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April Jeppson: Don’t worry about what others think — be you

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson

 

“There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything. Negative people find their walls. So never apologize for your enthusiasm. Never. Ever. Never.” — Ryan Adams

I get really into things. Little, seemingly unimportant things. I bought a small garbage can for my office a few weeks ago, and it brought me so much joy. It’s shiny, and has a rainbow holographic effect to it. Sometimes if I’m feeling a little down, I just stare at it for a bit and admire how gorgeous it is, and my mood improves. You guys, it’s a trash can. I am literally finding joy in my garbage. I know how goofy I sound, but it’s the truth.

When I was younger I shied away from being so enthusiastic, or over the top. I reigned myself in so that those around me wouldn’t be uncomfortable. I dressed in boring colors so that I would appear more professional. I mean nothing says take me serious like a dark pant suit, right? I expressed myself through my socks. I had the most extensive sock collection. Which is funny because now that I’m comfortable with myself, I rarely wear socks.

When I was a stay-at-home mom, I almost completely lost who I was. When you hardly leave the house, it’s easy to fall into a walking coma. You get up, take care of kids and then you go to bed. As my children started sleeping through the night, my personality began to wake up. When it awoke, it came back twofold.

When I was in college, I had pink hair and wore funky clothes. Some people thought it was fun, other people (older, more mature) would give me a look or make a little comment. I didn’t care, I knew what I liked and I did my thing. Then I got married, got a real job, had kids and all my sparkle just got a little, I don’t know — dulled.

So when I came out of the new mom fog and got the idea to add some pink back in my hair, I hesitated. I’m an adult now. I need people to take me seriously. Perhaps I hemmed and hawed for a year about it. Then I realized that I didn’t care what people thought. If I was going to be judged by my hair and not by my personality, then perhaps I didn’t need those people in my life. Putting the color back in my hair was the beginning of me embracing who I was.

Slowly, I gained more confidence. Instead of looking at clothes on the shelf and thinking maybe someday I’ll get it, I bought the bright skirt and then had enough courage to wear it in public. I gave high fives to strangers at the gym. I complimented the bank teller on her awesome glasses and asked if I could try them on. (she let me). I chat up people I barely know but can instantly tell I will like. I ask them deep questions and call them out on being rockstars. Slowly but surely I came into myself.

I love life. I love wearing glitter converse to the office. I thoroughly enjoy smiling while in board meetings. I love meeting people who have way more money and power than I do and then talking to them as if we’re equals — because we are. Life is hard, and it can suck sometimes. I see the bad stuff, but I’m not going to let that dull my shine. If you need a little pick me up, why don’t you swing by the office and look at my garbage can for a bit. I promise it will help.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.