Back to school and brave

Most of you guys started back at school this week, and I start college in a week and a half (but move into the dorm in 6 days). The “back to school” groove in high school can be so stressful and cause so much anxiety for everyone involved. Your summer routine ends, you have to wake up early, and sit in a classroom for 8 hours every day. Where as if you’re in my boat, you are moving away from home, only sitting in class for a few hours each day, but have to take responsibility for your own actions without help. It can be pretty scary.

Everyone asks if I am excited to start college. The answer is of course I am! But I am also pretty nervous. College is a place to find yourself, to find your niche in this world. And while you’re surrounded by people 24/7, it can get lonely. I say all this to get to one point. The point is that whether you started back in high school this week or you graduated and are starting college, it is ok to be anxious. It is ok to be nervous about something new.

When I tell someone that I am anxious about something (no matter what it is) the general response is “well just be brave”. But to me, that is a repetitive statement. You can be scared and still be brave. You can be nervous and still have courage.

We all grow up with this kind of understanding that if you are scared, then you will not succeed. But if you are not scared of anything, then how will you ever grow? How will you ever feel accomplished if you are not nervous in the beginning? Being nervous, scared, or anxious doesn’t mean that you are gonna fail, it means that you care about something enough to not WANT to fail.

Going back to school can be crippling for some kids/teens. It can cause panic attacks the night before and for the remainder of the school year. But those are the people who have the most sense of accomplishment when it is all over.

Bravery can go hand in hand with fear. For example, I went to a canyon this week (it was on my bucket list) and I swam under a waterfall. There was a cliff that you had to jump off though. And I psyched my self out about it and became scared to jump. But when I did eventually jump, I felt like I was brave. I felt like I was fearless because I had fear and did it anyway.

I just want all the kids that are terrified all school year because they feel bullied, inadequate, or anxious to know that you are brave. You are brave for waking up at the crack of dawn and going to school. You are brave for sitting in the cafeteria around people who talk about you behind your back. You are brave, simply for just making it this far.

I recommend this song that I am posing with this post to anyone who needs a little bit of encouragement about anything in their life. No one ever told me that this life would be easy. But I never knew that it could be this hard. 

I moved a mountain

I have always gotten a knot in my stomach when even thinking about talking to my dad about everything gone wrong between us. I wasn’t scared of him, but I was scared of the aftermath. I was scared of causing someone else to be uncomfortable. I was scared of tearing down an already fragile relationship. But this week, things changed. This week I took a leap of faith. This week I had courage like no other. This week we began to heal our relationship.

My dad and I have always had a gap in our relationship. There has always been something missing. What he thought was best at the time, turned out disastrous for me later down the road. He thought he was doing the right thing, and I was too afraid to tell him any different. I am a peacekeeper. I do not like drama. I do not like fights or arguments, and I would rather have myself get hurt than anyone else around me. But going through what I have been going through these last two years has shown me that sometimes those difficult conversations have to be had in order to move forward. You cannot live in the past and you can’t dwell on things you cannot change. But, you still have to acknowledge those things because they were real and they hurt us.

Before this week I had never told my dad what happened throughout my childhood and the trauma I went through. I never told him what happened and I always held that against him. I held something against him that he was not even aware of. Through my own healing and self-reflection lately, I was able to see that. And this week, we both took responsibility for our mistakes and we took the biggest step forward we ever had.

In my heart I know that my dad would lay down his life for me in a second. I know that he loves me and I know he feels guilty. But this week I could see it for myself. I saw that my pain hurt him. I saw his raw emotions and I saw that he really wants to be a daddy to me like I always wanted. This week I saw a great foundation being built between us that we can move forward with. He cannot go back in time and neither can I, but this week I saw that he would go back and change what happened in a heart beat and that is what I needed. I waited years and years to hear the words he said this week and I felt a weight being lifted off my shoulders.

These last two years have been about healing: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The stress of what happened made me sick. And I will deal with that for the remainder of my life. But my dad is sick too. And that loose end was tied up this week. That loose end is now a knot that we will continue to work through.

This week could have went 2 drastically different ways. And it went the best way possible. My leap of faith was the best choice I have ever made. Having that little ounce of courage helped me and my dad heal. I was scared, but I was fearless. It sounds like an oxymoron but it isn’t. Because I was scared and I overcame that fear with faith and strength. I found the strength inside myself. I want to tell you that just because you have had a bad relationship with someone (maybe parent, grandparent, friend, aunt, uncle, brother, sister etc.) your entire life does not mean that it is beyond repair. Just because you have not spoken to them or had a real conversation with them in years means nothing. I want you to feel the strength that I felt. I want you to have God on your side. I have no doubt we had angels in there with us this week. I want you to know that taking a leap of faith can change your world, and it can help you heal. Having faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain. Imagine it, you moving a mountain. That is amazing to think about. You need to hear that I believe in you. I believe that you can move that mountain. I believe that you can be honest with the person who has caused you pain. I believe that you are strong.