So you all know that I’m all about being brave and doing things outside of your comfort zone – maybe even things that scare you. Being brave can mean a lot of different things – it can mean showing up when you’re scared, it can mean going on a first date after a long time of not dating, it can mean going somewhere alone that you’ve never been before, it can be standing up for yourself to people who may not understand you, and it can be so much more. Bravery can be from the smallest actions of the day to the biggest choices of our lives, and sometimes we’re brave when we don’t even know it.
This past weekend my mom pulled out some papers in the basement that we’d been saving for years. Of course, these papers seemed so important at the time and we could “never part with.” But my brother and I went through the piles and picked out what we wanted to keep and what we wanted to get rid of. A lot of the papers were class notes from both our high schools. I came across Math Quizzes, English Essays, and Lab Reports. Most of it went straight to the recycling bin, but I stopped and looked at my 9th grade U.S. History Notes.
You know how when you ask people well out of their school days, “what’s your worst subject?” and they had an answer right away that was dripping with trauma. They would get this look in their eyes like they were back in that high school classroom and just as confused as they were 5, 10, or 15+ years ago? (Most of my friends answer Math, and they have a look of horror when I tell them that I enjoy math!)
For me it was history. I enjoyed social studies and history classes a lot, but the dates and timelines and the wars, just didn’t make sense.
Even now, History and Geography are “my worst subjects.” The problem is, when I had the opportunity to learn it and I had the chance to take all the classes I wanted to take, I had no interest in History. But now I’m wishing I did.
So the other day, I came across those History Matters videos, because someone I know watches a few every night to wind down! Side note – how cool is that? That after a long day of really tough work, that they come home and want to keep using their brain and learning. I really love that quality of lifelong learning (which I also decided will be the topic of my next podcast so GUESS WHAT! Podcast making a comeback!)
Context Part 2
So last night one of my best friends went to a Mitski concert by herself. First of all, Mitski is a star, but to go to a concert by yourself, that’s never something I would have the confidence to do. But my friend was so sure of it! She asked our group last week “Hey there’s a Mitski concert on Monday if any of you want to come, otherwise I’ll go myself” (paraphrasing).
All of us said no because a last minute concert on a Monday, at least for me, isn’t something that’s feasible right now. Then when I asked about her going herself, she said “Well it’s a concert, I’m not going to be talking to people! I’ll be listening to the music and enjoying myself” (again, paraphrasing). And that’s it! Then yesterday, she went to the concert herself and had a GREAT time!
Then I wonder, why don’t I do that more? Not going to concerts alone, though I should probably look into doing that too, but just doing things that make me happy because they would make me happy!
Wrapping it all together
Anyway, in a really circular way, I’m now going to get to my point.
So now, back to my History story.
First of all, I think it was brave of me to admit that history was my worst subject to all the people who are reading this post – however few or many that may be. I’m not as bad as Rachel in that Pottery Barn episode of FRIENDS where she only knows about the Colonial Times and can’t think of any other period in history, but, I’m much closer to Rachel on the Knowledge of History spectrum than I am the “History Buff” side.
Second, now I’m going to try something new and “get out of my comfort zone” as it were, and go back and learn. It’s something that would make me happy, and I want to become well versed in past historic events!
Signing up for Coursera courses to learn a subject might not be an intuitively brave thing to do, but it is to me! To balance everything between work, other relearning I’m doing (Antitrust to prepare for the Fall), and other responsibilities pulling me in different directions, I’m quite excited I took the leap and signed up for the course. It’s a 2 month course so hopefully you’ll hear about how it’s going in my new podcast episode, or maybe I’ll give a little update in a future post.
“You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.”Brené Brown
Real talk, how many blog posts is that now that I’ve referenced a Brene Brown quote?
So why don’t we all do that more? Just do things that are scary because we want to do them? I challenge you to do something brave, new, or outside of your comfort zone today/this week! Let me know how your day filled with bravery goes 🙂
Until the next time I’m brave,
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