Taking On a Challenge
Monday, December 26, 2011
Yesterday I was excited to find a journaling/blogging team here on Spark! I was going to start one, but since I found one with challenges and prompts, I was elated to join in the fun! So the first challenge or prompt that I found was to journal about something I did that was bolder than normal.
Here's my story. My bold moment is boldness itself, something I pretty much have lacked most of my life. One thing I've learned from the years is to make sure to define your words in order for others to understand what you are talking about. So, when I talk about being bold, I'm referring to having great confidence, a strong enough faith in yourself that you are willing to take risks knowing there is a chance the less desirable outcome occurs. That was not me, and to a point it still isn't, but I am a lot more bold now than I was a year ago. I am not a risk taker, I'm happy that way. I am a person who likes routine, I like to know what to expect, and I expect people to act in a way that is appropriate for the situation. Many would disagree with this, but I do lack the flair of imagination I had when I was a kid, choosing to play with my "toys" the way they were intended. In interviews I freeze at any question requiring me to describe something innovative I've done...me innovative? Doesn't that require imagination??? I spend hours preparing for questions like this figuring out what I've done and how I can spin it into an innovative way. I am not good at thinking on my feet that way, lol, but I don't want others to know. I get better at it when I'm more comfortable with my surroundings, so the ability is there, but it's shy and doesn't like to show itself unless it's good and ready.
Anyway, getting back to boldness, this is why boldness itself is so unique to me. For me there isn't really one situation, it's a progressing change with experience that is teaching me to become more bold in all of my decisions the older I get. My first real bold decision was to start dating my husband. In my eyes, he was a risk. He was someone I met from another town and I received mixed messages from various people who knew him, and even those people I didn't know all that well. I took a risk, and it scared me to no end. I didn't know if it was the right decision, I didn't know if I was acting like an idiot around him, I didn't know what he thought of me, I didn't know if he was just using me only to toss me away when he was done playing. I was in a foreign situation. I was small town, he was bigger small town (perspective, I grew up in a town of 1500, he grew up in a 'city' of 30,000). I had fun, but I was still reserved. It took me a long time to really become comfortable in the relationship, and I'm glad I stuck with it since we've been together for 13 years now!
My most recent bold moment occurred sometime in the past year, but I really don't know when it took place. My husband deployed for a year. This is nothing new to us, he has deployed before, and I did just fine. This time, however, I had to quit my job, stay at home 24/7 taking care of 2 toddlers! One of whom couldn't speak yet! I was scared, tired, angry, depressed, conflicted (happy I didn't have to work, but upset with the sacrifices that meant, as well as knowing I loved the job I had and really didn't have much of a choice). I felt I was stripped of all my control, everything was new to me, but I was in a completely familiar place. I was lost and didn't know how to find my way back to me. I was a mother. Period. It's amazing how easy it is to forget you are so many other things when you become a mother, especially when it's a mother full time! I forgot about being me. My husband has been home a month now, and I can't remember what hobbies I liked to do, nor can I find the time to do them even if I did remember, lol! Don't worry, I'm working on it and I'll get there, it just takes time to adjust. Getting back to my bold moment, it was the time when the pity party stopped and I began to regain control of my situation. I also started realizing that some of the things I thought were important once, such as the opinions of others, wasn't important to me anymore. I was able to be bolder in my conversations because I didn't worry I would offend. I was more confident in my decisions even though I often had people questioning what I did. I became a stronger person because of this past deployment. As much as I hate sharing my husband with the American public, I always find the silver lining, and each time I am forced to deal with things "alone" I find I become just a bit more bold in my life.
For me, I don't do things that are bolder than normal. My boldness evolves. It grows with me. Once I've done something bold, that is the new level I am comfortable to attain and it becomes my norm. I am happy with this, it means I am getting more confident and able to take more risks. Greater risks often means there is more to lose....but it also means there may be more to gain :) I've taken a lot of risks since my initial risk with my husband. I don't regret any of them and even though not all have turned out as expected, I've learned something from all of them and I've become a better person from each of them.
Go forth and be bold sparkers! You might be pleasantly surprised what you learn about yourself :)