it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission. -my mother
I don’t know what it says about my upbringing or my persona as an adult but this quote above was something I remember my mom consistently saying to us while growing up. Now – her intention was way less nefarious than it can seem – she didn’t urge us to break the law or hurt people or act inappropriately at all. the thought process behind this quote, in my eyes, was always – take suggestions as such, question the social norms/rules set on us, and don’t be afraid to push boundaries. as you can tell, we grew up in a household of great support, always urged to be exactly who we are and to forget what anyone thinks about us. if you know my sister and I, this is very very very us.
Let me give you an example of getting forgiveness instead of permission.
When I was applying for colleges I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry and applied to the big fashion schools – including FIDM in LA (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising). The extensive process included questionaires, sending sketches, writing essays, sending references, etc. and being accepted each round to continue to the next. The final step was an in-person interview with the Dean of the school (or the President? someone big) but I lived in St Louis MO. How am I supposed to make that happen? My parents had NO IDEA I was even APPLYING because I didn’t know how they would feel. Randomly, my sister and I had the opportunity to go to LA so on the flight out, I told her we had to make a secret pit stop to visit the school and interview with them.
Long story short – we go, I’m there for hours interviewing with multiple people, defending my sketches and my potential future, touring the campus and was accepted to their school at the end of the day. WHAT. OMG. COLLEGE IN LA. but wait, now what?
so I called my parents with my sister and told them I got in, explained the process and the major honor this was and they said we’d discuss when I was back. Now, no – I didn’t end up going, for personal reasons, but the takeaway here is that – had I told my parents about the process, they may have dissuaded me to apply. However, doing what I knew I wanted to try and going for it proved to me and validated that I was on the right track in my life/career/education and also that I’m able to go after something if I feel it’s right for me.
We all have opportunities to push a boundary, to question what is best, to rebel in some way and there are times when this pushes us to be better, stronger and out of our comfort zone. Now, don’t go cheating on your partner or lying to an employer or stealing and cite this blog as reference because you can find a way to win them back over with an apology because that, my friends, is manipulation. and selfishness. and…wrong.
Maybe there is a solo trip you’ve been wanting to take, or a hobby you’ve wanted to try, or a risk you’ve been questioning that you really feel could be right – GO FOR IT. If nobody can be harmed and you wont lose your job and it isn’t illegal – book the flight, sign up for the class, propose a new way of doing things at work. You’ve got one life to live and sometimes you have to go for something if you know it’s right and you don’t need permission or acceptance to do so.
So whatever that may be, I hope you find a little pep in your step to try something different and out of your comfort zone. Even if it’s simply wearing shorts in winter with your over-the-knee boots and a cozy sweater/fur vest. We can start there if you like.