Stay in your lane! An overly used term commonly thrown at anyone daring to be more and/or do more – well that’s my take on it. I mean how else could it possibly be viewed? I want to know why we’re so encouraged to live within imaginary lines. Why are we so dissuaded to venture beyond what our eyes can see when our hearts plead with us to go further. Let me ask you, when your dreams play out night after night, with sky as their limit do you request that they reign it in a bit? Or do you bask in the bravery of their reach, waking up excited albeit afraid at what you could achieve if you simply chased them. Lanes, what lanes?
Stay in your lane they say when you choose to take your business to the next level and incorporate a new facet. Stay in your lane they say when you dare to fall in love with someone deemed more of a ‘catch’ than yourself or someone from a different race, ethnic or economic background. Stay in your lane they say whenever you decide it’s time to venture beyond their safe perimeter…but lanes are for cars I say. Right?
In relationships how dare we, even in jest imply that the ‘less attractive’ person is punching above their weight or should have stayed in their lane. Are we that fickle? We cannot grade each other in this way, furthermore, is it even our business? We need to stop! It’s the same for race and ethnicity when we begin to shout ‘stay in your lane’ or see one group of people unworthy of the love of another we divide and we go backwards towards the dark places in history we’d rather forget.
I have noticed that there is a patronising air, sprinkled with a generous dose of ridicule that happily goes along with this command also known as a ‘suggestion’ to those that think they’re using it to mean well. It callously cuts you down to size, knocking you for six, totally giving you permission to recoil back into the lane life has without permission signed you up to. Not everyone is fierce and ballsy. For some it would have taken them weeks to have built up the courage to share their aspirations with someone other than their reflection and then with those four simple words spoken with the sinister precision of a master sword thrower, those aspirations simply wither away, dreamer deflated but safely in their original lane.
Now I totally understand the many ways the suggestion to stay in your lane like a broken down vehicle actually means well. It encourages you that in your current line of expertise or craft you are a boss. So as a successful MUA why would you dabble in shoe design and potentially be mediocre at it thus taking you away from your ‘A’ game. I get that as a food blogger throwing in random posts about your post natal depression akin to the mummy blogger crew might just confuse your audience who are just waiting for your Wednesday night Risotto like…huh?! but my thing is What. If. It. Works? What if your fans, followers, your market, buyers, sponsors and audience love it! What if by flicking on your indicators and moving out of your lane actually pays off and takes you somewhere?
Us humans are complex, surely we cannot be confined to lanes and boxes. We have put ourselves on the moon and sent submarines into the deepest depths. It’s deciding to step out that makes amazing things happen. We can wish upon stars, we can pray to God. How about we start changing lanes. Not that hard in the scheme of things.
Are you going to stay in your lane, or change lanes? Share your thoughts with a comment.
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CONNECT WITH Vean Torto
Vean is an avid writer and blogger based in west London. A self confessed big mouth with an even bigger heart, she combines these two attributes as she writes daily on Vean’s Voice an inspirational blog where she encourages women to be the women of their dreams. As a wife and busy mum of four she has a lot to say on all things motherhood, sisterhood, identity and lifestyle. Her battle with severe endometriosis further drives her passion of supporting and empowering women as they face infertility reminding them of their wholeness throughout the storm.