I wanted a word, an anthem, for 2018. A word to help guide me, to give me strength and direction-something to hang onto. I sat quietly with it for a bit to see what felt right.
I had a few that I tried: light, simplify, breathe. They all intrigued me in different ways. A friend sent me a Facebook quiz just for what I was looking for: a word to anchor my 2018. I took the quiz and got my word.
My word for 2018 is Brave.
At first I scoffed a bit. What did I have to be brave about???
But I sat with it a bit. All day I asked,”Brave? Brave. Brave!!”
I think of brave as big, bold moves that change the direction of a life. I think of brave as facing down fears and boldly plowing into the unknown. Brave is battling cancer. Brave is leaving an abuser; beating an addiction or caring for an ill loved one. I’ve been brave before-I think. I’ve tackled things bigger then me and have come out on the other side.
Brave just didn’t seem to fit me this year. And, to be honest, I don’t want to be brave anymore. Being brave is being a single mom. Being brace is rebuilding a long life. Being brave is leaving a life you thought you’d earned for one you didn’t want. Being brave is being 100% responsible—for everything. Being brave is knowing nothing but letting yourself learn.
I don’t want to be brave anymore. I am tired of being brave.
But that was the word I got.
I sat quietly with the word and thought a little about what else brave could mean. What could it mean for me-this year?
Was it brave to want to lose weight? I didn’t think so. Been there-done that. It wasn’t bravery that got me to this-the biggest size of my life. Nope. Eating for comfort and a lot of couch sitting got me here. Getting myself out of it shouldn’t constitute bravery.
Or does it?
I am scared I’ll fail. I really am. I am afraid I can’t get it off. I am afraid if I try and it doesn’t work I’ll have to admit I will be forever be like this. Big and uncomfortable and unhealthy. So I sit here-day after day- thinking about losing weight but doing very little to actually make that happen. I hate to exercise. Hate it. Makes me feel ridiculous, stupid, embarrassed, incompetent and worthless. Yet I am going to have to face all of that to not be the way I am now: grossly overweight.
Today I bought new clothes. Big girl (literally) clothes. A size I was devastated that buy. But I did. Because I have to accept where I am to get better/smaller. And trying to squeeze into my old fat clothes which are too small now was sending me into a depressed spiral every day. So I bravely accepted one thing until I am brave enough to do something about it.
My sons future.
Does this require bravery? Scoff. Of course not. Sons graduate all the time.
But it does. My fellas life is ahead of him. His starting his journey means that my journey as his mom takes another route. A route I don’t feel equipped to take. A route I don’t want the take! I want his little hand in mine as he teeters along beside me. I want him to stay the center of my world—I want to continue to be his biggest fan, his first love and his everything. But I am not. And I won’t be ever again.
I have to support him as he makes HIS decisions. I can advise, I can help but I can’t decide or do-that’s on him now.
And I have to have faith that I can afford or find a way to finance any decision he makes. And I have to do this alone. And that is scary. Letting him go is scary. Not being able to control some of his choices is scary. Knowing he will lead a life that I know nothing about is terrifying. Handling it all solo is scary.
Who am I?
This question does scare me. I am going to have to be brave to find an answer. I’ve hidden behind being a mother for 18 years. And though it’s the best part of me it’s not the only part of me. As he goes my big girl will follow. They don’t need me like before. They need me to have wishes and plans and interests of me own so that don’t invest all of me in them. They want me to have something other than them to invest in and the be passionate about. In truth…I have nothing but them. And I am scared to try and find something else. But I need to. I know I do.
But what? What do I have? What can I build that’s just for me?
“God grant me that serenity to accept the things I cannot change…”
- Work is changing and it’s out of my control. I am losing control over things I’ve always controlled. I am not going to be the only person that knows things any longer. I am not the youngest, the smartest or the most experienced any longer. That scares me.
- My age is changing me which creates issues I can’t control-only accept. I have to face my age. I have to face my health: this year I need a head to toe evaluation, a lengthy dentist trip and all the old lady test that there are. Scary.
- I can’t control all aspects of my son or daughter’s lives. I can’t save them from hurt or disappointments. I can’t make good, safe choices for them. I can’t.
What makes me happy? colton. Kinsley. Sadie. Being a swim mom. Being a cheer mom. My tribe. My new work family. My family. Going places. This blog. Beyond that?
I need to dig deeper. Have a wealthier and more diverse list. The need to Be happier. Getting there is scary.
What do I want? As absolutely crazy as it sounds I don’t ask myself this. I just do…I do what I am supposed to do. I do the thing. I move from point a to point b as I should. I follow most rules. I say yes sir and no ma’am and do as I am told. But I never, ever, asks myself what do I want? What do I want to do? How am I supposed to get there if I don’t ask myself that question?
I will need to be brave to figure out what I want. Brave enough to want something I may not ever have. Brave enough to have a goal, a dream and a wish. Brave enough to try. Brave enough to not let be the end of my story.
I don’t know where to find that kind of courage.
What do I want? This year, next year or as my legacy–it’s all something I try not to think about. It’s much easier to just take what’s given to you and go from there…but that’s the easy way out. The safe way to live. If I want more have to want more.
I need to be brave and leave my little world sometimes. I need to bravely face my weekend days instead of “running errands” and spending money and genuinely avoiding facing the quiet days that make up weekends around here. I am queen of avoidance: chores, cleaning, quiet, no plans, empty beds or solo nights. So I shop. Goodwill, sales, consignment stores. I won’t spend $100 but I’ll spend the hell out of $10 10 times.
I love my church. But I am still scared, hesitant and nervous about claiming faith. I want all faith offers. But faith terrifies me as well. For reasons I am not even sure how to articulate. So much on Sunday’s feels so good. I am moved by the music, touched by the message and feel hopeful when I am there. When I a not there I worry I am an imposter who doesn’t belong and will never belong.
So my word is brave. I’ve spent the weekend thinking of all the ways I am not living up to the word I was given. Now I have to figure out how to live out my word: brave.