A bumper crop today. Three completed challenges, one blog post (isn’t that a video?).
I’m not a very brave person and it really bugs me. I have friends and colleagues who would jump on stage at the drop of a hat or step into a confrontation to defend the underdog or just…take a chance, go out on a limb, without a second thought.
I have that second thought. And then a third, fourth and fifth. And sometimes I act, but often the moment’s passed before I muster up the guts to make the decision to just be a bit braver.
I’ve decided to work on the assumption that bravery isn’t something that you possess or lack, it’s not an innate quality but something that you need to practice in order to be good at. And the challenges I’m finding the most rewarding are, like the three below, the ones that require me to commit tiny acts of bravery in my every day life. Here’s hoping they all add up and I become a Pavlov’s dog of fearlessness.
Chess (the musical)
The idea of singing solo karaoke, even (especially?) with my close friends fills me with dread. I’m not sure why, it must be something about the microphone-holding, everyone-looking, voice-quavering terror of it all. But Frankie and Emma, being good eggs and karaoke-pros, took me out on the town to complete Phil’s challenge and you know what, we had a bloody ball.
There’s no video evidence (thank the old gods and the new) but they can vouch that I sang solo a couple of times (including doing Wrecking Ball again, I’m obsessed!) as well as the three of us pulling out some cracking group numbers. We definitely gave Elaine and Babs a run for their money.
Hair (not the musical)
I think I’ve had the same haircut since I was 6. Whenever I’ve thought about trying a new style or a bold fashion choice I’ve always shied away from it in case I looked too try-hard, too desperate. As a self-identifying ugly duckling I guess my hair, makeup, clothes have always sat centrally in the middle of the road to mitigate that innate fear of someone giving me a long hard stare and saying “eww, gross”.
I just read that back. How fucking depressing is that?! It makes me a bit furious at myself for letting the feminist side down and a bit furious at THE WORLD and SOCIETY and THE PATRIARCHY for the subtle indoctrination that’s got me to this point.
I feel like I have a much longer journey with this; I’m not going to kick all of my insecurities by the time I hit 30. But voicing them, naming them, typing it down in black and white is a helpful thing I think, and it’s only a small step along the road but Laura’s challenge has encouraged me to say a big fat FUCK IT to all of that bullshit. Because – and this may be the most cheesy thing I’ve said on this self-indulgent blog so far – the only person who needs to happy with the way I look is me. And I’m working on that. And I love my new purple hair, And everyone else can go jump.
Kate R’s challenge was another one I was kind of dreading because I didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of other people. That fear of failing, of cringing embarrassment, is both RIDICULOUS and sometimes UTTERLY PARALYSING, and it genuinely holds me back from pursuing interesting projects. It’s 100% THE THING I want to try and put behind me before I hit 30.
Yet again, my wonderful friends helped me step up and face this one with good humour and plenty of G&Ts, shout out to Nadia, Marney, Sarah, Kate H and Katell. Kate R put us in touch with the amazing Dale of FlexN Manchester fame and we had a couple of high intensity hours of top rocks, 6-steps, CCs (sisis? ceecees? the internet won’t tell me) and goofing around like idiots.
Did we look like this?
Those two hours confirmed that I have zero swag and even less upper body strength, but it was a great workout, brilliant fun and something I never would have done without 30x30x30. Next stop, Breakin’ Convention.