On Bravery

I saw something on Instagram two days ago that has had my mind spinning around in circles. Big slow ones, turning the words over, examining them, thinking them through.

Bravery suits you.

Earlier this week, I found the journal that I kept just after things exploded. I read through it with an aching heart. Pages and pages filled with fear, and despair - abject terror, and confusion. I read the words and my heart went out to that frightened girl. That desperate version of me, that thought she would never ever survive it. The shame of divorce. Being alone. Being a single parent. Facing a future that abruptly didn't include a perfect family anymore. I would have done anything, anything, to keep my life the way it was.

Tomorrow will be five months to the day. And I have made a startling discovery. I am grateful for the last five months. For how they've changed me. For the lessons I've learnt, and continue to learn. For an awakening within myself, that has shown me the beauty in the flawed, the hope amidst the carnage, the joy in a beautiful sky or a rising moon. 

I have many friends who have walked their own road through shadows before me. Or are doing so now. We stand together, soldiers in the trenches. Forever changed - marked - by our experiences. The loss of a beloved parent. Debilitating illness. The death of a sunshine child. Divorce. Chemotherapy. A husband gone too soon. I thought of every single one of them when I read those words: bravery suits you.

Being forced to examine oneself is always a gift. It just doesn't look like it at the time. But when everything I thought I knew - about who I was, where my life was going, how my future was going to play out in it's picture-perfect consecutive scenes - was torn away, I was given the chance to look at ME. Who I am. Who I had become. The role I played in the slow death of a beautiful marriage. The person I would like to be. The lessons I would like to teach my daughter.

Five months. When I went for a run tonight, the sun was setting. And I looked at the sky, and I thought of all the things that tie up to form this messy, flawed package that is me. Sunshine, and shadows. A reader, writer, blogger, photographer, runner, traveller, friend, mama, provider. A bit broken, but then who isn't? Our pieces are what make us interesting.

Bravery suits me.

It's a rich life.  The future lies before us, a bright and shining thing. All we need is the courage to reach for it.


Oh. And speaking of running. Tonight I used the Nike + Running app for the first time. There are so many awesome things about it. But my absolute best is how it pauses automatically - pauses the run, the distance, the time - every time I get distracted. The setting sun. A bird on a wire. A bunch of tangled yellow jasmine. Drinking from a sprinkler.

So many distractions. 

It's a beautiful world, and I am glad for my corner of it.

~ m


Nat Goodchild said…
Hi my girl, beautifully written as always. Very poignant, reaches the soul. You are a brave and strong young woman.