Saturday, September 20, 2014

TWENTY | On Being Brave

Today’s Prompt: Share a day in the life. Pictures, timelines, stats, however you like.

Since my schedule has been super wonky for a month now I have decided to share a couple specific days in the life. It was only this week that I started back up working at the high school. I am sure as the weeks go on my schedule will become a bit more solid. For now, this give you a peek into a couple of my days and my thoughts on what it means to be brave 
The past couple days I have had moments to be brave.
Last Friday, my friend Rachel and I finally came together to complete a long term dreamt of project. We had been planning all summer to make homemade soap but since its 100 degrees out we figured we could still do this in September. I brought all my essential oils over and Rachel had all her cooking gear laid away in a safe neat pile complete with rubber gloves. We met at 1:30 that afternoon. We made some iced coffee, caught up on our weeks and then got to work. 

We donned our aprons and watched a tutorial. We were specifically trying to be very careful about the whole lyre situation as in we didn’t want a deadly chemical reaction . About the time I was measuring out ingredients, Rachel turned on the immersion blender.

I wasn’t paying attention until I heard her say something to the affect of ‘shit’ in a very calm and collected manner. 

I looked over in time to see blood literally FLYING OFF the immersion blender in EVERY direction of the kitchen. Rachel had sliced her finger deep. 

I asked Rachel if she would want to sit down and if maybe she would like some water since we were about to have tea together. I think it was eerie how calm we both were. Rachel told me she didn’t feel anything even though her tiny finger was now releasing what I believed was all the blood her entire body had. 

After I tried to clean up the blood all over the floor, we decided it was in fact, urgent care time. Rachel and I skipped off to the car, leaving her keys and phone locked inside her house like the true heroes we are. 

Meanwhile my phone battery was dying and it died completely once we got to urgent care. So that was convenient. I guess this is what happens when a social worker and a therapist encounter crisis together. Everyone is calm. They ask about the other person’s need and wants. They forget about practical things like phones and keys. They hold each other’s hand and laugh about the crime scene they left in the kitchen. 

Rachel ended up getting her first ever stiches (and for me, the first time I saw it done on someone), she had some giant shot, lost an incredible amount of blood and had x-rays taken. Rachel was brave.

It was natural for me to rise up and be Rachel’s care taker. (also she was pretty easy to take care of) I got to be brave and be a hero while I valiantly drove her to urgent care and fed her water through a straw and wiped blood off her hands.
Being brave felt great.
I felt strong and steady.
I felt adrenaline pumping through me.
I felt that this was a big moment in our friendship.
This was almost exciting! In fact it was! I didn’t pass out from all the blood and I borrowed a charger from the doctor and called Rachel’s husband and kept him in the loop. Rachel recovered well and now we can’t stop compulsively saying “REMEMBER WHEN” every 5 minutes.
Today I had to be brave too.
 It was a less valiant feeling.
It was more uncomfortable.
It was not exciting.
Today, like the past month, was another day of me not working. My job starts next week and for that I am grateful. I know it seems like an entire month of work might be a dream come true…it’s a dream alright….I just wish the repetitive dream would end already. The first week off is nice but after that it’s hard.
It’s especially hard when you can’t run off to the mall to shop because you are bored. 
It’s hard when you are not making any money for the month and are just home ALL DAY alone. 
It’s hard when it’s not vacation.
It is absolutely mind numbing.
Today Scott had to work a long 10 plus hour day. I dreaded him leaving. I tried to be productive by doing things like calling DMV (which is mind numbing as well), cleaning the house, reading a new book, writing and picking up at yoga class at the YMCA. I even returned some pants at the mall. I made breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t think it’s very much fun to eat alone. All my friends were busy today. It is Monday after all. Most people go to work and then come home to their roommates or spouse and eat dinner and watch Netflix together.
Today I felt loneliness creep in like a foreigner.
I felt anxious upon recognizing this angsty emotion.
I worked on staying present, showing up and choosing courage over comfort. I can’t believe that it is 100000000000000000x more difficult to be brave in the “small” things than in the “big things”
When I think of brave, I think of blood, stiches, and urgent care, I think of jumping off diving boards and climbing mountains, I think about travel and about being an undercover spy. I think about rescuing victims of injustice out of prison in the dead of night.
It’s hard to remember that sometimes you need to muster up the most courage for those ordinary moments that sneak up on you and threaten to suffocate you.
These ordinary, mind numbing, incredibly scary moments are where bravery is born.
When I tell my husband what I need and want, it is terrifying. It takes so much more bravery to do that than to go cliff diving.
 It takes more courage to use your voice and stand up for yourself and your convictions at work. It takes more guts than signing up to run a marathon.
Looking at your body in the mirror and accepting all the shapes and curves takes COURAGE. It takes more courage than bungee jumping.
Moments that are disguised as ordinary are some of the most sacred environments to develop your courage.
Asking for help is courage.
Admitting you are not perfect is courage.
 Being vulnerable is courageous.
Saying no to racism and sexism is brave.
Standing up for the helpless, that is strong.
Owning your story, that is a hero.

Today I didn’t like being alone. I didn’t like how I felt at all. Being brave was not exciting. But I did it. I took a deep breath and told myself I can choose courage over comfort. I can do hard things. I can be brave.


  1. Oh you, you are one amazing lady! ..."more difficult to be brave in the “small” things than in the “big things”...I totally agree, but once you've been brave, found courage, from the small things you've encountered and conquered, then you get that little bit braver. You've got such an amazing voice, I'm so glad I've found your blog!
    [Nelson Mandela said, and I think its amazing, "I learned that courage is not the absence of fear. But the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear"].
    Love this post! So profound! [It's also sent me off on about a million tangents, must try and reign in all the ideas before they scurry off!]

    1. Thank you for saying I have such an amazing voice! I think you understand my voice well. :-) Also I love that quote by Nelson Mandela. So true! Courage is born in the face of fear! I hope all your ideas don't scurry off because they are worth listening to!

  2. hmmm you might have a hard time being a stay at home mom then......As far as the blood.No thank you. I would have passed out.

    1. Yeah I hear you, not much of a fan of blood either :/

  3. Beautiful and inspiring story! My trick is to try when i feel the fear to say 'I will not be scared I will choose excitement over fear' It's still scary but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

    1. Thank you! And yes, excitement is way more fun!