Annie has her hand up, as high as it can go. Pick me. Pick me. It’s her turn to climb the rope, her turn to use the ring, her turn to be thrown into the air. She is always eager, ready, her smile wide.
It’s the end of the acrobatics lesson, time to go. Annie bounds over, tired and beaming. A mom, waiting for her daughter, turns to Annie and says, “You are fearless.”
After I ask Annie if she had fun and we climb into the car the word brave is on my mind. It’s been on my mind for a while, begging for attention. What does being brave mean? I see adventure in the confidence of my daughter; hear strength in a friend’s voice as she confesses what lies in her heart, feel courage as I watch people try something new.
Last year believe followed me everywhere. Daring me as I typed, in my ear as I fell asleep. Riddled with doubt about the direction of my life I rose to the challenge anyway, did my best to believe, and now, now it’s time to be brave. To be afraid and do it anyway. To enter the land of the wide unknown, wind against my face, unable to see the end.
I’ve never been excited to ‘wait and see’. I don’t relish the unexpected unless, of course, it’s a happy surprise. We get sidelined by insecurities, flattened by stress until we can’t see who we are or who we’re going to be. Because we’re still becoming. We don’t get to live our lives fearless, but I wonder if I can face my fears chin-up. To have faith – faith that things will work out, and if they don’t, faith that I’ll get through it. I’m not soaring through the air or landing a back handspring, but I can learn from my daughter. Choose to be brave. Pick me. Be ready. As I try something new.
I posted this photo on FB a while ago, but I just had to post it here. Annie’s ballet recital was the Wizard of Oz and she was a Munchkin. Annie has been my little symbol of bravery this year. Also, I’m ridiculously proud of her.