I picked my daughter up from school the other afternoon, and she was covered in paint. I mean it was in her hair, under her fingernails, all over her clothes and even on the soles of her tennis shoes. I said to her "so, you guys painted today?" She said, "yea Mommy, sorry my clothes are dirty!" I told her it was ok, I mean after all I thought - she's 8. I expect her to come home messy. She looked at me tentatively and said, "Our art teacher told us to get messy. She said to get messy or go home."
"That's right, hell yea!" I thought. To me, getting messy means creating without fear. It means getting in there and exploring, pursuing our passions with abandon, and not worrying what we look like in the process or whether we can clean up good afterwards.
It's our choice as parents (and teachers, thank you to each of you!) to encourage our kids to fully experience life. Whether that's messy paint in art class or much messier situations as they get older. And the example I set for my daughter matters.
In my life, I continue to ask myself, am I surrounding myself with people who support this approach to living? When I come home from a "messy" day as an entrepreneur, I hope those closest to me will smile and say "you got messy today, didn't you?" And then we'll talk about my messy day, and theirs. And we'll revel in the freedom or empathize if it was hard, or both. Either way, we'll encourage one another to get back out there tomorrow and get messy.