being brave

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.

Swept Up

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.

24 thoughts on “being brave

  1. Lance

    yesterday we experienced this with our 16 year old and 8 year old daughters. My teenager has been unable to hit a backhandspring for 2 years and thus has been relegated to the JV cheerleading sqyad. two days ago, after much aginy from her considering quitting cheerleading, she nailed the move and got bumped up to varsity. my 8 year old is the best judo artists in her class. she’s a green belt in a class of lower ranks. her sensei has been begging her to move up to the advanced class. yesterday, she flipped a teenaged girl and finally overcame her fear and agreed to move up.

    Bravery is about so many things. finishing this novel I’m writing ahs been about conquering fear through bravery.

    great job by your little one and fanstastic post

    1. heidi Post author

      Lance, there should be an emoticon for a fist pump. I’m excited for your daughters…that is awesome!!
      You’re right – bravery is about, and can mean, so many things. I wish you all the very, very best as you finish your novel. It’s going to be stellar. Can’t wait.

  2. Kerstin

    You absolutely nailed it.
    “Choose to be brave. Pick me. Be ready. As I try something new.”

    Heidi Cave, you are one. amazing. writer.
    I can’t wait for your book to come out (and come to a reading!!!) and I can’t wait to see what you will try next! Your theme “believe” from last year worked out just fine – YOUR BOOK – so I am sure that “brave” will do the same.

    1. heidi

      Kerstin, you’re right, believe was definitely about the book. And brave is the next part. Thank you for your friendship and encouragement.
      Also, I’m giggling about ‘nailed it’. Because that’s exactly what I said to you about your review on *ahem* that book. 🙂

    1. heidi

      Thank you, Tara! This morning I had a long conversation about being brave with Scott. I get these ‘words’ in my head and when one sticks and torments me, I know it’s time to listen. Thank you for being here. Truly.

    1. heidi

      I want to be able to take things on the chin, you know? I have a tendency to over-think, over-analyze…well, worry, really. Instead of worrying I want to be bold and let stuff slide off my shoulders more.

  3. Emily

    What a beautiful picture!

    I’ve always thought of you as so brave. I think because you’re so honest, so (seemingly) fearless and open, and I’m glad you’re going to keep going now, despite your fears, because it’s so wonderful to watch you triumph.

    1. heidi

      Thank you, Emily! I think in parts of my life I am brave. But, when it comes to something new, and I am definitely entering new territory in my life right now, I get squirmy and want to turn the other way. Also, I could use some bravery in some of the relationships in my life, especially when the school year starts.
      You’re so lovely. Thank you.

  4. julie gardner

    This is indeed what I want:
    “faith that things will work out, and if they don’t, faith that I’ll get through it.’

    Since you’re done with the word, I’m going to borrow BELIEVE.
    And I can only hope I’ll eventually be needing brave.
    (Maybe you can share some of yours.)

    Until then, chin up. Yes to that.
    Chin always up.

    With a smile.

    1. heidi

      You take that word and run with it. I just left a comment with you, but I’ll say it again here. I believe in you. I do. In your heart and your talent.
      Chin up, indeed. 🙂

  5. John

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on being brave Heidi. As your daughter is an inspiration to you so are your words to those reading them.

  6. Sperk*

    This is ridiculously inspiring. And your daughter is so talented, I can tell by the photo! Grateful you continue to share your stories. Sometimes, they are just what I need and I carry them with me, thinking back on your words, as I go through the day. Thank you.

  7. Dorkys Ramos

    I love that you’re finding the inspiration to be brave through your daughter. I feel like most kids are so good at being fearless because they haven’t accumulated too many failures yet. I hope you teach her to keep leaping even after she falls and I hope you find it easier to be brave, too.

  8. Aldo

    Jonas!!! Welcome to the world!You have one of the loveliest famliies I know and your Daddy has just made me cry lots of happy tears watching your first slide show! Can’t wait to meet you soon.Big hugs all round xxxxx

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