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.

SoCS 2

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.