Hi there friends! I wanted to share something personal with you today. Growing up I was a shy kid, who was very unsure of my place in the world. I was creative but I don’t remember much value being placed on it at the time, I did know that if you were smart it opened these doors and if you were athletic it opened those doors but I don’t recall feeling much worth around my creativity. My mom (& dad) saw it for the gift it was and believed in what it could be for me someday. But I questioned it all the time.
So I was shy, insecure about my talents or lack there of, was long and lean (for a long, long time), had little confidence and didn’t really shine on the fashion front either. There wasn’t a lot of extra money for clothes, sneakers, shoes, bikes, etc.. so I was given a lot from friends and family. Let me just say, there is nothing wrong with this, in fact I actually think there is a blessing in it. When my parents did buy something new, it was either something they saved for or was put on lay away for months (remember that?!). My dad had a heart attack at 40 (I was 2) and he was forced to retire early. He controlled airplanes and because of the nature & stress of the job he couldn’t return. My mom took a part time job at the local elementary school as a lunch monitor to pay for extras. From the time I was 3 someone was either in college or getting married & this went on until I went to college many years later. My poor parents! I remember needing sneakers one summer, I was around 8 at the time and my mom said, “Jen, we just don’t have the money right now.” I must have really needed them because next thing I know she brought home a pair from the grocery store. I am going to be honest, I didn’t want to wear them. After some tears I wore them. All I wanted was to fit in and be like everyone else, which is typically what an 8 year old wants. It’s funny, I don’t remember any other pair of shoes or sneakers I had as a kid except those baby blue ones from Pathmark. But I do remember the sneakers I desperately wanted at that time, they were the 3 stripe Adidas’. Everyone seemed to have them and of course that made me want them even more.
I will be 44 in a few weeks and I just bought myself those 3 stripe Adidas’!!! The thing I realize as I get older and hopefully wiser, is when there is struggle there comes a genuine appreciation for things and people you wouldn’t ordinarily have. An appreciation that comes from the depths of your soul, that is raw, honest and pure. It’s the kind that changes you as a person and makes you a better version of yourself. There is humility that comes from struggle and if we are lucky it makes us softer, kinder and more accepting of others in struggle. And that is such a beautiful thing!
On a professional front, all the feelings of trying the climb this broken ladder all those years and to finally be here, in a place where I wake up inspired and happy to start each new day, gives me such joy. I am so incredibly grateful for my struggle because I take none of this for granted. Not one day or moment!
On a side note I have been taking a parenting class over at Brene Brown and there was something she touched on early in the class that was such an ah-ha moment for me. She said your children are hard wired for failure and to fall. Oh my gosh, light bulb! And that in the struggle they find courage and learn to rise & it’s our job as parents to help them navigate through it. When I think back to how many times I tried to prevent any kind struggle or hardship for my boys, oh my goodness! Then to realize all the good lessons they have learned through a situation that was hard and the amazing conversations we have had because of it! It’s life changing! I have read every single book of hers but THIS one and just ordered for the summer, you can find the trailer HERE.
My mom would always say “march to the beat of your own drum.” And boy was she right! I am hoping you can relate to this post. I wanted to open up with you, because I honestly believe that through vulnerability we find connection.
Have a happy day friends!