By: Tia McKinney, Regular Contributor
Recently, one early Saturday morning I went to visit my mother. After questioning why her two grandsons weren’t with me (they were still sleeping at home with their father) we played catch up for a while, discussing events of weeks that have passed and upcoming exciting news, etc. I cannot remember how we got on the subject of the social network, LinkedIn, but she made a statement, which then turned into a series of questions that followed. It all began with this statement. “So I saw on your LinkedIn page, it says that you’re a writer.” I nodded yes. “So who told you that you were a writer?” I told her that I did, I told myself that. “So do you have anything published?” No. “So how are you a writer?” I simply smiled at her and told her that I am a writer because I am.
Had this been a year and a half ago and she would have asked me these questions, I probably would have second guessed myself, doubted my inner voice, or even worse, stopped writing all together. As I listened to questions being asked by my mother, I couldn’t help but smile. I smiled because I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am a writer. Regardless of whether I was published or not, whether I would have the opportunity to share with many or even just one person, I was a writer. Why? It’s what I love to do. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many other things that I love to do and I for one have tried them and failed tremendously. Oh sure I was discouraged and even failed many times, but I was happy.
I recently finished nursing school. Now I didn’t know that I always wanted to be a nurse. I just knew that I wanted to help people. In the summer of 2013, I found myself unemployed with two small children. It was extremely difficult to find a job and in all honesty, I had been thinking about pursuing a nursing career. At the time, I decided not to tell anyone, with the exception of my husband, my plans in regards to this new field. I do remember that once I began school, I felt a sense of confidence growing inside me. I told myself I was going to be a nurse and here I was, on the path to becoming a nurse.
Slowly when friends began to question my whereabouts (being in a nursing program cuts out your social life), I told them and I have received so many responses from “Are you sure about that?” to “Umm, I would think about that if I were you.” It was at this moment I realized that whatever it is I wanted to do, that not everyone would agree with me, not everyone would see what I could see. It was then that I told myself that I would no longer base who I was or what I wanted to do on other people’s opinion. I would no longer let what other people dictate what actions I should take based on their expectations for myself. I appreciate the concerns, but I had to do what I knew and believed in with all of my heart. I promised myself that in any and everything that my heart desired, I would do my best and always go for it. Whether I succeeded or failed, I knew a lesson would be learned and that I would forever be grateful for taking a risk.
In all that you do, go for it with full force. If you truly believe in yourself whole-heartedly, I promise you that you will have the experience of a lifetime. It may not be an easy road, but it is well worth it. There will be people that will question you and often times criticize you. If you want to be a writer, then write. If you want to be a designer, then start designing. Just do it to the fullest. Know that about 95% of the unwanted advice and comments are out of love, fear of the unknown, and them secretly wishing they had the same guts as you. So my advice to you: forge ahead, take the lead, and do what you love, and be who you say you want to be. You are smart. You are fearless. YOU ARE THAT GIRL!
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Tia is a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend to anyone in need. Tia has a penchant for writing. She loves movies and can find something new to laugh about every single she watches to Coming to America, despite seeing it a hundred times. Her motto: Vulnerability is the key to authenticity. Her goal is to help people discover the joy and beauty in midst of troubling times and trial through her life lessons, screw ups and the lessons she has learned from her 2 sons. Tia not only hopes to inspire others, but also to encourage them to do the same and inspire others along the way on their own journey. Her goals for 2015 is write a book sharing life lessons through handwritten letters to her 2 young sons, become a premiere author, and to one day give a TEDTalk. She loves sharing her passion for finding the beauty in hard times on her blog www.accidentaljoy.wordpress.com. She is truly humbled, honored, and grateful to IATG for allowing her a platform to fulfill her purpose in life. Tia tweets at @mstiamichelle.