Ready, Set, LAUNCH!

“Hands up. One ride.”

This is how my Dad signs many of his emails. And his texts too, because old people do that. (Sign texts, I mean.) 

He said this to me my 3rd year of college when I called and told him I was changing my major in order to graduate a year early to be eligible to apply to a teaching program in France with my best friend. 

He said this to me again when I called him 3 months later to tell him I was moving to France to begin a Master’s program, even though I had just changed my mind about studying education in undergrad. 

He said it another time as I nervously delivered the news of my first “big girl” job, a 5th grade teaching position in New Orleans. 

And he said it yet again when I shamefully confessed to wanting to quit my first “big girl” job. 

What was wrong with me? The past 4+ years had built up to this moment. I learned a foreign language. I got a Master’s in Teaching. I taught. And then I quit. It was like waiting in line for a roller coaster, chugging up the hill, and then hopping off before the descent. 

But there my dad was saying, “hands up, one ride”, nonetheless. 

I was embarrassed to quit. I was embarrassed about being a 22 year old girl, swinging and missing, and hanging her head as she walked back to the bench. I was embarrassed to tell my colleagues. To tell my students. To tell my family. Worse than being embarrassed, I was ashamed- ashamed to have no real reason other than extreme discomfort and a tiny voice in my heart saying “hands up, one ride.” 

And the fact that I felt embarrassment and shame for my own unhappiness is exactly what fueled me to passionately pursue all of the things I knew were inside of me but that I had stifled in order to follow some socially accepted norm of life after graduation. 

I didn’t know where I was going. I still don’t. I don’t know a lot of things, like what Pantone to CMYK conversion means, or what an RSS feed is and why my website needs one. I don’t know how to mass produce my art or even how to file my own taxes. I don’t know if this will work, but I know it feels good. I know that all of the unanswered questions are better than the one question I absolutely knew the answer to a year ago: is this the life you want to be living? 

It was an astounding, “no”. More like “nope” actually. 

The thing is, there is but one life. One ride. For all of us. I don’t care about certainty. I don’t care about safety. I don’t care if this works. I care about being myself, about honoring my one unique life, my one ride- with my hands up and my hair in the wind. 

And that’s what is all about. It’s about owning who you are and being that person, whoever that is. It’s about connection, purpose and passion. It’s more than just a brand. It’s a movement. It’s not just a website. It’s a lifestyle. 

Hands up, One ride. 

Emily Jordan2 Comments