What makes us brave?

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done? The next bravest thing you’ll do?

I am a sucker for resolutions, Mondays, New Years, the first of the month, the first of anything. I believe strongly in new beginnings, second chances, even a Mulligan or two.

With the clock winding down on 2016 and a spanking clean slate ahead of me for 2017, I’m in a highly excited state of What-if and Why-not!? I feel a dose of gumption coming on.

Of course, there can be a fine line between bravery and hubris. Like when you ignore every instinct in your body and all outward signs that you’re about to do something really, really dangerous, and plunge forward obliviously because you simply don’t believe harm can befall you.

Having survived hitchhiking alone throughout the North American west, a few endurance races for which I was criminally unprepared, and some recreational activities we need not discuss, it’s safe to say I’m older, wiser, and decidedly more boring. Well, at least I’m older and more boring.

Bravery has a different meaning for me now. It requires comprehension of the risk, and a conscious decision to forge ahead.

I’m not too proud to claim these recent acts of bravery:

Six years ago I started law school at age 40, at night, while working a full time executive job. Now I’ve walked away from a comfortable career because I had this burning vision and desire to grow in new directions, and signed a lease on an office to make that vision of a femme-powered, badass business law firm a reality.

Last year I accepted an invitation to speak on a panel in front a room full of strangers about my experience as a birth mother. I knew that it would be different than standing on a stage and sharing something from my professional experience. It cracked me open to a state of raw vulnerability I had not imagined. I made an ass of myself ugly crying and hurling snot at the poor, horrified adoptive parents in the front row. I would say yes again to the opportunity but I don’t expect to be asked.

This fall I accepted an invitation to be the alumni speaker at my law school’s graduation, to be among the first to address newly minted attorneys entering the profession at this historic time of defiance against the rule of law. I’ll know soon whether anyone throws rotten eggs at me.

Will I be brave in 2017? I hope so.

I’m looking forward to keeping my commitments, surrounding myself with doyennes of all kind, preparing for races, and lots and lots of learning. And one last thing: staying vulnerable. Got a question? Looking for encouragement to take a leap? Ask me anything. I’ll do my best to share candidly, even painfully. Except maybe about some of those unnamed recreational activities. Those will stay in the vault.

How about you? What acts of bravery will you conquer next year?

Published by

Megan M

Lawyer. Strategist. Rabblerouser.

4 thoughts on “What makes us brave?”

  1. I am going to learn how to manage a political campaign and work to get more women elected to public office.
    I want to learn more about voter suppression actions, from laws down to how ballots are processed, that occurred in many states and see if I can help empower those local groups to remedy. (I also practiced law for 12 years and feel like this is a way to use my experience since I don’t practice right now). I don’t really know where to start with this.
    I am also going to find a way to make my little passion business take off this year. I need to shift the business model I was introduced to a bit to suit my life/needs.

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