Feeling in a little bit of a funk the last few days. And clearly haven’t written anything here in a long time. Started writing, but haven’t finished.
I’m starting with #11 – What one song would you pick to be your anthem.
I love music. I sing in the car all the time. So far, my kids don’t seem to mind. My daughter even thinks I’m a good singer. Ha. I would have expected this to be a difficult one for me to write about, but it turns out that it took me exactly zero seconds of thinking to come up with a song because the song was in my head before I was even done reading the prompt. So maybe not exactly zero seconds of thinking, but certainly less than one second.
That song is Brave, by Sara Bareilles.
I first heard this song on Glee, which is basically where I hear all of my popular music these days, since I never listen to the radio, and I have kids who mainly like alternative, post hardcore and dubstep music. Which is awesome. But for popular music, it’s Glee. One time, I was over at a friend’s place (she happens to be 6 or 7 years younger than I am), and she was playing the Glee version of Don’t Stop Believing and actually said to me “did you know that it was a really popular song in the 80s?” Um, yeah. I have the album. The vinyl album. But I digress.
So one day, I looked Brave up on YouTube and was holy shitballs (another digression — when I try to type “shit” on my phone, it wants to change it to “shut”, but it offers me “shitballs” as an alternative suggestion. I figured that was a sign that I should start using the word “shitballs”) blown away.
I love the song and the video of people just being out there. Being Brave. And I think I love it because I’m not brave. I know that there are friends of mine who will disagree with me, and point to everything that I’ve been through and survived as a sign of bravery. But really, I think that shows that I’m strong, not brave.
To me, bravery would be doing or saying something that I really want to do or say, even though I am seriously, gut-wrenchingly, pants-crappingly afraid to do it. I know that this is not the dictionary definition of brave, but that’s what it means to me.
Strength is dealing with the circumstances you’ve been given — getting through, moving forward. I’m good at strength. I know how to do strength. I have lots of practice with strength.
I was strong when my ex-husband came out as gay. I dealt with it, moved forward, came through and survived. Brave would have been getting out of that marriage years before, when I didn’t know he was gay and I miserable and fantasizing about leaving him and afraid of what a huge failure that would make me.
I was strong when I lost my job of 15 years. I moved forward, did what I needed to do and found a new job in my industry pretty quickly. Brave would have been taking that opportunity to try my hand at something I felt passion for — writing, teaching, coaching — even though I was afraid of losing my house and having everyone I know tell me I was crazy.
I’ve always opted for safety. I’ve wanted the passion, the excitement, the unknown that comes with bravery, but I’ve never really stepped into bravery, other than to go on a really big roller coaster. Which was awesome of course.
I believe things happen for a reason. There was meaning in my marriage ending with my ex-husband coming out. I learned a whole bunch from the job I took after I got laid off and am so glad I did. And I think that maybe there are lessons there about bravery too. Sometimes, you have to be brave. I want to be more like the song. A little bit brave every day. And maybe, some days, a lot brave.