Like many people, probably somewhere around the 17 million that tuned in on Friday night, I’m kind of fascinated by Bruce Jenner’s story. I thought the interview was open, honest and eye opening, I was most fascinated and struck by his children’s reaction. Every time I saw a promo for the special, I kept thinking, “how are his kids taking this?”
I’m not a big Keeping up with the Kardashian’s fan, except for a phase during my pregnancy when I was too exhausted to watch anything other than E!. And that one time I met Brody Jenner in AC, but I digress.
Bruce spoke about how he told his children and how they have responded. Bruce explained how Kimberly (Kardashian) came around to his decision and I was so taken aback. Kayne West, yes that Kanye, had changed her mind and his quote has rolled through my head these last few days,
“Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world; I have that. But I’m nothing if I can’t be me”.
And I was so struck by those words. Because those words are the type of thing I want my son to know. The older I get the more I realize it’s so important, so necessary to be me. To do the things that matter to me, to own who I am. To take pride in myself and my life and my work.
I want my son to know that no matter what path he chooses in his life that, what matters most is for him to be true to himself. That I will love and support him no matter what. That if he chooses to go to college or not, if he chooses to become a doctor or a lawyer or a trash man, I have his back. That I will love him if he’s an athlete or an artist or neither. That what is most important to me is that he is happy, that his is kind, that he treats others with respect.
Life is too short to spend it living in a way that you don’t love. It’s too short to spend in a job you hate but think you should do because someone expects it of you. It’s too short to surround yourself with people who don’t bring happiness and fulfillment to your life. It’s too short to waste.
I think of all the time I’ve wasted worrying about what others thought of me. Of trying to live up to expectations, trying to do what I thought was expected of me. I think of chances I didn’t take because I knew doing those things would disappoint others. I think of how many times I’ve made choices based on others expectations rather than following my heart. And it’s those things: the college I didn’t go to, the trip I didn’t take or the job I quit, that I regret.
One of my favorite songs features the lyrics, “make the most of what you’ve got, don’t waste time trying to be something you’re not, fill up your head, fill up your heart, it’s all we’ve got, don’t waste time trying to be something you’re not”.
And I want my son to grow up with those words always in his head. That when it comes time to make tough choices he will know to follow his heart, to be true to himself, to not waste time being something he’s not.
And it’s this lesson that I think we can all take away from Bruce Jenner, that life is too short to waste not being true to yourself.