Courage School

Courage School

Today is my 49th birthday and I am going to meticulously document my 50th journey around the sun. I want to arrive at October 13, 2018 happier, stronger, smarter, wiser, healthier, and braver than I am today. I’m not saying I am not happy, strong, smart, wise, healthy or brave, but I could be more so all these things. I am striving for brutal honesty and to tell all the stories. By telling the truth about the journey, I’m hoping to break the vise grip of my shame. I walk around burdened with irrational shame of such weight and magnitude that I can’t possibly thrive. A person cannot thrive wearing chains, even if those chains are imagined and of her own making. My whole metaphorical, highly dramatic, self induced, irrational, debilitating shamefest is ending over the next 365 days and if when October 13, 2018 arrives I am not completely and utterly free of all that crap, I will at least be more free than I am right now.

To put it most simply, I want to arrive at my 50th birthday giving zero fucks for real. I always say I give zero fucks, but the truth is that I still give one or two fucks and those one or two are doozies. It’s time to be done with all of those. The fucks keep you from doing what you want to do. The always looking over your shoulder, wondering what isn’t allowed, shutting down avenues, being afraid of the scrutiny, has served exactly no one. As the yogis say, let go of that which doesn’t serve you.

This journey isn’t one of self discovery, as we hear sometimes. I know exactly who I am and I have always known exactly who I am. I am too much.  

So, this is a journey into courage. I am going to spend 365 days teaching myself to be exactly what I am, unapologetically. I am too much and I have always been too much and pretty much every problem I’ve ever suffered came from failing so hard at being good when faced with the ever reemerging truth that I am not at all good in the way I was supposed to be. I am too much. The battle between exactly right and too much is probably what turned my hair curly.

When my son was a little boy and he was scared he would say, “I need courage school.” That’s what this year is about. This year is my courage school and I am going to learn to be too much until too much is exactly right.

And I’ll tell you some stories comprised in this picture another day, but that’s me, my beloved grandfather, and my newborn baby brother.

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