Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Pixar's Brave movie poster
Hey! Did y'all know that I was brave.  Once or twice, at least.  Not bungee jumping or skydiving brave.  Ordinary brave.  I moved away to college.  I moved back.  I got a tattoo.  I gave birth to 3 boys.  I started writing a book.  I teach middle school.  See?  Brave, right?

Then last week, I realized I hadn't been brave in a while.  My awesome sister in law took my older boys, her own three kids and two other friends to a water park.  I saw all those kiddos loaded in her car and thought, "Man, she is brave."  She's brave A LOT.  She's run a marathon, that's how brave she is.

So, I started thinking...What's stopping me from being brave?  I did a lot of self reflection and discovered why I had stopped.  Having your world turned upside down by a job loss and a 'special' kiddo will do that to you. I functioned effectively but I did all the safe things.  I worried a lot about belonging.  Did so and so like me? Am I wearing the right thing?  Seriously, my self doubt was at an all time high.  I don't remember feeling this self conscious in middle OR high school.

Last Thursday, I did something brave. Something I've been wanting to do to for over a year.  Something I thought I would get ridiculed for.  I got a blue streak in my hair.  And you know what? I love it.  And other people loved it.  I realized that when I am myself, I brave. Here's a not so glorious picture.  How brave is that?  To post a maybe not so flattering pic ;)

In the midst of doing something else brave yesterday (taking a 2 year old who had not napped and 2 7 year olds to the community pool), I got to spend time with my fabulous sister in law again.  We talked about belonging and she offered this sage advice: "I belong to the ones who like me.  Be nice to everyone but then don't worry about them."

So, in addition to my year long quest to be goofier, I'm now being more brave by being myself.  Wearing what I want to wear.  Doing the things I want to do.  What makes you brave?