This is my favorite bit from Taylor Tomlinson. Have you seen her stand up on Netflix?
My husband and I discovered her right before the pandemic of 2020 shut down and she was the laugh we needed in such a tense and uncertain time. If you haven’t watched it yet, do yourself a favor and look up “Quarter Life Crisis” on Netflix right now. Go ahead…I’ll wait! (**WARNING: there is some language in this clip.)
If you didn’t drop everything to watch the whole thing, go ahead and watch the clip above for a taste of the magic. While I am a 34 year old married woman with three kids, I resonate with the narrative Taylor presents of life in their 20’s. If you’re currently in the midst of your 20’s, DO ENJOY IT, but I totally understand that in the midst of freedom and less responsibilities there is also this tension of wanting people to take you seriously as an adult in a world of older adults that still see you as a child.
Your 20’s are like the baby step into adulthood. It’s that age of BIG DREAMS and making mistakes all the while developing those “gut instincts” Taylor alludes to in the clip (have you watched the clip yet?) because frankly when we enter our 20’s we really don’t have a “gut” to help us navigate life decisions.
Don’t let that stop you from trying.
When I started diving into my passion for cooking I wanted to share my gift with family and friends. Every holiday I would wait eagerly for the next family gathering invite and couldn’t wait to see what I was asked to bring. It was a similar energy to anxiously waiting for the volleyball coach to post “tryout results” for the school team. I would be on pins and needles.
You know what I was asked to bring?
Salad and jello and rolls or burger/hot dog buns. It was pretty lack luster. I heard recently on Brene Brown’s podcast that “expectations were resentments in the making.” That could not describe this feeling any better. I was antsy to dive in and bring a show stopping dessert or a main side. I didn’t want to start small. I wanted to go all in. Go big or go home!
Have you ever felt this way?
Let me tell you what you shouldn’t do in this situation…you shouldn’t respond to the family invite with a list of reasons why you should make a show-stopping side dish. Instead, I challenge you by taking the food assignment and let your passion shine through the assigned dish. By doing this you give respect to the dinner host while starting small and show case your developing talent.
Instead of a bag of salad mix, I researched upscale salads and experimented with endive and arugula and different mix ins from scratch.
Instead of buying a bag of hawaiian sweet rolls (which are delightful), I attempted making rolls from scratch.
Instead of jello I resurrected an old family favorite and introduced it to my husband’s family.
You get the idea…
I know, I know, it’s not easy but as an elder millenial heed this advice: start small and grow in grace. Part of living fearlessly is humbling ourselves so we can continue to grow and become who we were created to be.
Zecharaiah 4:10a says “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin”
My resistance to growing in small beginnings is a constant struggle for me. I’ve been trying to use my gifts to honor God and His Kingdom, but I always seem to fall into the trap of getting ahead of myself and overcomplicating the process till I get frustrated and talk myself out of the project I am working on. My intentions are good and true.
I want to do BIG things for God, but I feel God is asking me to start small.
Let me tell you what I originally wanted for this space. I started brainstorming and planning back in May 2020. I set myself with a goal of launching the first video by September 15, 2020. In the time between I was going to:
- write, shoot and edit 5 videos
- create a monthly newsletter for each video
- curate social media content
- redesign my website
- write 10 fearless living blogs
- find ways to creatively entertain my kids as we were in the midst of a global pandemic limiting our resources of activities outside the house.
So you know, pretty easy and accomplishable goals- said no one!
Around mid July I started feeling the pressure and guilt realizing the amount of work I wanted to accomplish in the limited amount of time I had per day. I was sad and frustrated because the time constraints that limited me were my responsibilities concerning my young family. I didn’t want to call it a burden because I do believe the work I do as a mother is important and I truly want to watch my family thrive as we continue to grow. Ignoring this role was a boundary I did not want to cross. It was something I just couldn’t cast aside, and God showed me how to have grace for myself.
It’s ok to have BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS DREAMS. In fact, I think God encourages that because when we set out to embark on accomplishing these dreams we realize that we can not do it in our own strength. God invites us to DREAM BIG and wants us to partner with Him in bringing these dreams to fruition. Partnering with God doesn’t mean we have to keep up with the speed and pressure the world places on us. Partnering with God is an act of TRUSTING that His timing is perfect and making room to grow and learn in grace alongside Him.
By beginning we are saying “YES” to God. We are acting in obedience when we say “God I’m not sure where this is leading, but I feel you asking me to use my gifts for your glory. I realize I am a small part of the bigger picture, but you can use this to display your goodness. I want to be apart of that!”
So you want to know how much I accomplished off of my to do list?
By the time September 15th came around I had one completed video and had some footage shot for my second video.
I didn’t have a social media marketing campaign. No teasers to peak interest. I didn’t have a newsletter ready to go. And I was still in the weeds about what I should be writing about. You can read more here if you want to know my “why” behind this space. I just had one video to post.
I was bummed because I felt like I had let myself down, but in the background I felt God’s delight as He reminded me of what we accomplished together.
- He encouraged me to face my fears of inadequacy.
- He gave me patience and endurance to remember how to shoot and edit video (a skill I haven’t used for quite some time).
- He helped me persevere through my ongoing battle with perfectionism, reminding me that it’s ok to be a beginner and that I won’t be great at first.
This thought is honestly what pushed me to keep trying because if I was a pro from the beginning, how am I supposed to grow?
We have to be ok with being bad at something. It’s in the practice and the pursuit that we grow and refine. Beginnings are hard because we have the tendency to “go big or go home.”
That may be the way of the world, but that’s not God’s way.
Where are you finding yourself beginning today? Are you trying to learn new skills in the kitchen? Is it a course at school that is challenging? Are you a new parent learning the idiosyncrasies of parenthood? Are you job hunting? Are you contemplating retirement?
Tell me about your new beginnings, and what are some fears you are recognizing as you move forward? I would love to encourage you in your pursuits. Remember when we partner with Christ in our endeavors we can trust in His goodness. Even when it’s not in our own timing we can trust His timing is better.
Be fearless and start small so you can grow in grace.