If All Your Friends Jumped Off a Bridge…

If you’re just joining us, this post is part of a series called “Why I Love Young House Love.” And yes, I am asserting that two of my favorite bloggers are changing the world, one DIY project at a time.

John & Sherry - Here to pump <clap> you up!*

In many ways, I am a follower. If I hear “everyone” raving about a particular television show, I tune in to see what all the fuss is about. If one of my friends tells me about a delicious recipe they recently tried, I head to the store for ingredients. And, when one of my favorite DIY bloggers spray paints yet another thing oil rubbed bronze (ahem), I turn my shirt inside out, grab my black socks and break out my own can of ORB.

Sometimes, I end up enjoying the path-well-paved (I do love me some ORB). But other times, following the “Do it this way!” cries of the masses forces me to ignore my own voice. When I’m not living as my authentic self, I’m harsh, grumpy and stressed; I don’t like the residue I leave on the world.

When I do venture out on the path less traveled, I’m often guilty of searching for followers. I may use enticing words like “Doesn’t it look lovely over here, come join me.” Or, I might get snarky and say, “Hey, my path is the right one and yours is the wrong one. Can’t you see how foolish it is to be over there?! Come join me over here!”

But, those are really just disguises for a truth I don’t often speak aloud. I am afraid of being alone on the path less traveled. What if I encounter something scary? What if I find out later it wasn’t the best path for me after all? What if people laugh at me, judge me, or stop being my friend because I traveled this way?

Just when I’m convinced the path less traveled is too scary, I see someone bravely clearing the brush, fearlessly taking one step after another on their own rarely-traveled path. And, I get all kinds of encouraged. I get pumped up!

It’s so subtle you might not even realize what’s happening. But when John and Sherry take design “risks” (like here, here and here) in their home and then share them with the world, they give each of us courage to do the same – not just in our homes but in our lives.

When the Petersiks make a choice that they know many will disagree with (take this one, for example), they humbly show us how to quiet the crowd shouting “No! No! No!” and check-in with our own sensibilities. And, they do it all without pleading for universal agreement.

There is no doubt that John and Sherry inspire many-a-DIY project. But, I think Young House Love gets 3.5 million pageviews a month because the Petersiks inspire all of us on a much deeper level. I think their example of fearless, authentic living makes the world a better place, one post at a time!

Who are your risk-taking, authentic living heroes? How have they inspired you to take the road less traveled? I’d love to hear (and I’m sure they would, too)!

*Disclaimer: The Hanz & Franz characters are property of NBC Universal (even if they’ve long forgotten them). This photo is an artist rendering of what they might look like today, with permission from Sherry & John.

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What do you think?

  1. […] If All Your Friends Jumped Off a Bridge… (How I know John & Sherry would […]

    by We’re Here to Pump You Up
    on November 16, 2011 at 10:28 am

  2. Well said.
    I just started a blog because I follow so many and get inspired by what I see/read, including YHL. Thanks for the advice to keep it real.

    by Christa
    on November 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

  3. […] the weekends, my wife and I enjoy doing home improvement projects.  Nothing that requires permits, hard hats, or would […]

    by Good Things Come to Those Who Wait « Sales Tax Insight
    on November 18, 2011 at 12:41 am