Bravery doesn't always refer to big battles, standing up to tyranny or overcoming insurmountable odds. Sometimes it simply means swallowing your fear, no matter how big or small, and just going for it. It means jumping, asking the question, kissing the person, making a demand or writing a letter.
It won't always turn out in your favor. It may not have any outcome at all. But, when it does and you land, your lips meet or you receive a letter in return... it makes overcoming that quaking fear such a sweet victory. And it makes you wonder if there are other things you could, or should, be doing that fear is keeping you from.
Brave is my one little word for 2013 and I've been wielding it like a holy sword and shield to overcome fears on numerous levels. Everything from finding a new job, to approaching my art in a deeper way, to putting myself out there more, to simply say "hi" to someone. I haven't been keeping a tally or a record of every little thing because honestly? Who has the time or patience for that? At the end of the day, what matters is I know that my fear was overcome and that I was brave. No matter what the outcome may be.
And today, I celebrate a brave moment in that I was able to reach out and reconnect with a friend. It took me three years to write what needed to be written, to own up to my mistakes and apologize because the fear of hearing nothing back was overwhelming. The fear of receiving a "fuck off" was even worse, debilitating eve. It took me three years to write and only 4 hours for them to respond; just like that. While I doubt everything will just go back to the way it was before I let my fear overtake me and hurt my friend, there is so much warmth in just knowing someone who was so close to you for over a decade, that made such an impact on your life still cares and still thinks about you. And that they still have one of your first gods awful sewing projects in their possession, 13 years later. These sorts of deep, time weathered relationships should be cherished and protected; they're a very rare commodity. And to care for them and keep them up in the manner they truly deserve, you have to put in the work and not be afraid of falling or failing, not being afraid to trust them, your friendship and yourself. Sometimes you've got to defend it and fight for it, sometimes people will question it and put it down and you'll have to set them straight. And that? That requires bravery.
And sometimes, a little liquid courage helps. ;-)