for some reason the word "bold" struck me today. i had read a blog post about the idea that the way that you tell "your story" shapes your life. the author mentioned that she was striving to tell her story in a bolder way. and i started thinking "would my story have a bold protagonist? would people describe me as bold? does pink hair equal bold? can i be bolder?"
approaching difficult conversations, interactions, or situations with an attitude of love: BOLD.
i used to talk about "when i developed bulimia" before my lifecoach insisted i change it to "when i chose to start binging and purging." it took me a while to incorporate that language choice into my lexicon, but, when i did, it actually became easier to talk about. owning my behaviors put me in the protagonist's role: i was no longer a victim of circumstance; i was no longer "sick" or someone to be pitied; i was not blaming anything in my life on anyone else.
i hear people every day attribute their perceived failures, big or small, to outside circumstances. if we consistently think that our life outcomes are outside of our control, we are let off the hook of taking action. but if we recognize that we can take ownership over our pasts, of our decisions and choices, of where we are currently in our life, we can move forward boldly.
and the best part is that it is never too late to take that ownership. it is never too late to change your perspective on your story, or the way you convey it to other people. this week i had a first date with someone. during this date, i talked freely about my part in the ending of my marriage, among other things that could be interpreted as life-fails. my date listened to part of "my story" and then replied with "wow, i didn't expect to hear that; thank you for sharing that in such an honest way."
that whole marriage-ending story is one i haven't quite mastered all of the boldness in yet. i tend to say "when my husband left me" or "when my husband moved continents without telling me" because of the drama of these statements. but no one has never complimented me on those re-tellings. a few chuckles or embarrassed side-glances, perhaps, but nothing more.
the relationship stories can be some of the most challenging to own. because there is always another person there: there is always another person that can be blamed. so it can be difficult to take the words and actions that are ours within a relationship, and to own the effect they have on the outcomes. we have to let go of the hurts enough to release the want to blame the other person for the story's ending.
and sometimes we might not even know how we got to a relationship's ending. one of my friends recently blogged about the struggles of today's dating world. and believe me, i know. owning my story in unexplainable situations is very challenging--when i think that i have acted as a bold individual but feel that i have received fear in return, the boldness can feel worthless... but i think that knowing where relationship outcomes are not directly related to ourselves is also pretty bold.
i don't want to be let off the hook in any area of my life. i want to take ownership. the shift we can make and the power we create for ourselves through such boldness is impressive. we get to decide. we get to act. we get to create. we get to be the author.
and fuck, i think that's all any of us want.
today, i choose to be bold.