When I was 17, I started a rock-n-roll band. My mom gave me her eyeliner and foundation makeup. She also gave me some costume jewelry and a few women’s shirts. They looked great with the jeans I wore until they were threadbare.
When we played big gigs, my mom would show up. Especially if it was a battle of the bands kind of thing. She’d bring the people who worked for her company to help ensure we won.
She never told me I had to go to college. She never told me I needed a career to fall back on. She never expected me to do something that I didn’t want to do. Instead, she supported me chasing my dreams. Nothing was off limits, even if it wasn’t a safe choice.
She never told me to be realistic. Unrealistic was realistic, if I worked hard. My dad wasn’t around, but he always supported me pursuing my dream.
When I decided to move to Los Angeles, both of my parents supported my decision. My mom was upset when I packed up the car and left late at night, but, she never tried to stop me. Instead, she cut inspirational quotes out of Reader’s Digest and mailed them to me. I taped all of them to the inside of my daily planner and reviewed them daily.
I wasn’t in Los Angeles for more than a few months when my dad called to tell me that he got me an audition for a band in New York City. They were being produced by Def Leppard’s first producer, and they needed a new front man because their singer got married and his wife had just had a baby, so he had to go legit. I flew to New York for an audition my dad arranged.
I was never told that I couldn’t do something. I was never told that anything was impossible. I was always told to go for it.
You want your kids to be happy. You want to keep them safe. But telling them to play it safe is the riskiest thing you can tell them now—especially if you want them to be happy. As it turns out, life is for living.
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