Leah Farmer

Personal perspectives on faith, literature, and life.

Courage leads to courage which leads to courage…

Through the years I have found that courageous acts tend to snowball into more courageous acts. I have found that to be true again these past few weeks.

Courageous Act #1
Deciding to bite my tongue and watch things unfold at work has involved courage for me. I’m an active participant in my own life and speak up when I feel there is injustice or wrong doing. But in this particular role, under these particular circumstances, I decided to just watch some of the interplay, do my job, and only speak when necessary for a few weeks to see where things go.
Good News: I’m valuable to my boss and have earned the respect of some of my coworkers and superiors.
Bad News: I’ve used bad judgement in trusting a few people and confirmed my suspicion that the company culture is a odd fit for me.
More Good New: I can work with my current situation while I wait for whatever changes come along (change is after all inevitable) and now my eyes open to make better decisions. I’ve also been reminded of the importance of having friends away from work.

Which leads us to…

Courageous Act #2
After several months of signing up for Meetup groups in Seattle and then cancelling at the last minute, a few week’s ago I finally went to a Happy Hour. This is courageous for me because I am super uncomfortable meeting new people. I am always convinced that no one in any new group of people will talk to me and I conjure up images of being ignored and treated horribly. Mind you…that has NEVER happened to me. And yet the imagination can be a crazy bitch and I can still get worked up every time. Now I’ve been to several meetups, tried a couple different yoga classes, have said yes to invitations for lunch or happy hour from people I’m meeting at work and out, and am slowly shaking this fear again and trying harder to give the chilly people of Seattle a chance.

This led to…

Courageous Act #3
Dating again. Uh…don’t get excited…I didn’t say I’ve been on any dates. I’m just willing to date again. After swimming through the entire dating pool of Albuquerque, I gave up a few years ago. If one more man without a job, living with his mother, with 3 kids from 3 different men asked me out I was going to SCREAM. So rather than take that chance, I just stopped being open to it. I dated in Denver…but somehow kept managing to date the same type of guy over and over and over. And since I didn’t have my medical marijuana card, me and the men of Denver didn’t have much in common. Then there was my brush with the past last summer. I ran into an ex and things heated up to a slow simmer between us. But ultimately nothing came of it. Which brings us to current times.
Willing.
Still picky.
Just willing.

And that brings us to…

Courageous Act #4
I needed a change. Something new to make me feel pretty. I needed to mark the changes I’ve been going through…emotional, physical, and financial changes. So after months (ok years) of wondering if I could be brave enough to do it, I cut my hair. It is SHORT! All day today I’ve been stunned by the girl in the mirror. I feel sassy…and I am EXCELLENT at sassy. I’m way cuter when I’m sassy.

And in some crazy, inexplicable way that takes us over to…

Courageous Act #5
For weeks I’ve been contemplating asking my mom and dad if they’d let me pay for them to join me on a long weekend in Northern California to visit with my dad’s family. For most people this seems innocuous enough. For me this is a painstaking decision that involves prayer, meditation, talking to my best friends, and daily decisions to “wait until tomorrow” or “next week” or “the weekend”. We do not have an easy relationship and being together could be great or really really hard. We could bond…or I could experience an emotional setback. And yet I couldn’t let go of the idea of inviting them. I watched my hair fall as Erin cut it yesterday and thought, “It’s only hair. It’ll grow back.” And a little voice said “It’s only an invitation. What have you got to lose?”

So today I took a deep breath, dialed the phone, and extended the invitation. As they take some time to think about the invitation and let me know, I am reminded that the reaction of the other is not what measures the act of courage.

What courageous thing do YOU need to try today? Before you chicken out, remember…

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3 Comments

  1. melanielynngriffin

    Wonderful post. I’m impressed on all counts.
    Today I did something that I have been wanting to do for….decades! I wrote out a mission statement and vision statement for my life. I’ve never really felt I had a good enough grip on who I was to do it before, so it took a lot of courage to say, OK, here’s who I am.
    And you’ll like this: one of the bits in my vision statement says this:
    “I am committed to being a life-long learner – I seek to challenge my mind and to walk through my fears and insecurities. I will try new things – I believe in my ability to be more than I am. I will reach farther than I think I can go.”
    Phew! Good luck with your parents. You will feel good about having extending the invitation, no matter what happens. Trust me, my parents are both gone now, and having a “no regrets” policy is best!
    By the way, since you’re a hippy chick, I hope you’ll consider becoming a Blogger for Peace.
    http://everydaygurus.com/2012/12/20/we-can-make-a-difference-right-here-right-now/

  2. Linda Pearl

    Pretty amazing! Can’t wait to see Courage Act #6, 7, 8 and …. are! It’s a secret, for now, but I know which one will be my favourite :)

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