We told a really personal story on the internet this week. Scary. Maybe a little bit brave. If we can all be a little bit braver, I know we can change the world together.

 

Guys. It’s been a WEEK.

My husband broke his ankle, the toddlers have decided to launch a unilateral strike on happiness, and we put something very personal out on the internet about our relationship and Nick’s transition.
All this has left me feeling a little bit raw and naked, like one of those dreams where you look down and realize you forgot to put any pants on that day.
How was your week?
I’m guessing you probably didn’t write about your husband’s gender transition this week, or handle hateful comments on your facebook page, and I certainly hope, for your sake, that your toddler did not spit out the food you cooked for her because it was so terribly terrible. (These things are funny about ten minutes later, but in the moment I had to go put MYSELF in time out to go breathe in the kitchen for a minute before I could wade back into the fray and be a grownup, LOL.)
But I bet your week was hard. I bet it was hard because life is always hard, and messy, and as Glennon Doyle calls it, “brutiful”– beautiful and brutal at the same time. But I hope that it had flashes of joy in it, too. The flashes of joy are their own kind of truth.
My flashes of joy this week were purple hyacinths, and an unbelievably delicious steak that Nick grilled for us, and a new candle that smells like pipe tobacco, and the poem that one of our daughters wrote and read bashfully aloud, and the briefest moment when the baby leaned his head in on my shoulder and just rested it there. {OHMYHEART}
It’s hard to stay tuned in to it all right now, because the joyful things are so good that they almost hurt, and the terrible things are so very terrible AND ridiculous (basically I am having the same response to current politics as my toddler had to my casserole– gagging on it).
It’s important that we don’t just keep choking down bad news. We talked last week about finding bigger better energy sources to plug ourselves into.
But all this intensity is also making me look with clearer eyes at those little bits of hilarity and joy and connection that happen right there in the midst of the dishes and the time-outs and the diapers and the email. There’s nothing like imminent calamity to make us realize how much we’ve been taking for granted….you know, tiny things like a semi-functioning democratic process.
So I’ve been trying to be braver. Nick and I both have.
And that’s part of the reason that we shared such personal details in that interview (which you can read here on the Yes And Yes blog if you’re interested in our love story and Nick’s transition). Back when we started talking about Nick’s transition, this was exactly the kind of story we tried to find, and couldn’t. We found a lot of scary, depressing stories, but none that helped us know what to expect. Most of what we could find seemed to have been written by people who were either very sad or very angry and didn’t have a lot of support in handling those intense emotions.
It’s scary, any time you put your personal story out there. It feels a lot like standing on a podium feeling the wind whip through your legs.
We’ve only been married a few months, and there’s a very good possibility that we will look back on what we wrote in a few years and feel mortified by it.
But we decided that one of the most helpful things we know how to do right now is to share our in-process story as it unfolds, without the 20-20 hindsight that we’ll have on it in a few years. There’s such a tendency to only share with the world the parts of life that are polished and complete: the book deal, the triumphant merger, the perfectly staged vignette. I think there’s real value in sharing how the process unfolds as we go.
As I’m typing this, I can hear Nick next door, recording a podcast interview, talking about how he’s become so much more of a feminist now that he’s experienced first-hand how differently the world treats men. Brave.
If we all can be a little bit braver, imagine what a difference that will make.If we all can be a little bit braver, imagine what a difference that will make. Click To Tweet
Ready, loves? Let’s all brave together, now!
Just a LITTLE bit. Find a spot where you’re already pretty brave, and see if you can stretch yourself just a weensy bit bigger. Or find a place where you’re totally scared to death and find a teensy tiny brave thing you can do (that won’t look even remotely brave to anyone else but will leave you with your heart pounding).
Your brave might not be telling your story; it might be speaking up in a meeting or writing a new policy or joining the preschool board or planting a garden or debunking fake news or or or OR any number of things. I believe that all these things, they MATTER.
That’s how we shape the world around us. Tiny bits of bravery, keep telling our truth, and sucking down flashes of joy wherever you can find it.

much love,

Anna
P.S.  And in the midst of everything going on, I’ve started recording interviews for a brand new series I’m brewing up– and you GUYS!!! You are going to love them SO MUCH!!! I’m getting a contact bravery high from talking to these incredible wise mentors and visionaries, and I can’t wait for you to hear them too. We’re getting reeeeallly close to having the first of these ready for you, so keep your eyes peeled for an announcement about that very soon!
P.P.S. One more thing because it’s that kind of a week! Nick and I are both making room for more interviews in our schedule in the coming weeks, so if you’ve ever wanted to interview me for your podcast/blog/series, send me the deets!

How to set boundaries when you're a kind, empathic human.

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