What does it mean to live this BAM life? Being transparent, as I brainstormed what I wanted my website to be about, I knew it had to be about the life lessons I have learned and my desire to share them with others. Moreover, as I thought about the words that personified me and my experience, I saw a trend. The words that kept resonating with me centered on a theme of boldness, authenticity and meaningfulness. Some other words I pondered were, beautiful, true, just, purpose, daring, fearless, audacious, forward, real, genuine, original, significant, relevant, and important to name a few. Because I have a tendency to find humor in the strangest things, I kept wanting to say something about this “Damn Life”. But after playing around with it, I realized that had a negative connotation. I wanted this website to share the fact that though my life looks different than I had planned, it is still one amazing life. Ok… and it sounds close enough to damn for it to satisfy that part of me. Now that you know the history behind the name, what does that mean for you?
Living this BAM life means the following things:
Over the next few posts, I will discuss what it means to live boldly; to live authentically; and to live meaningfully. My definitions are just that, mine. For you to live a BAM life will require you to define what each word means for yourself. Once I began this journey, I noticed a few things. I became more confident. I started to truly believe that I could do anything I worked hard towards. Though to be clear, this does not mean that I will be the best at everything I try but that fear of failure will no longer be the reason I did not at least try something.
Here’s a story that is an illustration of this. I am very frugal bordering on cheap. Growing up I was a chubby, shy, perfectionist kid with an intense fear of failure. This meant that if I didn’t think I would succeed at something, I wouldn’t even attempt it. So my story begins in the seventh grade. I was in art class and we were assigned to draw a still life. Till this day I can see the still life items in front of me. The still life was comprised of a fern, a banana, a hockey stick, a basket, and an apple arranged together. Of course we were supposed to draw it as it was arranged. Well, being a perfectionist from a young age, I was afraid that I was going to fail because I had always been told that I couldn’t draw. It didn’t help that I have a sister who attended the same school whose painting had been selected to be given as a gift to the principal. Anyway, feeling inadequate, I figured out that I may not be able to draw the still life as arranged but I could draw each item individually. So I want you to picture my drawing… it ended up being on item drawn on corner of the paper with the basket in the center, not touching because I knew I could draw each one well separately but not as a group.
Now imagine me as a chubby, shy seventh grader with thick glasses walking up to the front of the class to turn in my picture. Yep, I was nervous, embarrassed, head down, etc. After what seems like forever, I made it to the front of the classroom to turn in my drawing to the teacher. She took one look at it and told me that she wanted me to stay after class. Now I am really sweating on my way back to my seat unable to concentrate on anything else. Less than ten minutes later, class ended and I walked up to the teacher’s desk. She looks up, looks me in the eye and says, when you get to high school and art is for credit, I wouldn’t take it if I were you. Heart crushed. Spirit crushed. I mumbled something and walked out.
Cut to my thirties. I am no longer shy, I speak my truth, and truth be told… I’m still chubby. Well the story continues when I finally purchased my dream home. Leading up to my purchase, I was pinning things on Pinterest like a crazy person and cutting images from magazines for inspiration. BUT because I am still frugal, this meant that to get the look I wanted I had to either spend money or get creative. So being frugal won out and I began delving into arts and crafts. Though I could still hear my seventh grade art teacher’s words, I heard my own voice even louder. It said you worked hard for this, so if your foray into the arts and crafts world fails, so what… now you will have to rely on your budgeting skills to achieve your goals. Needless to say my living room has an art wall that showcases my art. I have gotten compliments from people saying that my living looks like it came out of the pages of a magazine. To ensure that no one could do the same to my son, the wall in the den is dedicated to his artwork.
The final word… living boldly, authentically, and meaningfully means different things to each of us, but once we throw off our fear, it means amazing things to all of us.