let’s talk about brave for a little while.
cause I have a confession to make.
for the longest time, I thought that brave was a category. a column of people and my name wasn’t written in it. you’re either born with it or you aren’t, right? some people are just brave.
some people just chase their dreams no matter what. some people just got confidence big enough to own any room they’re in. some people just work those boots that you’d never believe you could wear. some people just know that they’ve got the whole world waiting out there and they’re gonna go make something happen. some people just look good in red lipstick and some people don’t, and don’t you dare wear that red on your lips if you’re in the latter category.
but the truth is this: you’re not gonna wake up one day and find your name has miraculously moved from the not-brave to the brave column. this ain’t Santa’s list and you’re not just gonna get the gift of brave wrapped up with a bow.
you have to be brave.
brave might be an adjective in Merriam-Webster’s book but it’s a verb in mine. brave is an action, definition be darned, and you gotta put that into practice.
ain’t nobody gonna be brave for you.
be brave, babygirl. put those dreams into action and wear those boots like they were made for your feet and your feet alone. because who ever told you that you can’t do that, you can’t look like that, you can’t wear that?
I sure hope nobody ever told you that.
(and if they did, give them some grace and send them to me, because I can guarantee that as sure as they’re telling you that, someone told them the same darn thing. they grew up with You Can’t and You Aren’t and You Don’t as playmates and that trio always sticks to the sandbox and doesn’t go anywhere near the swings. that little kid never got to see their feet touch the sky, and I can’t fix that with a hug and a cup of coffee, but I’m sure gonna try.)
and no. it ain’t easy. being brave is about the farthest thing from being easy. I’ll bet the first time you tried to jump off the swings you fell and skinned your knees, and brave is kinda like that. it feels like flying in that exhilarating-and-totally-terrifying way, and then all of a sudden you’re crashing down to earth and who thought mulch was a good idea for playgrounds because that stuff hurts when you fall to your knees.
but don’t let that stop you from swinging.
the only way to be brave is to do it. daily, one foot at a time, swinging a little higher. find those words that make you wanna be brave and write them down, tape them on your wall, tattoo them onto your arm if you have to because this is too important to forget. find that song that makes you feel brave and turn it on and turn it up, frequently, and dance around your bedroom and shout those words to yourself til they start to stick inside your heart. find those people that believe in you and keep them close, because they will remind you that brave is still inside you when it feels like brave has packed a bag and is gone, gone, gone.
so go find that thing that scares you – and do it.
take a leap of faith if you can. if you can’t, take a few baby steps first and then take that leap of faith anyway.
and I don’t care how big your leap of faith is. maybe it’s writing a book, or being an artist, or moving to another country. maybe it’s singing out loud, or red lipstick, or raising your hand in class. I don’t care. jumping off a curb feels just as scary as jumping off a cliff sometimes.
I don’t know about you, but I’m working on my brave. because I have dreams and I like bright lipstick and I’m tired of waiting around on things. my brave looks like pattern mixing and going to a concert all by my lonesome and deciding that I’m going to figure out what I want to do, and then I’m going to do it.