Embedded in most every tweet and post I’ve seen this week is the message, “Be Brave.” Sheer repetition makes it impractical for me to ignore. Try as I might.
It’s hard to Be Brave. Someone might have untied the safety net when I wasn’t looking.
Why does it appear so simple when others are Brave? Why is it so much easier to stand on the sidelines and cheer for someone else than to suit up and take the field?
Message #1 of my week came from a beautiful woman I’ve known since I was five years old. Michelle Martin Dobbins launched her first book into the universe on Thursday, and on Friday the universe delivered Amazon best-seller status. This, from the girl I protected from Ricky “The-Baby-Eater” Hawkins in first grade by stapling his fingers together. Download her book (it’s free for Kindle today, but worth more than full-price). It could change your life. She’s amazing. She’s beautiful. She’s a hard-worker and a sweetheart of a gal. And she’s freakin’ Brave.
Message #2 danced into my heart from the conclusion of Michelle’s “coming out” blog, featuring Sara Bareilles’ awesome “Brave” video.
#3 An author friend Kevin Buck hopped out on ABC-27’s “Good Day PA” for an interview about his decidedly odd grave-hunting hobby. Since when have I ever had a social drink with someone who’s on TV? Kevin rocked “Brave” last Tuesday!
#4 Super-sexy fashion model Geena Rocero revealed a deep-dark secret in her Ted Talk that humanizes every inch of that “Since most of us women can’t have it we’re going to resent her for it” badass-sexy-beast body. If this isn’t brave, I don’t know what is.
#5 Blown away by the va-va-vaciousness of 14-year old Shiane Hawke from a remote northern corner of Australia. Oh, can looks be deceiving! But only once you open your mouth!
So what’s my take-away? Maybe it’s beyond time for me to open my own mouth. Maybe it’s that time for you, too! Here’s the newest installment of Demi’s memoir… with all the self-deprecating snark you’ve come to expect, and enough introspection to merit serious therapy. (But that would require me to carry the conversation, ummm…)
I concentrate to maintain the smile on my face. Maybe this guy should be dating himself. Obviously he’s in love. It’s been three hours and I’m still waiting for the part of the conversation when I’m invited to participate.
Enter: Third glass of wine. Depart: Vocal inhibitor
“Seriously, you’re a therapist who specializes in rapport-building? You lost me at ‘hello’.”
An expansive silence envelopes the table. It’s an oddly therapeutic sound. Right up to the point when my stomach informs my brain about my mouth’s lack of decorum and I rush for the bathroom.
Funny, I usually am such a nice person. But is it nice to sit mutely while someone else holds up the entire conversation? What if he was just waiting for me to contribute something so he wouldn’t have to work so hard?
Where is the line between extrovert and self-absorbed? Probably at the corner of introvert and scared-shitless, if I’m involved.
Maybe this is the year when I will walk out on stage without fear. Maybe this is the year when I will Be Brave. Maybe this is the year I’ll open my mouth (for some other purpose than to switch feet).
Maybe fewer days will require a third glass to get there.