When I choose the words I wanted to live by this year, I don't think I dove deep enough into what I wanted the years focus to be on. Because the word I didn't choose was brave and this word has been hitting me like a ton of bricks every month since 2018 began.
Brave or bravery has been on my mind a lot especially since receiving J.M Farkas Be Brave: An Unlikely Manual for Erasing Heartbreak. Be Brave is a poetry book in a unique format called erasure. This style was something I'd heard of but never read and it was a unique experience. My first read found it a bit confusing but my second read found the flow and it just rolled together beautifully. I think it's well put together from the words, to the color of the paper, to the emotions brought forth.
I've experienced some heartbreak over the years. Just not the typically kind. Mine came in the form of broken family. However as the years have passed I've slowly found a new way of defining family and have embraced how different my family experience is going to be from most people. Being brave as become a huge part of my life and it started with following my heart all those years ago when I was 17.
For 2018, I have done many brave things, these are a few:
I signed up and began taking Aerial Yoga lessons.
I put together an event for some local ladies to get together and met for the first time.
I was selected to be 'Yogi of the Month' at my local studio and participated in what they needed to get that done to their liking.
I chatted with one of my favorite yoga teachers about doing a book study on one particular book and she is putting plans in motion for that to happen.
I reached out on social media to ask people about brave things they've done recently.
I didn't just want this post to be me telling you about a wonderful poetry book I read, because Be Brave is definitely worth the read, but I wanted to reach out to others and share some of their brave moments. So I asked a question "In two to three sentences what's something brave you've done this week?" and here are some of the responses I got;
Do you want me to tell you about how I just told my doctor 20 minutes ago to STFU about avocados and how they’re good fats because I weigh 355 lbs and I have been fat since Day One and I’m not sitting here with this ill fitting gown showing off my boobs feeling shitty about a body I think is fucking awesome?
I decided to leave my abusive spouse 3 years ago, got a restraining order, and went back to school to work in DV policy and law to protect people like me. It's cliche AF but brave AF, too.
Told my parents that I never want my greatest achievement to be having children. To my surprise, they commended me. And my mother even told me she was content never having children (but hi here I am).
I finally committed to losing weight for my health. I went to my doctor and asked for medication for my high blood pressure, instead of continuing to ignore it.
Opened a public blog. With a short story of mine.
Asked for honest feedback on my strengths and weaknesses
Applied for a volunteer position at a theatre even though I haven’t done theatre in almost a decade. They responded immediately
Had a story rejected.
There are so many brave moments out there and I hope that when you come across them you will succeed in the way best for you. If you love poetry like I do, I highly recommend picking up Be Brave by J.M. Farkas. I am thankful I got the opportunity to read it.