All those years I scoffed at celebrity interviews – “I didn’t really know myself until my forties” – mocking their attempts to make what looked like a decidedly uncool decade sound awesome. I mean, forty is old. Forty is middle aged. What good can come of that?
The hubris of the young is not new to my kids’ generation.
I am the bravest person now that I have ever been. I thought it took bravery to get through life’s challenges ’til now, and it did. It took strength and determination and a courage I didn’t always have, but here I am in my forties having earned every wrinkle and gray hair on my head.
Back then I dug deep to slay dragons from the world, but these days I’m staring down the demons within. And the enemy inside can be as smooth as a lemonade salesman on a hot summer day.
I’m my bravest when I stand up to the voice that says I’m not enough – as a mother, a wife, a writer, a person. When I meet that sower of doubt with feet planted firm and a fire in my eyes it withers and dies. I am enough.
I’m at my bravest when I swat down the nagging doubts that whirl around my mind like moths at a porch light. When I question how I handled a dispute, relive a mistake I made, or berate myself for dropping a ball – it’s all too easy to get sucked into that spiral of beating up on myself until I bottom out with “I’m such a screw up.” I used to do this daily, and it’s not that I don’t anymore so much as I recognize when it starts. Now it’s I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.
I’m at my bravest when I face the hard feelings. The uncomfortable ones that make me want to eat or sleep or numb the pain in a dozen other ways. When I sit with my anger, discomfort, frustration, fury, or sorrow and just let it move through me, understanding that I can’t “do” it away.
I was surprised to find that handling my own business is actually harder than any world problem I tried to confront. When I’m at my very bravest I remember everything I need is in me, I just need to find my way back to it.
Linda’s weekly Stream of Consciousness prompt is open to one and all. Visit to participate or scroll to the comments for other participating blogs.
This week’s prompt: “-est.” Base your post on any word you can add the suffix “est” to.