I was away for a few days in paradise with just my daughter, (read more about that here). We had morphed a family vacation into a girls getaway leaving our “boys” at home to bond over video games and baseball. I’ve already written about the adolescent dynamic that mystifies and terrifies and fully was prepared for its head to rear and to even enjoy some of its wrath as I sat down wind on the beach.
What was so interesting was to witness how dueling stages — emerging young adulthood and saying goodbye to childhood –played out in her so clearly. It was in small ways: wanting me to hold her hand wading into the pool the first time but five minutes later wanting me far away to stake her independence. The sweet cries for her “Mommeeee” to an indignant “Mooom” when she couldn’t wear what she wanted underscored this inner-conflict from one moment to the next and I felt I couldn’t always keep up.
It was the last day we sat on the beach, her in her cabana, me basking in the Caribbean sun, that we had an uninterrupted spate of daydreaming that she reminded me how to reach for the stars. We have very different skin types, she is my freckle faced beauty. I often tell her the story of how before she was born I was looking at a Disney catalog and saw a perfect picture of a raven-haired, freckled toddler donning Little Mermaid garb and knew instantly I had to have a baby girl with green eyes and red hair who would one day get “angel-kisses from the sun” (what I started calling freckles when she went through a period of hating the name). The Fates obliged and she was born taking after her Irish father (my ex-husband), red hair and all. I, on the other hand, am far from ivory-skinned. I take after my Italian mother and have more of an olive complexion. I tan pretty easily and my hair is light-brown, although I’ve lightened it for years (shhhh)… not even a hint of red. Our coloring couldn’t be more different. As she’s grown her features have become more similar to mine. Her nose is looking like mine, her eye shape… It’s amazing.
It started innocently enough–a discussion about lipgloss or something–but then we got an idea, a real one, and the brainstorming began. Now I’m not going to share it because I actually think we may have the beginning of a business, but three hours later we were still lobbing concepts, we had named our idea, had some next steps and the beginning of a philosophy together. It’s the start of a dream. And not a little one. One that will take some hard work, diligence and one that we will be able to grow together.
I get to invent and create for a living. I’ve been quite fortunate to have this position, and although there are challenges–as there are with any job or anything worth doing–I’ve also enjoyed collaboration with incredibly creative colleagues. But what my daughter showed me on the beach last week was how nothing, not even the most foreign concept, is impossible. No dream is too big for the right dreamer. She believes nothing is impossible and collaborating with her was contagious, envisioning our concept through her eyes made me realize concession isn’t a state, it’s a state a mind. The only limitations put on a dream are ones we inflict ourselves…even when we think they are external–circumstance, other people etc. The other thing I realized was that self-imposed limitations is just another manifestation of fear. Fear to fail, fear of succeeding, fear of starting, fear of accountability, fear of the unknown. I could go on and on. What my daughter saw in this beach brainstorm was nothing but opportunity. Fear wasn’t on the radar.
Which gave me an idea… What if I decided to replace the feeling of fear with the promise of an opportunity, just for today, or this week? What could change? Stay tuned–on both the experiment and the business idea. We shall see on both, I hope 🙂
My Dad used to say courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s acting in spite of it. It was refreshing to be reminded that there is a state of no fear, and by practicing courage I am optimistic I can find my way back there.