Five Minute Friday: Brave

Five Minute Friday 

 Linking up for another lovely Five Minute Friday with the lovely, lovely Lisa-Jo.  Because even in the busy-ness of a Friday morning, you can find five minutes if you try.

This week’s prompt?  Is brave.


GO.


In my younger years, I was the very opposite of brave.  I was so scared of speaking up, taking chances, putting myself out there.  Better to hide in my little corner, to keep my head down, to take the criticism unchecked, to listen to all the bad stuff I was told about myself.  I willingly hid.  My shoulders slumped forward, my eyes looked downwards, and the negativity I heard thrown towards me, often by people who barely knew me (teachers, dormmates, random boys), I wove around my heart and let it linger there.  Part chain, part armour.

Fat, stupid, ugly, worthless, loud, obnoxious.

I wonder if the people who tossed out those words so carelessly knew how each fresh attack felt like it was tattooed on my heart?

And then I grew up.  I could feel changes from my late teens, a thawing of sorts, and then, over the course of my senior year of university, my in-betweeny year, and my teacher training year, I learned how to be brave.  To step out.  To speak up.

I learned that I could be brave and still be kind and sweet and attentive.  I learned that I could take risks and have adventures and still have good friendships, and a happy family and a good, healthy career.  I learned that sticking up for myself when required….was a good thing.

And I like being braver.  The shadows of my shy, bruised youth and those words I internalised for so long can still creep up and blindside me (at a party, a meeting, a bar), but most of the time the tattoo is forgotten, way down inside me, long since covered by happy memories, by chances taken, by successes celebrated and losses embraced and moved beyond.

And that makes me proud.

For I am brave.

STOP.

10 Comments

  1. bluecottonmemory
    3rd May 2013 / 5:51 am

    I like being brave, too – it was a one step at a time thing, where I had to learn to come out from hiding behind a book on the school bus – but like you – I did and am so glad! Sweet, brave post friend about where you were and where you are!

    • Claire
      3rd May 2013 / 8:53 am

      Thank you so much – the journey is a long one for many of us, I think 🙂

  2. Richelle @ Our Wright-ing Pad
    3rd May 2013 / 8:19 am

    "…the negativity I heard thrown towards me, often by people who barely knew me (teachers, dormmates, random boys), I wove around my heart and let it linger there. Part chain, part armour."super powerfully descriptive image created by those words… sometimes brave is being willing to see ourselves as God sees us, isn't it?visiting for 5mf!

    • Claire
      3rd May 2013 / 10:32 am

      It is indeed. Thank you for your kind words.

  3. Denise
    3rd May 2013 / 2:01 pm

    Great post.

    • Claire
      4th May 2013 / 7:43 am

      Thank you, Denise.

  4. Amy
    3rd May 2013 / 3:08 pm

    When we learn to be brave we gain so much freedom and control, don't we? Thanks for being brave today and sharing.

    • Claire
      4th May 2013 / 7:43 am

      Truth, Amy.

  5. Riot Kitty
    4th May 2013 / 7:36 am

    Oh! What a wonderful post. And you are so smart and pretty that I am just disgusted about anyone having said that (I'd be disgusted even if you weren't, but still.) It is brave becoming brave, if you know what I mean.

    • Claire
      4th May 2013 / 7:44 am

      Thank you sweetie, you truly are so kind. It's been a journey; it has been worth it.

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