Skip to main content

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

Bravery - artist Arzu Yontar
A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I sent that young family member a piece of jewelry with the word "brave" engraved on it, to remind her that she was brave.

I'm not feeling too brave right now. My last two jobs were ones I LOVED. I loved the work, the people, the feeling of doing something with meaning. And in both cases, my bosses encouraged me, stood behind me, challenged me, and assured me that I was doing a great job, and that I played an important role in the organization.

Until both of them told me I was no longer of value to the organization. Pack up your stuff and go home.

Just before I was let go from my last job, I passed a plaque on the wall in the office. It designated employees who'd worked there for 10, 15, 20+ years. I thought, "My name is going to be up there one day. I cannot imagine working anywhere else." And within a day or two, I had to scoop up all my personal belongings and haul my butt out of there.

I'm struggling right now with the idea of going into an interview with confidence. I still have no idea what happened in both of these cases - why I lost whatever my bosses had valued in me. How do I know it won't happen with the next job? How can I possibly trust another boss, make friends with co-workers, speak up, when I know there is a very good chance a day will come when I'll be called into the office and told: "You don't have a place here anymore."?

I'm trying to be brave. I'm trying to keep my chin up. I feel like a baseball player whose gotten hit with too many pitches though, and he is skittish about standing in that batter's box. I'm sitting in the dugout, trying not to throw up, because I know my at bat is almost here.

Brave. Be brave.

I am acutely aware that brave women run in my family. For now, though, it's enough to know that I've been brave before and I'll be brave again.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…