I almost didn’t come back. After three months of ignoring the promise I made a year ago today, how do I have the nerve to show my face here?
Here’s how. Even though my commitment to doing one brave thing a day for a year petered out at about eight months, I’ve come out of this year substantially less wimpy. I tell the truth more often, even when it means admitting defeat or being embarrassed. I say no more often, whether to work I don’t want, or to the expectations of generations of mothers who NEVER leave dishes in the sink.
I’ve learned a bit about the lies fear tells, especially about failure. When I try something difficult or new, like writing fiction or hula hooping or telling the truth about my religious beliefs, fear puts up a wall that pretends to be a mountain. Pushing against it seems pointless, but after about a thousand moments of resistance, there is suddenly open space. After a while, these walls became a green light, a signal to just keep moving forward.
I’ve let go of some things, too, like concern for what people think of me, and about 36 pounds. Maybe spending more time out in the open made the extra weight an unnecessary cover. Or maybe paying closer attention to what I want clarified the choice between chocolate and good health. Either way, I’ll take it.
I’ve jumped off cliffs, climbed rock walls, and belly danced. I’ve braved wild geese, parent-teacher conferences and a room full of people expecting me to be funny without a script. I’ve gotten up at 5:30 a.m. to write even though I’m terrified I’ll never come up with anything good enough to publish. That continues to be my biggest double-dog dare.
This has been an amazing year for me, and I appreciate everyone who took the time to read this blog. I’m not done with it, even though it has served its initial purpose. If I were brave, I’d keep writing, even when I know the writing isn’t as good as I want it to be. And if you don’t think that’s brave, you should try it sometime.