Brave is not how it feels.
This process of being vulnerable, exposing all of the ugly, silly, happy, crazy, hopeful, beautiful, dark, magnificent, scary and sad, to name a few, has made me feel a lot of things. Brave does not happen to be one of them. Hard at times, yes. Relieving at times, yes. Therapeutic mostly.
When I think about what brave means to me, I see men and women, in uniform, defending our freedoms. Police and first responders who run in when they are called, not out. Fighting the fight that someone like me would only do in a have-to situation, not a go-willingly kind of deal. Yet people see me as brave, and have commented the most awesome things. To speak on things no one wants to talk about, gives others a connection, and sometimes helps them find their own voice. These moments give me all. the. feels. and make it so rewarding. I appreciate ALL of the support more than you know, truly.
I guess I am doing what comes naturally for me, communicating facts, and maybe defending life and freedom comes naturally for others. Maybe it's not comparable at all. Vulnerability can be gut wrenching and impossible at times, but mostly it is so freeing. I do understand how it could seem brave, to someone who isn't quite as open-book as I am. I wasn't always in this place, and discretion is still VERY important to me. But I honestly don't know another way now. Everything I have ever kept under the raps of exposure has eventually need to be seen or heard, by myself or someone else. And like I always say, I am compelled to share, because I can.
Or maybe, I am just compelled. Who knows. (btw - new season of The Originals is finally out!)
Regardless, I do appreciate the kind words so very much. To a gal that has lived in various levels of hell throughout her life, positivity in all forms is like a breath of fresh air, compliments like a recharge of life. The impact all of you have on me is priceless, and always much appreciated.