5 Small Ways I was Brave this September

Monday 26 September 2016

DISCLAIMER: Learning to drive a moped wasn't one of them.

Hey guys! How are you? Good weekend? Not only is it Monday once more, but it is also the last week of September. How has it been for you? You may remember that back at the beginning of September, I set myself 'BRAVE' as my word of the month. I explained how I wanted to be more brave on a day to day basis when it came to just dealing with the thngs life and work and being a grown up can throw at you, and it seemed to be something that many of you could relate to.

SO, I thought it might be nice to do a round up of the ways I was brave this September. For two reasons. The first to check in with myself that I wasn't simply setting a word of the month but not actually using it. And the second to show you just how everyday I meant when I said 'brave.' Most of the things on this list are things that some of you probably wouldn't have batted an eye lid at, but one or two things on this list, as daft as it may seem, we're kind of a big deal for me. I thought sharing this with you, might act as a little reminder that when you're struggling with something, and it feels silly, everyone has there own roadblocks, and being brave doesn't have to mean big or bravado. Sometimes it just means getting out of bed on the morning and making it through the day.

1. Ring ring, adulthood calling...

When I first set myself the word 'Brave' I had one very specific thing in mind that I wanted to stop putting off, and just do. And that, ladies and gentleman, was ring my landlord. I know, somebody get me a medal already. I've been meaning to ring my landlord for one reason or another for months now, but every time I go to pick up the phone to mention that my window doesn't close properly or that the paint in the bathroom has flaked away, I get these horrible premonitions. I imagine myself having a conversation with them, and it ending with me getting evicted, because it must be MY FAULT that the window doesn't shut, and I'll have to pay for it to be fixed, and actually they are putting the rent up and I'll no linger be able to live there anyway. 

But this month I finally plucked up the courage to ignore my anxiety, ring the landlord and tell them that my bathroom needed repainting. And guess what? It wasn't a problem. It also wasn't a problem when, the day after the painter came, I had to ring up again because one of my floor boards has gone rotten. And it wasn't a problem when I rung up the car parking attendants to report some dodgy business that's been occurring in our car park, and it wasn't a problem when I had to get HSBC to sort out my bank card.

This month has definitely been a month of grown up phone calls. And not a single one of them was as terrifying as I first thought they would be.

2. I took on a tarantula...

Ok, it wasn't a tarantula, but, it was definitely the biggest spider I have ever seen in my flat and it was UNDER MY BED! I very nearly just grabbed my duvet and slept in the living room for the night, but instead, I pulled on my big girl boots (literally, I put my wellies on because the thought of it touching my feet was just too much) grabbed a glass jar and dealt with it. Sure dealing with it meant taking it out into the hallway, wearing a dressing gown, my wellies and a towel wrapped in my hair, then accidentally throwing the spider and the jar (I panicked) out of the window. But I dealt with it. When every inch of me just wanted to call pest control.

3. Run, run as fast as you can...

So brave might not be quite the right word for making myself get back into running this month. However, I'm putting it on this list, because there were so many times where I didn't want to go, or I went and I wanted to give up. In particular the time when I went for a run, and made myself run up the hill instead of walking, and an old man on a bike yelled at me 'going that slow anybody could catch you.' It took a lot for me to just ignore him and carry on doing my thing. But maybe being really brave would have been to tell him exactly where he could shove his creepy menacing comments... 

4. Sharing this post on my Facebook page...

Oh the internet you're a funny old thing aren't you? If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you'll know that I am pretty honest with my feelings etc. on here. I'm open because I want you, reading, this to feel like you're chatting to a friend, and if you're going through something similar you'd know there was some one here to talk to, that got it. So writing up a post about my weight and my feelings towards it and hitting publish doesn't generally phase me. But then I had to seriously ask myself...

Was I going to share this post on facebook?

Ever since I relaunched this blog, I've been sharing more often on my facebook page which I had never really bothered with before. And I've even been sharing posts on my personal facebook too. After years of blogging, I no longer feel a bit sheepish about saying I have a blog. However, sharing a post about my feelings about my weight directly to people who know me personally, that made me feel a bit... scared? 

The thing is I don't know how many of my IRL friends and family actually read this blog. And sometimes that makes this place feel like a safe space. A place I can put out my feelings and talk about them to people all behind the safety of a screen. Where I can react and process things in my own time. The idea that somebody I knew could read that post and then ask me about in public, to my face, and I'd have nowhere to hide, it does, it scares me.

But I know that it shouldn't. That I shouldn't just be open and honest and supportive to people on the internet. I should be just as open with people in real life. Because not only will it help me in the long term. Those people have probably been through these feelings too, and are just as in need of support.

5. Work, work, work...

Ok so this is kind of a weird one to add to this list, because I wasn't actually brave... but the other day I headed into a school to talk to sixth form students about working on a new project with me. Over the past couple of years I've worked a lot with young people. Some brilliant young people and some young people that have been really hard work and a little scary. And every time before a session with young people I've braced myself. Mentally braced myself, because I knew that the session could go either way, and that it would be tiring, and that teenagers can be the judgiest people on the planet. But... last week, for the first time ever... there was no bracing. I just walked in and did my thing.  For the first time ever in a situation like that, I didn't feel the need to tell myself, to suck it up, to be brave. I just was. So while this isn't an example of a time I was purposefully brave, it is an example of how far you can come, with out even realising it. One day that thing that scares you just won't anymore, and if that isn't a motivating thought, I don't know what is!

So there you have it, a long short list of the big small ways I was brave this month. Have you been brave at all this month? Has anything pushed or tested you? Or have you had a moment where you realised just how far you'd come? As always, let me know in the comments x

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