The Reality of “Let’s Be Brave”

The Garden (Michael Nesmith album)

Last year I posted about a dream I had in which a young Michael Nesmith came to me and said, “Let’s be brave”. And I decided that it was a great idea and these were words I should live by.

I declared it my new motto.

Almost a year later I can safely say that I haven’t been too good about living up to those words.

In some ways, I have. Little ways. I bit the bullet when it came to my sewing, pushing aside the idea of making a mistake and wasting a shirt or a pair of jean or a handkerchief and turning those things into bags and skirts and dresses.

I’ve self-published a couple of novellas in that time and I’ve been less shy  about being a writer, though I’m still pretty restrained when it comes to bugging people to read what I’ve published.

I’ve given fewer fucks about what people think about me and I’m embracing who and what I am and I’m less afraid about being that person in front of everyone more and more.

But in a lot of important ways, I’m still a coward.

My life has advanced very little. My need for security keeps me petrified. My ability to make money being tied to my self-esteem, my inability to be more creative about making money, the constant berating that goes on in my head about not having a “real” job and how everyone judges me as a failure for it, those things I haven’t been brave enough to even face, let alone conquer or let go.

I still can’t ask for help; my ego won’t allow it. I’m not brave enough to admit that it’s okay to ask for help and that, maybe, people would be willing to help me. I’m not a failure for asking for help, even if I feel like I am and like I don’t deserve it.

I’m still ashamed of so many aspects of my life. The bravery that I feel when facing them falters when I have to admit them to other people. I still have too many fucks to give in that department.

And don’t even get me started on the downright terror that complete paralyzes me when it comes to matters of the heart.

Who would have thought that turning brave from chicken wouldn’t happen overnight? Or even in a year?

I acknowledge the progress that I’ve made and I hope to keep making more, but I can’t help but be disappointed that I haven’t gone farther in a year.

I’ll never be able to stitch “Let Be Brave” on a sampler if I don’t live up to those words.

Let’s Be Brave

“Let’s be brave” is my new motto. It’s advice I received from the most unlikely source.

A couple of weeks ago, I dreamed about Michael Nesmith of the Monkees. He appeared to me in this dream as he looked back in about 1966, with the wool hat and the denim jacket and the young face with great sideburns. And in this dream he suggested to me that we stage a 1950’s fashion show. I don’t know why he wanted to do that, but I loved the idea of it. And I told him so.

He told me that I shouldn’t love the idea, but that I should love that he was brave enough to have the idea and share the idea. Then he looked at me and smiled and said, “Let’s be brave.”

I woke up in love with that sentence. “Let’s be brave.”

Too many times I’ve found myself holding back because I was afraid. Afraid of how I might be judged for having an idea and putting that idea out into the world. I don’t want to be seen as a failure. I don’t want to be seen as stupid. I don’t want my ideas to be judged as stupid.

This fear of being judged is keeping me from being brave. I can’t get anywhere, doing anything, be anything if I don’t make some bold moves and give my ideas the respect they deserve. First of all, no one else will respect my ideas or support them if I don’t put them out there. And if people don’t respect or support my ideas, than I’m getting the same amount of respect and support I’d be getting if I didn’t tell them at all.

The point is to be brave enough to own and accept my ideas for all the world to see.

I’ve made small steps in doing that already. I posted a novel chapter on the blog for people to read. This is something I don’t do because I don’t like anyone to see what I’m working on. I don’t like talking about it. I don’t want anyone to know.

Well, that’s silly. I’m a writer. I write. Here’s what I’m writing. Enough with this chicken shit.

Enough with the yellow-streak down my back that’s effecting more of my life that just my writing. Yellow is a terrible color on me anyway.

Let’s be brave.