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THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

Not too long ago, I came across a musician that I thought Michael would really like, so I sent him a link to her music. It’s Margo Price if you’re interested. She sounds like a young Loretta Lynn. Any way, I sent him a song or two and Michael was happy. Later, he asked me how I found out about Margo Price. I told him that sometimes, I just scroll through the new release section in Amazon Music and randomly pick a new album to listen to. Michael was shocked and exclaimed “That’s so brave!” I gave him a side eye and completely disagreed. “What if you don’t like it?” he argued. I shrugged and said “then I turn it off.” I think we have different definitions for ‘brave’.’

I recently watched Brene Brown’s Netflix special on bravery and vulnerability. There have been so many times in my life where I have been brave without ever even considering my vulnerability. I’ve thought nothing of the failure or the criticism to follow. I’ve just leaped right out of trees without considering broken bones. I will move quietly and slowely as close as I can to the buffalo for a picture without considering for a minute that I cannot out run him (get in the car, Cindy). I know that you can’t be brave without being vulnerable. I just, so often, ignored that part or avoided acts of bravery that required too much vulnerability.

My True Acts of Bravery

  • Graduate school

  • Getting back on my yoga mat after Jay died

  • Becoming a yoga teacher

  • Applying for a job I didn’t think I was smart enough for

  • Moving

  • Entering the world after Chris died

  • Online dating

  • My relationship with Michael

  • Saying goodbye to Dad in my own way

  • Making an appointment to see a therapist

  • Any time I let someone see me ugly cry because I’ve been hit hard by a grief wave

I’m sure there are more moments I could add to that list, but the ones listed above are moments that I remember the vulnerable parts more than the act of bravery. They are moments where I’ve truly been terrified of the failure and the criticism. They are moments where I have questioned myself the most. Oh lordy, have there been failures but so many lessons learned. After watching the Brene Brown special, I started thinking about how it’s been a while since I’ve done something truly brave, something that’s required me to lay myself open and exposed. Randomly choosing a new album from an artist I’ve never heard of does not count as something that requires any of those things.

Maybe it’s time to take another leap.