My word for the year is BRAVE.
Another way to say BRAVE would be FEARLESS.
I am not trying to force it, I want it to just be the way I am. I want to fully embrace it.
But I have been missing a huge piece of it.
Here’s how I’ve been practicing being BRAVE:
Me: Hey [Friend who rides a motorcycle]! I have never ridden a motorcycle before! Would you take me for a ride?
Unfortunately, we have rescheduled this ride so many times, it might be next year before it finally happens.
Speed dating! That was a way to be BRAVE.
But I have been confronted with new ways to be BRAVE and it is a lot tougher than I thought it would be.
The truth is that I am at church twice a week. O_O
And I keep that suuuuuper quiet. It’s like I’m ashamed to admit it.
A few Saturday nights ago, I went out dancing and happened to be wearing all white. I looked like a santera.
And some santería guy noticed.
And he wanted to talk religion with me.
It was like he was trying to impress me with how much he knew about Santería.
And it felt like he just wanted to connect with someone on that level.
So I let him talk. I let him think I was a santera. I made understanding sounds about the ritual dances. I told him to keep quiet about the chicken sacrifices because “People just don’t understand, you know?”
It had been my moment to be BRAVE and admit that, while I love Afro-Cuban dances and know about Santería, I don’t practice it. That I, in fact, go to church and believe in the whole Jesus thing. BRAVE fail.
Why should I care what some bad ass dancer thinks of me? (Ok, the answer would be that there is a considerable shortage of bad ass dancers out there and if one shuns me then that is one less I get to dance with and one shunn could lead to more shuns and I’d be left with only a couple of good dancers to dance with and would spend most of my nights sitting and waiting until it was my turn to dance with them again.)
Obviously, I have my work cut out for me.
Being BRAVE is harder than I thought.
Being BRAVE isn’t about jumping out of planes or riding motorcycles, it’s about facing the scary things and sometimes the scariest things to face are other people.