3 Steps to help be the "grown up"​ you dreamed of being as a child

 Singing “I Gotta Crow” at Alameda County Fair in 1994.

Singing “I Gotta Crow” at Alameda County Fair in 1994.

As a child, what did you want to be when you "grew up"? Was being happy an inextricable facet of whatever you'd be doing?

When we were children, we envisioned adulthood as the space where we could do or be anything. Where our imagination, creativity, and thirst for constant play could be realized.

As much as I love the independence and freedom being an autonomous individual brings, it seems so much easier as an adult to lose sight of all the things that inherently bring us joy and feed our creative spirit. We work jobs we hate for way too long, we stay in relationships that don't fully respect and honor us, we let the monotony of paying bills be the driver of stagnancy. But inside, we still remember the jubilance of our child-self and the fascination that fueled us.

"...we let the monotony of paying bills be the driver of stagnancy."

How can we change our daily adult behavior to help us pay homage to our younger selves?

  1. Play more. Choose to enter the day with whimsy. Don't be afraid to say something silly, to try something you're not good at, to giggle or dance. Don't be afraid to pause and wonder about something as simple as a coffee mug. Dream about what a ceramic glazing machine that coats a coffee mug might look like. These are acts of gratitude.

  2. Remove stress. Itemize your stressors like groceries in a cupboard. Recognize what they are, then throw some of them away. You don't need all of those stresses in your life. You feed them by focusing on them. I promise you, life will find a way to cope. That is how life works, it persists. This takes time and practice to perfect, and no one is perfect at it (because perfect doesn't exist). Try this first: next time you feel that clenching behind your ribcage, acknowledge the emotion you're feeling and then cast it aside. Tell yourself you don't need it. The more times you do this, the better you'll get at it.

  3. Take small risks now; schedule a big risk later. Teach yourself that small changes won't harm you. That speaking up in a meeting won't be met by backlash (and that even if it is, you can handle it), that extending yourself when you may fail or fall is alright -- you can handle it. You will GROW. You already know that BIG risk you want to take. It's a trip, a job change, a conversation, a move. Set a date less than 2 years in the future. Write it down somewhere, in multiple places. Tell your closest people about your plan and the date you've set. Now start working towards it. It'll get closer and all you have to do is hold yourself accountable.

It's been 6 months since I decided to take a leap and pursue my life-long dream of being a full-time musician. There are a lot of unknowns, questioning of self, and daily frustrations - but I haven't quite experienced a happiness like this before. I'm doing the thing I love most in the world. I'm investing in myself and in my dream. There's nothing more rewarding in the whole world.

I'm not suggesting you quit your job or make some crazy leap right now. You know what you need to be happy and you deserve to realize it. Prioritize yourself, shed the weight of stressors and self-judgements, name the things that are missing in your life and work towards replenishing them. You can be the "grown up" you once dreamed of.

 A collection of practiced "Million $ signatures" from my 14 year old self. (P.S. Shiloh Mareigh is not part of my name. I apparently needed the extra ones to be cool.)

A collection of practiced "Million $ signatures" from my 14 year old self. (P.S. Shiloh Mareigh is not part of my name. I apparently needed the extra ones to be cool.)


WHO I AM

Hey! I'm Tawnee Kendall, an independent folk musician who has a Nashville sound but was born and raised in the Bay Area. My most recent album, Release The Ghost, is available wherever you download and stream music. It was dubbed "heart-on-your-sleeve artistry" by Huffington Post. I think you're going to love it!

If you connect with me outside of Facebook, say hello!

www.tawneekendall.com

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