Up until the very recent past, I did a good job of living and working without trying.  In the road map of Taylor’s life, I had a lane that went from Point A to Point B.  My lane included reading, learning how to teach, working, and being a steadfast friend.  I knew that lane would lead me to a career that was dependable and laudable and easy in the way that took risk off the table. 

It was nice that I didn’t really have to try. 

Now, I don’t mean I didn’t have to work.  I worked hard, and I fought some battles.  But, they didn’t light me up inside or make my gut bubble up with purpose and validation.  They were the appropriate amount of grind that was needed in order to be commended by those around me. 

So, I worked. 

But, I didn’t try. 

Here’s where the difference is, for me.  Trying is working without a safety net.  To work is to guarantee success.  When I was “grinding” at school or at teaching or even within my new career, I was operating from a formulaic approach that had served me thus far in my life: spend more time doing something than anyone else around you, and work with more fervor than those you are working with…. Then you will succeed. Essentially:

Success= (Wo)Man Hours + Intensity Exerted 

Trying, on the other hand? It didn’t have a formula. There was no variable there that took failure off the table.

I could try to submit my writing to publishers, but they could say no. 

I could try to start my own business, but people could choose to not buy what I want to sell. 

I could try to plant a garden, but the weather could not work in my favor. 

I could try, I could try, I could try, but I could not guarantee.

So, I worked. 

And I turned life into a game of “Mother, May I” with societal standards and norms being the maven that dictated what I was working towards. 

“Mother, may I work towards become AP Langauge & Literature Certified?” 

Yes, you may. 

“Mother, may I work to change career paths in a move that will guarantee more yearly income?”

Yes, you may. 

“Mother, may I hustle in order to lose weight and transform my body into what society likes me to look like?”

Yes, you may. 

Friends, I operated like that for years. 

And, I know there are women that are strong, independent, badass ladies that have operated like that for so much longer. 

And, it’s ridiculous. 

Life isn’t a game of “Mother, May I.”

And, Mama (I’m talkin’ to you, friend): you are the matriarch of your own destiny.  You design your life. You create your space. You breed attempt and capability and effort and passion.

This is me, telling you, yes you certainly fuckin’ can! 

Here’s the secret, friend.  You can do anything you want to do. You can TRY for anything you desire. As long as it’s, per your mission. 

Per my mission, I give you permission. 

Per your mission, go forth and try. 

Let me break it down. 

My mission is to love myself through it all. And nurture that love so that it becomes a wildfire ablaze for love for others, for love for the world. 

My mission is to make the world a better place by loving me and you so fiercely that there is no other choice for it not to. 

(For more insight into this, read My Mission here if you haven’t already). 

So, per my mission…. I have permission to try. 

I have permission to block off an entire weekend to do nothing but type on this computer. 

I have permission to go to float tanks, and write in five different journals, and give a fuck, and re-do rooms in my home, and greet myself like a long-lost friend every time I look in the mirror. 

I have permission to try on tightropes of hard things with failure crashing in a sea below. 

In December 2020, I gave myself permission to start working on this blog. 

Up until that point, I knew that I loved to write.  I remember being in middle school dreaming of how I was going to be a famous author one day. When other angsty-y middle schoolers were in gymnastics, or playing video games, or watching MTV, I would read and I would write. In high school, I enjoyed the recognition that came from writing well. In college, I craved the times in English courses where I was allowed the opportunity (the permission?) to write creatively.  Branching into the period of time in which I had a classroom of my own, I felt alive during the times where writing (my own writing) was modeled for students.  After switching careers, I found a niche where I could write occasionally for the benefit of my new company and it felt oh-so-very good to be able to leave my ringing phone for a moment and nestle into the portion of my position (that very rarely) allowed me to create. 

In short, writing has always lit me up. 

And, I often lacked the permission to write for myself. 

So, I made do during the times when it was “acceptable”: i.e, tied to my grade or to my paycheck.

And then, two months ago. That changed. 

Every morning, during my meditation, the idea of a blog would show up. 

I was sitting at the foot of my bed, eyes closed, half-smile on my face: feeling grounded, peaceful, safe.  And then that wise whisper: 

Write, write, write.

Write a blog. 

After about two weeks of this, I finally decided that it needed to happen. 

I gave myself permission to write. 

I sat on it for a bit, but then I issued myself a challenge: if I could write ten “posts” before the New Year, then I would know. I would know I had the stories inside of me and I had the ability to get them out. 

In ten days, I had ten posts. 

I tried, and I didn’t have to work for it. 

There were times I didn’t want to write, and there were times that I wanted to stay in my lane and do normal twenty-seven-year-old things like drink White Claws and talk to friends about boys I went on dates with. 

And, I did do that. 

Afterwards, I would write. 

And, it felt amazing. 

So, after my ten by ten challenge, I gave myself permission to do something else: make a website. 

I did it in a day. 

And, it felt amazing. 

Lastly, I gave myself permission to do the scariest part of all: tell people. 

Regarding writing, part of the reason as to why the introvert in me was always so drawn to this creative expression was probably because of the solitude of it all. Writing is you and your words and your hands. A sole expression of one’s self, writing does not happen in groups or in a team dynamic: it is a singular experience in origin that breeds connectivity only after it is done.  

Telling people, on the other hand, scared the shit out of me. 

Who was I to get in someone’s face and ask them to read what I had written?

Who was I to think that I had something to share?
A commodity that someone would want? 

Then, I was reminded of my mission. 

My mission was to love myself. 

My mission was to encourage others to practice a transformative self-love. 

My mission was to connect people so that the world could shine brighter. 

Who the fuck was I not to? 

So, I posted on every social media outlet I had. 

I told my friends. 

I asked them to share my release date. 

And, it felt amazing.

Per my mission, I was practicing intense love for myself and others by creating. By writing. By sharing without the safety net of approval in the hopes that it would stick and land. 

What I want to leave you with, then, is this question: 

What is your mission? When you close your eyes and feel the womb-soul voice deep within, what is she telling you is your purpose?  Tell me below, what that purpose is and what you can do today to honor that desire within. Tell me below, per your mission…. How are you going to try?

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