“Am I brave enough?”
This question has been rattling around my head a lot lately.
Am I brave enough to go before I’m ready? Am I brave enough to meet these new people and have these new experiences? Am I brave enough to say yes? Or no? Am I brave enough to be exactly where I am in all my imperfect glory? Am I brave enough to lean in? Am I brave enough to let it all go? Am I brave enough to keep my heart wide open?
And—mostly—am I brave enough to be the person I know I’m here to be? Fully and completely. Right now. In this moment.
The truth is, I haven’t been very brave.
Not in a good, long while.
I’ve walked through the most hellacious chapters and experiences, clawing my way back from things that damn near killed me. I’ve dismantled and rebuilt my business a hundred times over the last decade and managed to stay standing with literally no money in the bank at some points. And I’ve been brave enough to break my own heart (as Cheryl Strayed says) more times than I can count.
But I haven’t been brave enough to be all of myself, in all the ways I desire.
I’ve played small and stood far too still.
Tucked myself into spaces not meant for me.
Dimmed my light and tempered my emotions.
Tried to fit where I simply don’t belong.
Made myself wrong when I wasn’t.
Neutralized and became more palatable.
Abandoned myself in big ways and small.
I see it now.
So clearly and completely.
And I think I can just start being braver now.
I know who I am and no longer care if it’s too much, too loud, too bright, or too intense. I no longer care if I seem unreasonable and overly passionate. I no longer care if I’m hard to be around because I always say what’s true, and I’m far more complex in how I experience and engage with life than most around me.
So, yes. I’m brave enough.
Because courage is simply moving forward despite fear and terror. It’s showing up as openly, vulnerably, and fully expressed as possible, no matter where we are or who’s around. And life is way too short to hold ourselves back.