I was finally going to do what felt right to me and pursue my passions full time.
But there was just one problem.
I didn’t exactly know how to tell my parents.
How would they react? What would they say?
For weeks, I searched for the proper words I would use until I decided I would tell them during our family trip to Northern California, which was approaching, but still, my mind was running wild with apprehension.
Especially when it came to my father.
My father is the hardest working man I have ever known. He comes from a large lower-class Southern family with many brothers and sisters, and as a result, they all had to do what was necessary at very young ages to ensure their security and survival, so they became sharecroppers just like their parents.
And around the age of 20, my father moved up to Chicago to begin working for a company where he stayed for 18 months until he began working for another company, the same one he has been at for over forty years now. Yes, 40. A number that seems so archaic to society’s newest and current generation of solopreneurs and entrepreneurs.
As I grew up, I had a fear that I would only be labeled successful if I followed in tow: get a job, put food on the table, put a roof over my head and maintain a secure lifestyle. To be honest, I grew up with a fear that I would be a big disappointment to him, until I finally mustered up the courage to have a heart to heart between father and son.
It was the latter part of June 2012 and we were in our hotel in San Fransisco near the Fishermans Wharf. The rest of my family was lounging around after a long day of sightseeing, and although it felt like I had a huge dumbbell resting in my gut, I told my father, “hey pops, lets go downstairs and get some ice cream at Ghiradelli’s Square, it’s on me!”
Of course he obliged because he loves ice cream, and we went down. Easy conversation passed for a few minutes as we began to eat our chocolate and caramel sundaes until it hit me, “I’ll be scared for the rest of my life if I don’t learn how to speak up for myself right now.”
As my heartbeats began to quicken, the words began to pour out: “Dad, I wanted to let you know that I’ve started thinking about leaving my job and actually, the corporate world. My heart and gut have been telling me to go in the direction of my dreams, which is to work for myself, inspire others through my own creative way and to live a more passionate life. And although I don’t know exactly what I will do at this exact moment, I wanted to let you know that I don’t see myself working in Hollywood much longer.”
What came next was interesting.
It wasn’t a look of shock on his face as much as there was an “o, really” face. In fact, it was more of an o really, my son’s finally a man face than an o really, you’re out of your mind face. And I believe a big part of his reaction was triggered by my confidence. My mind was made up and I felt guided, and I know he could sense that.
“You sure about this? Okay. As long as you have a plan and you work it, then it’s okay with me, chump. I know you will be great at whatever you choose to do.”
A year later, as I sit on a train heading to Oxford, while looking through older photos, I got the inspiration to tell this story because I believe it has the power to inspire. A year ago, I was so frustrated and so happy at the same exact time. A year ago, I wanted to travel the world, but felt quite weighed down. A year ago, I wished I had a larger following for my writing, blogs and brand.
A year ago I wish I was a lot smarter, a lot wiser and always right.
A year ago…I realize, I was dreaming of today, and as I sit here typing and looking out the window towards my left full of lush green fields and the Gothic-styled buildings to my right, I am grateful to understand that I don’t have to be right all the time to live a great life.
Over the last year, I’ve learned to let go, let flow and do what I need to do (just like my father).
I’ve learned to enjoy the journey a bit more.
So how about you? Have any of your dreams come true recently? If not, what are some goals you would like to accomplish? And what will you do daily to become closer and closer to making your dreams, your reality?
You already have the power within.
Go forth, my friends and enjoy your journey. One Life.