I think one of the most important lessons a converted introvert like myself has learned over the years is that if you can fight passed the fear to be brave and be bold, you can be rewarded for it. Now, it isn’t always the case, but more often than not, letting the fear take the wheel and steer, like the Incubus song refers, is what holds us back and keeps us in our shell.
When I was a kid, I was pretty laid back and calm; sure I had my goofiness and personality, but I was often passive and went with the flow. This carried into high school, dating and even into my first marriage (I say first, but it is my only at this point). Once I became a mom, though, boy did that change. I was no longer simply responsible for what I wanted or needed, because quite frankly, it didn’t matter much in my mind due to my independence in mind and spirit. If I wanted something, i got it, and if I didn’t care one way or the other, then I let someone else choose.
When it came to my daughter, she couldn’t express anything but cries when she was hungry, poopy or when she didn’t feel good. It was my responsibility to make sure she had the best care and opportunities available. As a slight consequence, it also required me to not be passive, but to have a voice. They don’t joke about being a momma bear for nothing heh.
This has carried on and helped me build up my strengths. Even through my divorce, when I began to slink back into introversion, I found being online a way for me to practice and sustain my bravery and boldness. I met wonderful people, some I am still friends with to this day and that was nearly 10 years ago, and I have met some terrible people who have challenged my mindset and worth. Some of which still haunt me in this platform in one way or another.
Had I not found the online outlet, who knows what would have happened to me. I probably would have gone into my seclusion willingly and this would be an unwritten tale.
Being online prepared me mentally for a lot of challenges I have had over the last few years. It allowed me to put on my bold face when I needed to remove the deadbeat dead weight boyfriend from my life, it helped me land the job I have today and keep it, it allowed me to finally confront and apologize/forgive a tormentor, it has allowed me to watch over and protect my little gifted spawn as she gets closer to her teen years, and it has ultimately brought my family together with my boyfriend moving from Oklahoma to here. I even think that some of his outgoing personality changes are because I have influenced him slightly, but I don’t want to brag.
The most recent in my bold moves was to speak to my adviser at school and find out if I could switch a writing and communications elective to a photography class so I could finish my degree with an elective I would really enjoy rather than a bunch of written papers.
Clearly (see this blog), I write enough papers and words!
The cool part was that it was possible and I did get into the course. Now I will have 4 classes that aren’t so bad – nothing with intensive writing, courses I will likely learn things about myself and my craft, and all because I was brave and bold enough to not settle and ask for something different.
In other related events, I wrote today about being undefined. I was speaking mostly about how my youth helped influence that aspect of me. I have never really been a “stay in the lines” kind of girl. Sure, I followed legal rules (mostly), I did my homework and overachieved (but because I wanted to), but I was not conventional in the slightest. I wanted golf pants and purple contacts, I wanted pink hair and metallic silver jackets, but I also wanted to play soccer, write poetry, play football, wrestle, have a teenage job, get good grades, and tell it to people straight.
For me, being undefined or undeclared is a great way to be in this world. Keeps you fluid and not bound by certain standards. In essence, it is quite freeing. You are not the sum of the things you do or ways you think or who you pray to, you are YOU. Wonderful, glorious YOU.
You are who you want to be at any minute of every day.
So, how this ties back in?
Well, that’s easy.
You are who you want to be so if you want to be bold and be brave, then do it. If you want to be the hermit in the shell for 5 minutes because the world feels hard, then do it, but don’t let one moment in your life define how each moment thereafter is and don’t let one temporary mindset dictate the way the rest of your life will be.
There are a lot of moments and mindsets that we will all work through in life and not one should be the defining characteristic of who we are.
Enjoy each breath and Namaste you lovely people! ♥