‘Tis a lovely trait to have, being brave, but it is not easily acquired. For a while, I’ve been trying to think of ways to write this without sounding arrogant or ungrateful toward my supporters. It is a fine line to walk between being a voice for many while also having the strength to continuously find my own. I walk blindly into the unknown most of the time without having a clear vision of what it is I’m looking for.
Most of the time, I am tired and a bit of a recluse outside of my job. I am not one for small talk and I’d rather write than say what I feel because I’m much better with a pen than a microphone. It’s mainly because my brain works faster than my mouth and my hands have an easier time keeping up. I prefer nights on the couch with my boyfriend or a cozy dinner with family over loud bars and crowded parties that give me sensory overload. Give me a good book and I’ll get lost in it for days.
When I started this blog, my intentions were unclear. I knew I wanted this to be a space for how I deal with my depression and anxiety, but I didn’t know it would create a ripple effect in so many others’ lives. I had no idea some of my seemingly jovial and extroverted friends were, in fact, quiet, anxiety-riddled souls like myself. I actually had people sending me Facebook messages and texts telling me how much my blog meant to them and how my words were making them feel less alone in this world.
Well, fuck, I thought. I suppose I should keep going.
Brené Brown writes:
Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language – it’s from the Latin word ‘cor’, meaning ‘heart’ – and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
So, I kept writing and scribbling and doodling and editing and openly putting myself out there. I made this platform into an honest space where I could freely share thoughts and opinions on mental health and even post some poetry–something I usually keep to myself. The more truthful my writing became, the more people emerged talking about their own struggles because they knew I would get it.
I tell the story with my whole heart. In turn, I believe the universe rewards us for baring our souls and following our own truths. I never expected people to really follow my story and be inspired to live comfortably in their own skin, faults and all! It has been humbling and rewarding and full of life lessons.
Which is why we must all find within our souls to be brave. We cannot (and must not) stop telling our stories. We have to be ready for criticism (because let’s face it–that will obviously occur), but our burning desire to create change must be louder than the little voice telling us to give up.
For a long time, the overwhelming presence of nerves stifled my creative process, my voice, my ideas. Now, I’m still nervous but in a completely excited-nervous kind of way. And as soon as we succumb to our bravery, a whole new chapter unfolds bringing with it the most amazing opportunities.
Tell your story and tell it with your whole heart.
And never stop being brave.