Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Quote Your Dad

From inside jokes to newborn life and from discussions about school to heart-to-hearts, some of my best memories come from time spent working in the barn. I recall one evening in particular. On a bitterly cold night in the middle of February, my dad and I were working together to finish milking the cows. We had spent time talking about the usual: school, FFA, my favorite cow named Bacon, family and friends. At this particular time I was coming to the point of making a big decision in my life.

“Mariah, have you given much thought to running for state office?”

For me, the answer to this question was not very simple.  You see, the previous year I had run for state office and not been selected as a member of the team. How could I go back and try this again? The application, the preparation, the eight rounds of interviews, the waiting, the nerves, the emotions… How could I do it all again?

My dad watched as these thoughts streamed through my head. Without me saying a word, he began to tell me what a mistake he thought it would be for me to not try again. He shared observations about why he had all the confidence in the world in me. He knew how much I craved meeting the FFA members around Minnesota. He believed in me. However, he also knew I was afraid.
This fall I thought back to that night when I opened the wrapper of a Dove Chocolate. Dove Chocolates have sayings inside their wrappers. I normally overlook them, but this particular wrapper said something that grabbed my attention…

“Quote your dad.” My dad has a lot of sayings, but thinking back to that particular night in the barn right after he finished telling me how he believed in me and why he said 11 words I will never forget.

“Being afraid of something and doing it anyway is called bravery.”

So simple, but so profound.

Recently, a mentor of mine gave me a journal entitled “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Its purpose is to give a new challenge each day to step outside my comfort zone, try something new and realize things I may not in my usual scheduled-out day.

It can be so easy to get in a routine of comfort in our lives. When an opportunity arises, it can be downright scary. Will we fail? What will people think of us?

We don’t have the power to know what each day will hold. While those questions can linger in our mind and hold us back, who’s to say doing something every day that scares us won’t be the greatest thing that has happened in our lives? It was for me.

So next time you are contemplating if eating lunch with the person sitting by themselves would be “cool,” just do it. Who knows, they may become your best friend. When you are walking down the hall and see someone upset, stop and talk with them. Maybe they just need to know someone cares about what they are going through. Grab a friend and volunteer at a homeless shelter. It may offer you an incredible change in perspective. These small actions can make a big difference in your life and the lives of others. It’s okay to be afraid sometimes, but remember, doing something you are afraid of is called bravery.

Be brave.

Do something TODAY that scares you.

Stationed by the ear of corn,

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