I've been locked away for a bit.
Particularly, for this girl who takes pride in being a loud mouth, social media posting, crazy, runner/coffee drinker/mama yeller/f-bomb dropper--being locked in an office reading everything I can get my hands on while crafting a course syllabus has been illuminatingly trying and terrifying.
And finally, this afternoon, I caught a glimpse of light.
At 1:30pm, with a balmy 18 degrees, I put on my colorful running kicks, strapped my new Garmin and begged for the wind to take me five miles. Somewhere between the wind blowing in my face, snot trickling down my lip and a lady stopping me about a lost dog; I started shaping the theme and hope for my new year...bravery.
Like most, I'm intentional about what I want a new year to look like. I typically name it, praying that by calling out the mantra, setting pen to paper and committing to new behaviors, that life will shift...in a good way.
A week into the new year, I'm realizing that authentic bravery doesn't necessarily come in flashy, public choices. It finds itself in the daily grind...in the ways we show up, when no one is looking or even when no one cares about what we're doing and we're the only advocate in the room.
It manifests itself in the places where you don't know what you're doing. I mean where you haven't got a fucking clue and you're just praying that if you make a move that the universe will usher your next one.
It finds itself in the mud and the muck. You know, the details. In carving out the plan....painstaking piece by piece, when you'd rather zone out to Netflix, Amazon Prime or eat chocolate--like a LOT of caramel, chocolate followed up by salty, fabulous chips and salsa, yes, Mama Hoots salsa and tortilla chips and then, wait, what's happening on Facebook? What about Instagram? And the tree outside? Where is my neighbor going--didn't she just come home? And why in all of holy fuck are my kids fighting again over the piano? AND, to that end, another hour has gone by and well, you cannot legitimately check a single item off of your to-do list.
Details. Sacrifice. Belief in the journey without any guarantee of success on the other side. Integrity in the work.
Over Christmas break, my dad came to visit. We don't usually get to have much one-on-one time, but in a stroke of luck and because my children are desperate to marry their devices, he and I spent a morning talking about everything under the sun.
He recently retired, like two months ago. He gifted me a desk that he made, hauled it all the way from Dallas, set it up in my office and told me the following...don't be afraid to work, Kel. It's the only thing you can really call your own. Roll up your sleeves. Get messy. Don't stand on the sidelines waiting for the perfect set of circumstances or the accolades. That's a bunch of bull shit. Do it because it's the right thing to do and because your hands touched it. It's wonderful that God gifted you with a brain but don't be a dip shit. Put some God damn elbow grease into it and get the job done. The best people I know work and they don't pass their shit off to other people. Whatever you do, show up every day. Make your mark, moment by moment, day by day.
He left and that's what I've been trying to do. Show up. Do the work. And see where it takes me.
I've had quite a few moments that I've felt like this...
Kind of like, fuck me...what am I doing?
But other times, I think about vulnerability, courage, sacrifice, my dad and my students.
I'm excited, terrified, hopeful and I guess...brave.