“Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage.
Just, literally, 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery
and I promise you something great will come of it.”
From the movie, We Bought a Zoo.
I’ve had a few 20 seconds of bravery of late. Today, I delivered my book to family members. Embarrassing anxious bravery. It took many teeny 20 second steps to do it.
Working title: Beyond All Imaginings. A true story of love, loss, life and beings who introduced themselves as faeries.
The book is full of stories I tell, some of you know about the crazy way faeries came into my life. But within this book, also, are the sad stories and the otherworldly stories that evolved from the sad ones; the stories that I’ve never told.
As it is a creative memoire of a 15 years period of my life, my family are in the story. Before it goes any further, I need to know they are comfortable with that. More than that, its been important to me that they know the stories I’ve never told.
Nobody has read my book. And how frickin’ crazy is it that family reads it first? Not that they are critical or judgmental of me. They are all pretty amazing. BUT family is not the place to first put your creative dream because they love you, care about you, and are most likely to be concerned about others being critical or judgemental of you. They don’t want you to be hurt.
And the stories I tell in this book… well, let’s just say a lot of strange things have happened in my life. There will be some who will doubt, criticize and judge. Heck, it’d be a dull book if there weren’t.
But my family first? There’s a chapter on faerie sex! And it’s not just about faeries. Oy. Definately needed courage to share this book with them.
20 seconds: “Just open a document.” Then you can write the letter that goes with the book for the family. Just start with opening the document.
20 seconds: Get envelopes out of the drawer. Just that. It leads to packaging the book for the two that are sent out of town.
20 seconds: Dial daughter’s number. Once she answers, you kind of have to say what you planned, “I’m bringing my book over.”
20 seconds: Breath. Hand book to brother as he opens the door.
Yes, that is what it took. Many small 20 second steps that led to other steps. Each of those 20 second steps feeling like I was being insanely brave.
It is a little scary as I wait for them to read it. Such relief when my brother called tonight to say he’d read just a bit so far and thought it very well written. He’s very well read, his opinion matters. I had tears in my eyes as he said that. Now, if only he doesn’t think me crazy by the time he is done. Ditto for all the rest of the family. (Ditto also that they are well read!)
Tonight to tune out of the anxiousness I watched “We Bought a Zoo.” Seemed like it might be a light humorous movie to be distracted by. It surprised me that it was very good and when I heard Matt Damon speak the quote above, well, I took a little moment to acknowledge those 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery of mine. Heck, no, apparently I took more than a moment… I wrote this blog post too!
Pondering that quote, I recognize many occasions where 20 seconds of embarrassing courage, things I didn’t say or do but wanted to, might have made some interesting changes in my life. I’m going to hang onto this 20 second insane bravery philosophy. I’m going to notice moments where a 20 second action of crazy courage is called for. It’s only 20 seconds after all. And it could lead to something great.
How about you? Any 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery in your life story?