Do you choose a word for the year to focus on? I’ve done it every year for since about 2013 I think, and sometimes I stick to it, and some times I don’t.
This year, the word I’ve chosen is “daring”.
My son and I were talking about how, before I got married the last time, I was pretty much fearless. I was a single mother and I quit my job to go back to university, and quite honestly I thrived in that academic environment more than I have ever done in my life. I’ve often toyed with the idea of going back for a Ph.D. but I haven’t taken that plunge yet. (And that’s a story for another day.)
Back to being daring…
My ex-husband was really abusive. He never hit me, but he was emotionally and verbally abusive. And controlling. He drove all my friends away, and by the time he left, I had nothing. I’ve written about it a bit before, how I felt lower than worm-slime and how it’s taken me years to get even a little of myself back.
I’m getting a little off-track here… I don’t usually write a lot of personal stuff, but that’s part of my whole new daring attitude for the new year. To share more, to be more open, to dare to put myself out there and see what happens.
Because I used to be really daring. When I quit my job, I had asked for a raise. I’d been there about six years I think at that time, and I felt I deserved more than I was getting. Instead of getting raise what I got was pretty much a “You’re a single mother. We don’t have to give you a raise, because you can’t afford to quit.” I think I surprised them all when I handed in my notice after I got accepted to not one, but two universities.
I was daring when I chose to come to Peterborough and Trent. I could have stayed home and gone to a different school where I could have commuted and still lived with my father. I often wonder what would have happened to my life if I’d made the other choice. (Again, a story for another day).
And I haven’t really been very daring since.
My marriage knocked every last ounce of fearlessness, daring, and self-confidence I had out of me. Even my son tells me I’m too wimpy now. He told me that he’s told the story of how I quit my job to some of his friends and they all are impressed that I was strong enough to do that. But I’m not now. And quite frankly I’m sick of it.
So in 2018 I’m taking back my brave (as the song goes), and I’m taking back my daring and everything that goes with it.
I will dare to be myself, to be open, to put myself on video and embrace Facebook live. I will dare to be the healthy, fit person I used to be… only better.
I will dare to try new things and meet new people, and become the person I know I can be without all the fear that weighs me down.
I will be “Daring Ruthie” and I will love every minute of it.
That’s my story, and my word. What’s yours?