Whether you are selecting a major or career, joining a student organization or deciding on whether to wear plaid with polka dots, it is brave to be your best self.
When folks beg you to fit into someone else's clothes - into a box. Be yourself.
You cannot breathe there,
Force fit into what is unfit for you,
Into a thing for which you do not care,
Deeply breathing someone else's air.
This is not a post about forgetting familial or community responsibilities. Not at all. Part of the reason, I remained in the Capital Region for so long is my commitment to the people I served in the community. I am merely talking about being stuck, because you are not being true to yourself. I have seen many students that are miserable and struggle academically because they are living out someone else's dream or, perhaps, because they are holding on to the dreams of their younger selves, not allowing personal growth to take place. When you were 12, perhaps you wanted to be a doctor, but now, you may want to be an economist. Perhaps, it is difficult for you to pursue economics, because you, and everyone around you, have seen yourself as "future doctor" for the last 6 years. You feel as if no one will understand or respect the changes you want to make. You may also feel like a failure because you are making a change. The thing is, you always had the freedom to change your mind despite potentially disappointing those around you. Oh, what an amazing thing it is when a person, finally makes the decision to be honest with themselves and to be their best self. The smiles are more frequent. The GPA rises. Family and friends see the change and show their support. Life begins. Love yourself enough to be that person.
I follow A Mighty Girl via Facebook and Twitter. A few days ago, they posted the following:
After being asked by a reader "What is Brave?", blogger Glennon Doyle Melton recounted an experience that made her come to understand that "brave does not mean what we think it does... Brave is very specific and extremely personal.” In her post, Melton talks about her own experience with her daughters’ two different kinds of bravery, which she saw when she took them both to get their ears pierced.
“When it was our turn, my younger daughter took a deep breath, climbed into the chair, closed her eyes and said, ‘OK! I'm ready!’ The piercer smiled and laughed and several onlookers said, ‘Look at her! So brave! That little one is so brave!’” But when her older daughter hesitated, “Everyone looked at her expectantly and the piercer waved her over, but she stood still and said in a small voice, ‘I changed my mind. I'm not ready today.’ Before I could speak, the well-meaning piercer said, ‘Sure you are, sweetie! Be brave! Your little sister did it! It doesn't hurt at all!’”
Melton says, “We have to teach our children (and ourselves) that caution is often a sign of courage. That often NO is as brave an answer as YES. Because the little girl who says no in the face of pressure to pierce her ears or jump off a cliff might become a bigger girl who says no in the face of pressure to bong a beer or bully a peer. Whether her answer is YES OR NO -- give me a little girl who goes against the grain, who pleases her own internal voice before pleasing others.”
She writes, “If we are going to tell our kids to be brave, we must also tell them what brave means…. It does not mean ‘being afraid and doing it anyway.’ Nope. Brave means listening to the still small voice inside and doing as it says. Regardless of what the rest of the world is saying. Brave implies wisdom.” So, she says, “Sometimes brave means letting everyone else think you're a coward. Sometimes brave is letting everyone else down but yourself. [Younger daughter] Amma's brave is often: loud and go for it and [older daughter] Tish's brave is often: quiet and wait for it. They are both brave girls. Because each is true to herself.”
So when the piercer challenged Tish to go ahead, urging her to be brave, Melton instead told her daughter, “Wow. That is so brave, honey. Even though all these people are here and want you to do this to your ears -- you listened to yourself instead of to them. I am so proud of you. Trusting yourself to make decisions about your own body is so brave. You are brave, Tish, in your way. Just like Amma is brave in her way. Let's go. You'll know when you're ready. I trust you to know.” So, she says, “Brave is: To Thine Own Self Be True. And Brave parents say: I trust you, little one -- to Be Still and Know. I'll back you up.”
As usual these songs will show my age - fully. Enjoy!
Welcome! My name is Rachel Moody. I post weekly announcements and messages to motivate and inspire my UAlbany advisees, and any one else who visits. Comments are welcome! While you are here, have a virtual cup of tea!