I wanted to give you a deeper understanding of how I came to do the work of making these talismans and, more importantly, how I came to know that you are infinitely braver and stronger than you know. If you haven’t yet, and would like to, read from the beginning of my story, starting with Makers Gonna Make.
making authentic decisions
Finally, at 35 years old, I was making choices based on how things made me FEEL, not how others would perceive it. There is something childlike in that. When you are little, you trust your voice and thoughts! We’ve all seen that confused look on a kid’s face when we say, “oh NO, NO, you don’t want that!” as we pull a lollipop that fell in the dirt out of their hand. They look confused because we are telling them something that goes against their innate desire.
Consciously going back to that child within, asking myself how something felt to that wildest and most authentic part, was incredibly fortifying.
It took time to learn to trust myself; with each choice my voice grew stronger. Along with a desire to act on my instincts came an insatiable craving to create! I continued painting and started writing. Something I had never done with any consistency. I wrote a script. A whole script. I didn’t see it at the time, but I was writing myself out of my despair. I wrote the character in the story back to herself after she got lost trying to be everything to do right by everyone else.
a new decision, a new dream
In the fall of 2011, I got a phone call from a lifelong friend. I was catching her up on my struggles and cried “I just miss the days when we were outlaws!” to which she replied, “and here we are driving Suburbans.” There was a heavy pause and she said, “fuck it, girl, let’s start something, you and I!” and the Suburban Outlaws were born.
I went to my desk at home and drew a rough draft of the logo. By Friday of that week, we had business cards and paperwork filed with the state.
I had a purpose and I was absolutely lit up by it.
“choose your own trail”
“well-behaved women rarely make history”
“always trust your story”
These were our mantras and the products grew from there. I had never felt this kind of passion for a career path. I was wild for it. It was allowing me to be this person that I’d kept buried under appropriate behavior. I felt my creative spirit come bursting alive.
following my voice
People didn’t quite understand why I was starting a company. Was it a hobby? Was I gonna let it take time away from my family? What were we trying to prove? These questions were honestly posed to me from other moms on the playground. As if I was doing some sort of harm to my children by having goals that extended beyond them.
Children, in my opinion, need to be cared for and nurtured and kept safe and fed, but to make them the center of the universe is setting them up for extreme disappointment. We are not, nor should we expect to be the center of any universe.
Building a dream from scratch, right in front of their eyes, would be hugely powerful for them as they navigated their own life’s dreams.
My dad came down to visit to ask me “why are you doing this?” From my point of view, I was finally living in the world again. But from his perspective, I was choosing to live in a way that was unacceptable, because it was causing my husband and mother to feel uncomfortable. He believed that as a mother, I wasn’t allowed to have dreams. My sweet and loving father teared up telling me that it was my sons' turn to have dreams now and it was my responsibility to swallow my own. I’ll never forget that feeling of confusion. My father told me I wasn’t doing right, but I was getting better, I was finding purpose and joy.
I don’t blame him at ALL for having this opinion, but also, i’m not sorry to say, fuck that!
My children wouldn’t know how to build dreams if I don’t show them how.
i can do this. you can do this.
I felt fully capable of loving my children and building a career. No one questions a man’s desire to want fulfilling work and family life. No one asks a man, “aren’t you worried going to a week-long trade show is going to damage your children.” They don’t ask, because it’s a ridiculous question!
I had made my choice.
I wanted both.
And I wasn’t about to stop driving towards what felt so right and true.