30 Days Braver: Day 1

Yesterday evening I began a new adventure! The name of this adventure is: 30 Days Braver. I've had a greeting card taped to my refridgerator throughout the last couple of years; it has been up for so long I don't even notice it anymore. It says, "Do one thing every day that scares you. - Eleanor Roosevelt."

When my brother was here visiting for graduation two weekends ago, he randomly asked me, "What did you do today that scared you?" Not realizing what he was talking about, I said, "Huh?" Then he said, "Like it says on your refridgerator." It has been about 10 days since he asked me that question, and I have been thinking about it ever since. The truth is, most days I don't do anything that scares me. I try to stay within my comfort zone. But, for the next 30 days, that is going to change. I am going to do at least one thing every day that scares me, one thing that pushes me outside of my Emily bubble. It is my hope that some days will include larger-scale activities(hoping to spend an afternoon with a grave digger within the next month), and some days will include smaller-scale activities (I've always been afraid to string my own guitar). Some days I will have a planned, organized activity outside of my comfort zone, and some days I will just "go with the flow," ready to encounter 'something scary' right when it pops up.

I plan to write about the 30 days here on the blog. The image at the top of this entry that will be the central logo for 30 Days Braver is a photo I took 2 weeks ago. It is of some small green patches of grass growing out of a narrow crack between two rocks down by the lake. These grasses are fearless. Against all odds and without the proper growing space, they push themselves, growing beautifully within a space that would otherwise be only rock. I hope that the next 30 days will be a time of increased personal awareness, courage, strength, and - of course - laughter and fun. I hope you'll join me. Here's my first report:

Day 1: Yesterday, I stopped what I was doing and trusted my gut. This was the first stop on my quest for a braver self. I was headed from the school over to my apartment when I encountered a fellow who is on what I would call "the periphery" of my general base of social contacts. We'd never had a real conversation before, but we always say hello to one another. Last night I said "Hello" and he responded without looking up, an uncharacteristic behavior for this generally-friendly guy. Normally, I would probably just have kept walking because I would be scared of saying or doing something awkward, strange, or offensive. Sometimes people are just having a bad day and they don't want to be bothered. But I said, "Hey, how are you?" He responded as I had anticipated,"Fine." We all say "fine" even when we are the opposite. *Brief silence.* Then I was really feeling like I should just get back to my apartment, but I felt that inner-gut squeeze telling me to ask just one more question. All I could come up with was to ask about the one person in his life I know anything about. So I did and asked, "How's your son?" Well, that was the ticket. We talked for about an hour. I won't go into the details. It was a conversation that I will always remember filled with laughter and a few tears. There is basically nothing I treasure more than real, authentic conversation, so I am so thankful I decided to just do something that scared me - and talk to him - even though I wasn't sure he'd really want to chat. Day 1: Complete.

I'm looking forward to the rest of today; I have no idea what I will do today that scares me, but I'm almost excited for it. Almost.


  1. Oh Emily, good job!! I'm excited to read about the next 29 days and see how God gives you the strength to do something for his glory!

  2. awesome Em! Sometimes just going with the flow is brave. I look forward to hearing about more gifts that you receive (and give) as you continue your quest!

  3. this is very cool. looking forward to hearing about how the rest of your journey goes!