The other day I read a great post from Scot Dinsmore from Live Your Legend. He was asking people for a quote to go on a t shirt and I copped out by quoting
live the life you love
love the live you live
Now don’t get me wrong its an great quote and quoting Bob is never a bad thing but it was not the one that hit me the most. Not the one that has woken me up from the last 3 years of sleeping. Not the one that I feel in my chest every time it pops into my head and drags me from distraction breaking the hold of any resistance I’m sinking into at that moment (dramatic much). That quote is something that can’t go on a blogs comments or a T-Shirt, its something that needs a bit of explanation. The quote is simple
Girls I wan’t you to live an epic life
It not a quote that people will suddenly get and be like “Right I’m off to start the business I’ve been talking about for the last 5 years” or “I’m getting up right now from this couch and getting my health and wellness in order”. But the truth is that quote is a complete game changer. It’s filled with hidden depth that can change lives and is changing mine.
See the funny thing about that quote is that its never been spoken out loud, at least not by me, and this is the first time I’ve written it down but its been in my head for while. It came to me in August when out of the blue I received a “congratulations on your 3 year work anniversary” email from LinkedIn, then a real person actually sent me an email congratulating me. Which on the surface seems nice but it hit me in the gut. The truth is I started this job when our main business took a major kicking. I needed to steady the ship and that what i did. We were, and still are, carrying lots of debt and this was the best way I could fix things for my family. Now I don’t hate my job, I work with nice people, mainly look after marketing and web presence but its not what I want to be doing, its not what I’m supposed to be doing.
Three years had passed in a blink of an eye and we are no closer to paying of the debts. Yes we are no longer sinking but if not sinking is the best that I can hope for then I’m sorry there is a very big chance I’m not going to make it out of bed tomorrow morning. And that was when the quote first popped into my head.
Like most husbands and fathers I love my wife and children more than life itself, they are my very reason for being, they are the reason I’ve taken the job.
And they are, each one of them, amazing. Now my girls are growing up fast with heads full of possibilities Katie-Ann started planning travelling around Europe in a camper van at age 6, she started her first business (jewellery making) age 8 and now has a blog age 9. I was still running around the playground pretending to be a dinosaur. Georgia is more like me, easily distracted but she is absolutely hilarious(not like me). Just naturally makes people laugh and hugely talented too even though she takes those talents for granted. And I know they are going to have awesome lives. They are not going to be caught up with the limitations that have so easily been put on this generation. The whole work hard get a job, work harder to get more money, buy stuff so you can be happy then work harder again to pay for the extra stuff that you now need to keep you happy. They are being brought up to be free to do pursue what they want, how they want.
So when I picture myself saying girls “I want to you have an epic life” it always comes back to one thing. How the hell can I ask that of them if I’m not doing it myself. How the hell can I ask them not to work in a job that is not their passion, that does not make them want to jump out of bed in the morning if I’m not doing it. How can I instil the will to travel if we are not doing it together. How can I help nurture the flame of adventure when I’m not doing it myself. The simple truth is I can’t and that simple truth is not acceptable. Not today, not tomorrow and not for any day going forward.
Now I’m not saying our lives are not amazing because they are. We have adventures all the time, we are not in anyway a conventional family. Both Sinead and myself work hard on being the best examples we can for our two amazing girls. And we are happy, God are we happy but is that enough, is it enough for me to be able to say “girls have an epic life”. Can I say that when such a major area of my life is not moving in the direction I want. In fact it doesn’t even need to be moving I just have to be trying to move it. And when LinkedIn sent me that congratulations message, it hit me hard that I’m not living an epic life. I’m not moving towards the freedom that I want even though other areas of my life are so good. I’m not being the example that I need to be to show my girls the courage it takes to not settle, to not accept, to truly be free and that is something that I just can’t do. That day a fire has was lit and not a damn thing is going to be able to extinguish it.
It been about 2 and a half months since my 3 year anniversary and that quote that I’ve never said aloud until this day has been the jolt that woke me up. In those couple of months I’ve realised that my part time web design company is not something I want to do, so its no longer a focus. The last contact I had from it was a scientist looking to start an open source nuclear medicine journal but didn’t have the technical skills or the funds for a designer. It was a great project that could make a difference so I’m now a director and part owner of Open Med Science which is up running and has already overtaken several journals in its field. Our first business Funkybump Maternity that took a kicking all those years ago and had pretty much been left to rot. Is now at the start of a relaunch, not just a new facelift but a whole new direction. There’s going to be maternity shopping revolution in the UK and we’re going to start it. Top of the list is my own pet project, for years I’ve been building and running sites and I’ve always had this idea of a teaching people how to do it themselves, in plain English, in a way that people can understand and use. Taking the last 10 years of experience and really making a difference with it. So I’ve built How to Rock WP. Its live, its going to be epic and I’m pouring my soul into it.
No Going Back Now
Writing this post has been pretty scary for me. It’s one thing having a quote in my head but another to tell the whole world. But the most important people to read this will be my girls and I know that Katie-Ann will read this post and probably read it to Georgia. So girls this can’t be taken back. HAVE AN EPIC LIFE and thank you more than you’ll ever know for being the spark that kicked mine off again.
If you’ve got to here then thank you for taking the time to read this. Let me know what you think in the comments and if you have a game changer too then I’d love to know what it is as well.