The Audacity

I am not a natural writer. I am a natural artist.

But when I began blogging, I discovered that writing helped me think through my ideas in a way that came more naturally than speaking. This meant a lot to me; I could take time to formulate ideas, I wouldn’t feel awkward for taking time to think of the right words or question social interactions during a conversation. Lovely!

I am fascinated by words that express ideas that might otherwise take time to explain. One of those words is audacity. I was familiar with the word, but it didn’t occur that it could be a powerful word until I read Barack Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope. It’s been a few years since I enjoyed the author’s (can I say “Barack’s” or “Mr. Obama’s”?) book, but the word popped up again while I was listening to a podcast and it reminded me of my affection for the way we can use language to fully realize an idea and share it with others.

The word has a rebellious ring to it, doesn’t it? It makes me think of daring to do something, but with more of an edge to it. How dare you…?

I like it. The edginess of it pulls at me. Compels me. Do it. Do that thing you truly want to do. That thing that you’d regret not doing if you were dying.

It challenges us to look past the routine, the mundane, the day-to-day tasks that occupy our time and our space. It encourages us to think about the things that mean more to us but take for granted — those little dreams that we think we don’t have time for, the skills for, etc., etc…

Can we meet that challenge? What would it look like if you had the audacity to do what you wanted to do? What you were meant to do? Would your life look any different? How?

Have you always had ideas that would make a really great book but you never wrote any of them down? Do you spend your time scrolling through social media for hours without realizing it, knowing full well that your time could be spent doing something that would make you happier? Are you really good at procrastinating because there’s always something important to do rather than what you’d really love to begin (look at that sewing machine that’s just begging to be used… what about those running shoes that would love to go for a walk… or your banking app that keeps telling you that you could start a savings account to help you plan your first big trip)?

I see you. I am you.

Breathe with me. Sit up straight. Shoulders back. Jaw unclenched. Take a slow, deep breath all the way in… slowly let it out.

You just did a thing. A little step for you. And you can take another one.

What is the next little step that will get you closer to your goal? Your dream? That thing you’ve been putting off? My steps will look very different than your steps. My steps include putting more paint on my palette, choosing a good playlist, sitting my butt down on my stool and putting that paint on my canvas. But sometimes it’s learning how to put something up for sale on my website, struggling with tech steps that I’m unfamiliar with, clicking “contact us” and chatting with the help desk until my new skill starts to magically appear in my brain.

These steps are hard sometimes. But I don’t regret one of them. Every step I take to becoming the artist I’ve hoped to be means the world to me. I want you to feel the same way.

Tell me about your steps. I’m not joking. Think about that one little thing you know you can do and do it. Leave me a comment or email me (colleen@colleenrose.ca).

These little choices make our lives everything we need them to be.

How dare you?

The audacity!

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6 Responses to The Audacity

  1. lisamnoble says:

    Thank you so much for this invitation, wise friend. I am lacking in audacity right now, and it is breaking my heart more than a little bit. I will sit with this and hope that it might guide me to some bravery.

    • colleenkr says:

      Lisa, to know that your light has been dimmed breaks my heart more than a little bit too. Can I share the load to make it easier for you to carry? Send me a message with one thing that’s dragging you down deeper than you should be. I’ll sit with it so you don’t have to. I love you and I love your beautiful light.

      • lisamnoble says:

        Lovely friend, thank you for this. I am facing the end of my career, and despite having accomplished much, I am struggling with feeling like I didn’t get to where I had hoped to be. The pandemic has much to do with that. Feeling like I have lost my audacity mojo, if you will, particularly in the context of teaching.

      • colleenkr says:

        I hear you. Teaching is such a huge part of our identity isn’t it? I’ve struggled with this, especially now that I’ve been off on sick leave. I’ve felt like I’m not as useful, not as important, etc., etc. So I had to adjust the way I see things – I’m still working on it, if I’m being honest. It takes time and patience with myself so I’m guessing you might have similar struggles.
        The odd thing is that even though we’re struggling, I’d bet that our students and some of our colleagues would be surprised by it. They’d almost think that we had the audacity to think the way we are right now, if that makes sense. Seriously – you’ve enjoyed your teaching career and so have I. We’ve made some fantastic connections and great relationships with our students. We’ve connected with other teachers who we think are pretty great, and we’ve pushed ourselves to innovate, think outside the box, walk the walk, all the good things. And here we are, having a hard time.
        I’m really good at reminding other people why they’re awesome. You probably are too — it’s what helps us be great teachers. At the same time, we might not be so great at doing the same thing for ourselves. Am I right?

      • lisamnoble says:

        I think this is a piece of it for me. I also know that I am genuinely tired – of the system, of the bonkers demands the system puts on us, of trying to be a lot to a lot. I also think about some of the places we thought we would be with innovative uses of tech, and I feel like instead, I’ve stepped back into safer spaces. That bothers me, and I’m trying to dissect it.

      • colleenkr says:

        I think it’s wise that you stepped back into safer spaces. We do a LOT. And although we are capable of doing all the things, we can’t do them all at once.
        We expect a lot of ourselves (and sometimes others expect a lot of us too). Limits are so important. And simple is sometimes better – especially if it allows us a bit of space to breathe and enjoy what we’re doing.

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