Fearlessness, Courage + Embracing your Weirdness
Lia, our 7 year old, has been wanting a mohawk for at least 2 years now. We finally decided to let her do it. And that girl couldn't be happier. She LOVES it! She was so excited to head off to school the first day to show off her new hair...and I loved to see that courage + fearlessness.
You see, back when I was her age, I got picked on a lot. Kids can be rough. I still remember the time I got picked on every day because of the clothes I wore + the shoes I had. I was a kid. I didn't care about style. I loved my hammer pants + Kmart shoes. But one day, my parents (God bless them) had enough of me coming home upset + in tears because I was constantly getting bullied. So they took me to Foot Locker + bought me a brand new pair of Air Jordans. I walked into school the very next day, just doing my thing, and it wasn't long before one of the kids noticed my new kicks. He walked over and stepped on them as hard as he could. I wept.
I want my kids to know they are unique, they matter + the are loved unconditionally. I want to encourage my kids to embrace their very own weirdness + have the confidence to live out their truths (as long as it doesn't harm another). I want them to be fearless in their pursuits of what brings them excitement + joy. I want them to understand not everyone is going to accept them, and people can be downright cruel sometimes. I believe wholeheartedly shielding your kids from the rough parts of life leads them to learning the hard way once they're older. I'd rather them learn the tough stuff as early as possible when the stakes aren't super high.
I was both excited + a wee bit nervous to pick Lia up from school. I know she went in with such a huge grin + fearlessness. Would she come out with a frown + be sad? I'm glad to report that she came flying out the doors with a wide smile bursting with excitement. I asked her what her classmates + teachers thought. She said, "Well, some of them told me I look like a boy, but I don't care. I like my hair no matter what anyone says to me about it."
Now, every day, after we're all ready for school, we grab the gel and Lia excitedly puts her hair up + proudly walks into school knowing she has something amazing to offer the world despite what anyone else may tell her. We even got a message from one of her teachers saying they wished they had the confidence Lia does.
I share this story because I feel we can all learn a bit from a 7 year old who's not afraid to rock a mohawk. I still get caught up in appearance, I internally battle jealousy at the seemingly perfect lives other's live. At times I work (too) hard to be accepted + to appear a certain way. But it's the times when I let go that I'm the most happiest. It's when I embrace my ultimate weirdness (and to be quite honest here, I'm a pretty quirky dude according to my wife anyway) that I feel most fulfilled.
Inspired by Lia, I'm going to let my freak flag fly if you will. I'll blast Carly Rae Jepsen if I want. I'll dance like I think I know what I'm doing + not worry one bit about looking like a fool (and I'm a HORRIBLE dancer). I'll continue to wear my heart on my sleeve and embrace this thing called vulnerability. I want to have the fearlessness to sit in silence more + have the courage to deal work through whatever may arise.
I feel children are the best teachers at what's truly most important in our lives. What have you learned from kids recently? How can you better share your weirdness with the world?