2015 Word Check-In

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Happy Almost-Friday! For those of you who didn't know, the days of the week are Monday, not Monday, Almost Thursday, Almost Friday, Friday, and of course Saturday and Sunday. There, you learned something. Don't say you never learned anything from reading a blog.

Anyway, back in Februrary (which feels like it was approximately 300 years ago), I wrote a letter to 2015 and in it, I chose my word for the year: Brave. As you may recall, the beginning of 2015 was absolutely horrendous, but we survived, and I thought it would be nice to do a check-in to see how well I was living my intended word. In fact, I thought that this was such a good idea that I've decided that at the end of every month, I will post about what I did (or didn't do) to embody BRAVE for that month.

Brave is a noun, an adjective, and a verb. It can be made into a gerund, which is one of my favorite parts of speech. Essentially, the definition is "endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear," but I don't think that last part is necessarily part of my definition. My definition includes my favorite mantra, "You can be afraid and you can do it anyway." Obviously, some fear is good. Fear keeps us alive. It's good to be afraid of things like uncontrolled fire and falling off of cliffs and bears. It's when fear gets in the way of doing normal life that it's not so great. (See also: My entire existence.) I don't aim to eliminate fear or anxiety from my life; I aim to control it and let it out in reasonable doses when it makes sense.

I think we can all agree that January and February were trial by fire, as far as bravery was concerned. After the miscarriage, the subsequent D&C, the extended recovery period, the mental anguish of dealing with the loss of our baby, a second D&C because my body just couldn't get it together, and even more angst... I think I had brave covered pretty well. In fact, even if I wasn't particularly brave, the fact that I survived and didn't fail out of school or land myself in the hospital were small triumphs unto themselves. March was lightyears better, simply by virtue of not being January or February. I even did a few legitimately brave (to me) things!

On March 15th, I headed up to NYC to visit two friends. I have traveled to the city on multiple occasions, but never by myself. Usually. I am with Ken, who grew up on Long Island and is very familiar with trains and subways and not getting run over by people or cars. Even when I am with Ken, Penn Station gives me hives and I spend the entire time thinking about how death might befall me at any given moment. However, this time, I was on my own! I drove to the train station, got on the train to the city, and when I arrived in Penn Station, I didn't spontaneously combust! (Trust me, this was surprising.) I even managed to buy a MetroCard, get on the subway without dying, and walk from the subway station to Katie's apartment. I wanted to throw a parade! Instead, I snuggled Katie's twin girls and ate pizza and relaxed. 

Then, when I finished up at Katie's, I got back on the subway and took it to Battery Park (where I have never been) to see my friend, Steph. Fortunately, Steph gives amazing directions, so even when I got off the train and had no idea where I was, I was able to find her apartment without having to ask for help. I didn't leave Steph's until after 8, so it was dark, but I still found my way back to the subway and got back to Penn Station. The only hiccup was that when I exited the train at Penn, I somehow didn't stay underground to get back to the NJTransit part of the station, so I ended up outside and thought I was going to die and then miss my train because there were so many people. Neither of those things happened, and I returned safely to my suburban bubble, no worse for wear. I know it sounds stupid, but this was such a big achievement for me. Not a single meltdown, no getting lost. 

A couple of weeks later, I got on a plane in Philalpdehia and headed off on my whirlwind tour of the midwest! This initial part wasn't that exciting; I've flown by myself before dozens of times, and flying doesn't freak me out (most of the time). After my time in Lexington though, I rented a car and drove to Ohio and then Indiana, both states where I have never driven. Yes, I had a GPS and could have called multiple people to direct me in case I somehow got irreparably lost, but I did it! I also met and stayed with someone I had never met in person, which had the potential to be super awkward (but it wasn't!) Both trips, as different as they were, made me feel so empowered to do life on my own. It made me feel like a "real grown-up". It was weird! But cool. I definitely want to do more traveling on my own in the future, and I never thought I'd ever say something like that.

So that was my brave inventory for last month. I'll check-in again at the end of April to see what I did or didn't do this month, as far as bravery is concerned. What do you think? Did you pick a word for 2015? How do you define brave? Have you done anything recently that you never thought you'd do?


  1. I love this - you are definitely very brave! My word for 2015 is trust. This year is about trusting my body (this huge for me while in the midst of my infertility journey) and trusting good things will come to my life even when I don't know the how and what quite yet. Keep being brave :)

  2. Thanks! Trust is another great word, especially in the seemingly neverending process of having a baby! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I hope that good things come to you sooner than later. <3


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