My Brave 2017 | Becky L McCoy
I have no expectations for 2017. I’m working on several projects and I’ve got a few dreams, but I’m not expecting any specific outcomes because, honestly, I have no control over the end results. I did pick one word for the year, but it’s more of a mindset shift than a tangible goal.
Even as I walk into 2017 with an open mind, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to be brave this year. How brave I am isn’t determined by my circumstances, but instead by how brave I choose to be. I get to decide right now how I’ll face the challenges that I’ll encounter this year. I can’t anticipate when or how they’ll manifest themselves, but I can make an intentional decision now that I will be brave in all the little things and the big things.
In 2017, I will feel more. As someone who swings to the left of center on the continuum of left/right brained-ness, I tend to intellectualize and over think every. single. silly. thing. and miss out on a lot of the beauty in the world; I’m so busy being my academic self that I often (and sometimes intentionally) end up avoiding a lot of the emotions that come with being alive.
Sure, some of the emotional numbness comes with great loss and long term grieving. That’s normal (and a healthy coping mechanism for a time). This year, though, I want to encounter the world around me, not just exist in it. I want to look at a sunset and feel its beauty, not just focus on how cool it is that light refraction causes so many colors. It’s super cool, in case you were wondering.
Practically, this means I’m slowing down. Instead of defaulting to over-researching every thought that crosses my mind, I’m taking more time to absorb the thoughts and explore how they makes me feel. I’m letting myself feel the deep, painful emotions that are coming now that Keith has been gone for two years and I’m doing more than just surviving. I’m not compartmentalizing feelings that seem to compete with each other: joy and sadness can coexist for no particular reason and I need to stop trying to explain why.
In a funny way, Libby and I are on the same journey this year. She’s about to turn 2 and is experiencing the full range of the emotions that come with toddlerhood. I feel like I’m starting all over and feeling all the things again for the very first time. I may also adapt a two year old nap schedule: this feeling thing is hard!
I love how stories help to inspire and encourage us, so I asked several friends to share how they are being brave in 2017. I’m really excited about all the ways this community of brave people has grown over the last year and I look forward to how it will continue to develop as we share and choose to live bravely together.