Monday, January 21, 2013

50 states of brave introduces: ms. alaska!

We're proud to introduce our very special Ms. Alaska...
ms_alaska
Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky!

If you're just joining us, 50 States of Brave is a blogging project that celebrates the little opportunities we have to be brave everyday and the women who make these habits a way of life. As part of the project, everyone blogger is sending in a story of the bravest thing they've ever done for all of us to get to read, which makes us pretty excited. 

The whole project is sponsored by Favoring Brave, my Etsy store. Each lady gets to pick an item from the store to model in her post and keep as a souvenir of her bravery!

Wanna see all of the brave ladies already featured? 
Visit our lovely archives or Pinterest page of bloggers and their Favoring Brave picks!

Wanna join in the fun and represent your state? 
There's more info about that at the bottom of this post.

Alright here's the good stuff from Elizabeth!
And - quick disclaimer - I totally got a perm to try and get her hair because I love it THAT much. True story.

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Elizabeth is modeling the Lattice Wear Turquoise Necklace by Favoring Brave.


I've been thinking about this question for about a month, "what is the bravest thing you've ever done?"  There are a lot of things that I have done about which people say, "oh man, that's so brave!" or "I could never do that! You're so brave!"  But really, bravery is such an individual thing and what would be an incredibly brave act for others might be rather ordinary for myself.  In thinking about this question of bravery, I found myself seeing many of the things I've done haven't actually required too much bravery on my part.  Driving in a 1973 Winnebago across the country alone?  Didn't really require much bravery.  Putting photos of myself on the internet on a daily basis for the world to see?  After four years of blogging even that seems pretty normal now!  Moving to a new city?  Just a new adventure.  Becoming a homeowner?  Exciting!  Being self-employed? Love it.  

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What I consider bravery is when you have that huge fear well up in you just thinking about taking whatever leap it is that you're about to take.  But then, you steel yourself and close your eyes and jump. And, for me, I think that the closest thing to that feeling that I've had in my life has been allowing myself to fall in love with my husband.  

I had actually fallen in love with him years before, when we first met as freshmen in college.  I had finally broken up with my boyfriend from high school and was enjoying the freedom of being able to really invest myself in my new college life, new friends, and the idea of pursuing new relationships.  I had met Dan before briefly, but we started hanging out more and, despite my best efforts, I soon fell hard for him.  We were still both teenagers, though, and he wasn't ready for a relationship at the time ("I like you, but I don't like you like you..." haha), and while I knew I couldn't fall out of love, he was one of my best friends and I was content with being able to hang out and enjoy his company and friendship.  Time passed, he moved away at the end of our freshman year, and I eventually met someone new a couple years later and started dating him, though Dan & I always remained great long-distance friends.  

This new relationship took me by storm and I believed it would be one that ended up in marriage.  I was head over heels and he consistently told me that I was the only girl he could ever love, that our love was forever, and that the sun could rise without his darling.  When our relationship ended I was devastated, though I tried not to be.  I had given him everything.  I couldn't imagine loving again.  He had told me that our love was forever.  That I was the only one he could love.  And while I knew that he meant those things 100% when he said them, ultimately they ended up to be false.  So how could I allow myself to love again, knowing that someone could mean things like that at one time, but at a later time they could prove to be false?  How could I allow my heart to trust in love?  

It took a long time for my heart to heal from that relationship.  After a year it was feeling stronger and I was talking to Dan more and more and discovering some little flutters of feelings for him again.  I was reluctant to acknowledge them, and ignored them for a bit.  I told myself that I'd already been down that road before and that it had ended in, "well, I mean, I like you, but I don't like you like you."  My feelings grew, though, and I started to get reciprocal vibes from him in our talks.  We still lived about 2,000 miles about, but I was about to come through Tacoma, where Dan lived, on my cross-country RV trip, so I figured I'd find out if he had feelings for me when I saw him in person.  Well, he did, and when I got back in my Winnebago to continue my journeys around the country, he told me that he would be saving his heart for me until I came back.  

Trusting him and his love is one of the bravest things I think I've ever done.  In my mind, facing vulnerability is the bravest thing one can do, especially the vulnerability of the human heart.  C.S. Lewis says in The Four Loves,  “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”  So in many ways, I believe that loving is one of the bravest things a person can do.  I am absolutely certain that the bravest thing I've ever done has yet to happen, but so far allowing my heart to love my husband has been the bravest thing I have done.  They say with great risk, comes great reward, and the risk of love has given me the greatest reward of getting to spend my life with him.

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Think you have what it takes to represent your state? Awesome! Here's what you have to do to apply:

1. Follow Favor the Brave through GFC or Bloglovin.
2. Send me an email at favoringbrave@gmail.com with your name, you blog address, what state you're from (Don't forget this!), and why you should get to represent your state as it's resident brave lady!
3. For a complete description of project requirements or to visit our past honorees gallery please visit the 50 States of Brave Blogger Search page.

Some states are filled already, but there are lots of openings left!

All opinions in this post are the opinions of the blogger featured, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of this blog. This is a forum for openness and acceptance, so please be kind. Any derogatory comments will be removed at the discretion of the blog editor.


2 comments:

  1. I happened upon your blog via Delightfully Tacky and I am completely in love with the 50 States of Brave concept. I really believe there are so many people in the world in need of a frequent reminder of what it means to be "brave", so kudos for this project. :)

    P.S. I'm an Okie girl too!

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  2. What a great post, Elizabeth! I can definitely relate to your thoughts on love - I have trouble falling for anyone because of how I've been hurt, but I'm working on it.

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