a ball and never see the light of day again, my dad was there for me and walked me through what I was feeling--encouraging me to move through it and not give up on my dream.
I know we all think highly of our parents, they all teach us valuable life lessons and at some point we will all find ourselves saying "My Mom/Dad was so right". Fancy that, they actually do know what they are talking about, huh? ;)
My dad, he believed in my vision when no one else did. He listened to every idea, blog, worry, fear, plan, book idea and more when it came to SCR.
I don't know what more you can do for your child other than to love them, make them feel seen, heard and valued and make them believe that they can do anything they want.
I don't think that's giving false hope.
I remember crying in my dad's arms after being bullied day after day by "mean girls". I never thought I would do anything, I never thought I'd be smart enough, I never thought that all of this--SCR, could come from my brain. It did though--he believed it could, and he told me I could change the story I had been writing in my head for years.
So here I am, about to go wander the streets that someday I will call home. Once I finish this post, I'll be done with "work" for a while and will pick back up later today. This is my very real life. I don't clock in anywhere. I don't report to anyone.
It is just me.
So to my dad, thank you for being you and always believing in me even when I didn't. Because I didn't, a lot.
The most important lesson that is sitting on my heart today from my dad-- you can change your story. I am no longer 7, believing that I'm not smart enough.
I am enough, I am so enough. And I have the power to change my story at any moment. So do you, your life is your story, you have the power too, at any moment, to rewrite and step into your magic.
I love you, dad.