It’s a thought that keeps me up at night sometimes, in between my crazy, vivid dreams (I have an active imagination, what can I say…)
Anyone can tell you…”it’s not worth the fight”
You can tell a battered, bruised, abused child that they will never amount to anything and will probably have a hard life. So why keep fighting. Why seek help. Why get therapy as an adult. They’re already damaged.
You can tell a group of oppressed people that it’s been “that way” for so long, why would they try to change it. It probably won’t work. You may never get liberation.
And we can all sit behind our computers and think about how depressing the news is right now. How it’s just rich people getting richer. Evil people getting their way. The climate catapulting. And things getting worse for any minority group. Nothing will ever change, and it’s just been getting worse.
But the reality is that we get nothing if we don’t TRY.
We get no chance at freedom. We get no choice. We get no progress.
And while it may be true that there are billionaires conspiring against our best interests, best health, and best happiness…you also still exist. You still have free will. You’re still a person that can make change…if you think you can.
I struggle sometimes as a coach not to feel constantly like I’m just telling people to “live their best life” from an ivory tower of privelege and naïveté.
And so I want to acknowledge that the privelege exists. And to be honest, if you are currently one of my clients, while I start this business from the ground up, you too are privileged. And I am counting on that privilege to gain you access to me and pay me. Because I am not a non-profit. And I’m trying to change my entire career.
But there’s a greater purpose.
For me…the greater purpose is that I sat in my cubicle in Chicago for the majority of my twenties wishing I was at rallies and political protests on the street, or out in the community talking about issues…or helping literally anyone.
And for a little while, I thought I could do both…have the 9-5, do a little pro-bono work, and even volunteer on a charity board.
But something didn’t stick. I was on a charity board for a cause I believed in, but with a few people who didn’t share my values (I even feel a little guilty writing this now). But all in all it felt off-brand. It felt dishonest to who I was, and who I was becoming. So I quit.
And so, when I decided to seek entrepreneurship, it was a moment of mental freedom for me. To know that one day, I would have my own schedule, and be able to protest, speak to women, change lives, inspire change, give back, donate (yes even to that charity one day), and keep up with current events…all in a normal week.
For that’s part of my mission…to be able to ensure that Rose Up as a person and as a brand and as a company supports making sure that the future is female, that we are all free when we are all free…and that we keep trying.
We keep fighting.
When many of us felt the gut-punch that was the 2016 election (and I watched people on the subway weep openly, publicly as they read the news that week)…many of us gave up.
And for some, that’s ok. It’s ok to take a break or pause from the news (I have to sometimes)….as long as you know you’re conserving your energy for something.
Because if you’re saving yourself from the sadness, and the injustice, and the frustration…all to what…just go binge drink with your friends on the weekend…what are you actually fucking doing?
In shielding yourself, you’re sheltering yourself. And in sheltering your mind, you’re allowing other, powerful forces to invade the world instead.
Take the abortion bans that started up in 2019.
Sitting on the bus a couple of months ago on the way to an Anti-Abortion Ban rally, I met a wonderful older woman who used to be a nurse. Who remembered Roe v Wade…and the days before it. Who remembered the panic of women searching for an illegal way to get an abortion and decide their own fate and take back control of their reproductive health.
Sitting next to her, knowing how long she had tried to fight for the same issue was eye-opening. She’s still protesting the same shit, 40+ years later…
But that’s what happens when a huge part of society takes our hands off the wheel. There’s people out there, with ulterior motives, waiting to snatch it and steer the course of history.
Our relationship with the news, and the issues currently before us, is connected to our relationship with ourselves.
It’s our pure indifference that causing our problems.
Sure we *know* there’s self-help books out there, and therapists, and life coaches, but how many people are truly utilizing those resources?
I always say: You can’t make people WANT to change. And no external factor will change that. Your opinion. Group opinions. None of it. They have to want the change…for themselves.
They have to believe they deserve it. They have to believe they can do it.
We talk about belief in oneself a lot as coaches – we help our clients figure out how to hold that space for themselves and deny the limiting beliefs they created long ago that are holding them back.
But it’s not about achieving some nirvana-like state of zen while wearing LuluLemon and having an instagrammable picnic at the park.
I want you to connect to who you are, because I believe in you so fucking strongly.
I believe in the ideas you share, and the things you question, and the authority you despise. I believe in all of you carving your own path – opting for non-monogomy, owning your sexual orientation, publicly decrying injustice, refusing to work for ‘the man’ anymore. Whatever it is…I want more of you in the world.
But do you believe in you anymore?
Are you scared that big ideas you had when you were young are now naïve or lofty or impossible?
See it’s often easier not to question the status quo.
Because it keeps us safe.
And society reinforces that decision.
Every safe bet is given accolades. Steady job. Marriage. Children. Settling down. College. (these are all great things btw, but they are separately pushed on everyone in society)
Anything where you don’t have to put your money, or lifestyle, or heart on the line is a good thing.
Society says that vulnerability is bad.
We can break up with someone because it’s long distance, and society will tell us that it’s a sound decision. That long distance is hard. That it almost never works out.
We can start a business and people will remind you how hard it truly is. How you’ll get sick of it. How the #s don’t support it.
Probability is decided by society, like mass produced clothing is produced for the world. But guess what?…one size does not fit all…
Vulnerability and self-integrity and the abnormal…that’s what’s given us the best stuff in the universe.
Artists, actors, comedy, movies, TV, books, the internet, music….and fucking Hamilton, people!
You think Prince was worried if people cared about his choices? The guy changed his name to a symbol at one point.
But see that thought – that you just had right there – “omg…could I handle changing my name to a symbol? or an emoji?” (I would pick the smirk emoji, for the record)
That icky feeling? …It’s your resistance to be different.
And that resistance, it’s your clue that you don’t believe in yourself enough.
It’s why depression is so high. It’s why people numb themselves with drugs and alcohol.
Because it’s easier to dull the confusion. The questioning. Than it is to embrace it.
But our opportunity to embrace is why it all matters.
If you would have told me 2 years ago that I’d have a blog, a business, a brand, a completely different life…an adventurous love life, an addiction to travel, or any of it.
I would have thought you were crazy.
Has my privelege afforded me some of these things?
Did I already have my basic needs met before I decided to “change course”?
But what if I hadn’t decided to change?
My life would be miserable. The lives of my friends and family and clients would be worse. I wouldn’t be helping to change the way things are. I wouldn’t be able to cope with the news and society and craziness.
For any of you wondering what your impact on society could possibly be, all I can tell you is that I believe you were meant for more.
I can see you now…when you get away from your self-doubt, out of your instincts to fit in and be perfect…I can see you inspiring future people to be better humans.
That to me is the revolution.
The crazy notion that if we lean in to our emotional intelligence.
That if we give up our status quo, to help ourselves be available to others, causes, change, protests, etc.
We’ll eventually change the world.
And together, as our truest selves…we can bring some balance to this crazy universe. Bring voices to the forefront who need to be heard. Bring rights to those that are denied. And empathy to those in suffering.
I know it’s a crazy ass dream.
But those are the only kind I have.