Friday, January 11, 2013

50 states of brave introduces: ms. oklahoma!

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:


Jill from Favor the Brave!

I am modeling the White Stone Earrings by Favoring Brave.

Which is me... because I wanted a chance to share with you a little about myself and why I started this project. It has been a amazing to read the stories of other strong and brave women, and I wanted to add my voice to the mix.

So first, a little background on why this project exists. I named my blog Favor the Brave on a whim.

That's it, opened and closed. I liked it. No hidden nefarious plans, no deep personal meaning. At least at first. But then things changed. Favor the Brave across my title bar came to be a constant encouragement to myself, a mantra of sorts that urged me on to do the hard things, the dream things, and ultimately the brave things I was supposed to do. Renaming my business Favoring Brave came after this transformation, and this time the name was loaded, which I'll be going into more in depth in a later post.

I think fashion and lifestyle bloggers are a lot braver than even we give ourselves credit for. Stereotypically  a lot of people think that we're a shallow species, but I have always found the opposite to be true. Bloggers are some of the funniest, most thoughtful, encouraging and supportive people I have had the pleasure to know, and of course, they look awesome while doing it! So that's when it clicked for me - bloggers are already being brave, and it's high time we celebrated that. 50 States of Brave was born.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done... When I first wrote it, I knew it was a loaded question for a lot of people that would raise others: What does it mean to be brave? Do I even consider myself brave by my own definition?

To me, bravery is staring down your fear, looking it in the eye and saying, "I see you, but you're not stopping me." It is doing anything worthy that you thought you couldn't. It is doing the harder, right thing, when the easier, wrong thing would be so much, well, easier. I think bravery is one of those virtues people forget about. It's associated with medieval battle,  firemen, and cliff diving, not putting yourself out there, making sacrifices for a long term goal, or choosing to love another human being. But I think this mindset is wrong. Bravery is a virtue we need to make our own, today, wherever we are.

So after that long-winded introduction, it's time for my bravest moment, which was actually hard to decide on. Was it leaving home and going to college? Was it flying to Ireland by myself for a completely solo summer abroad? Was it acting in all those shows through high school and college? I ultimately decided that no, it was none of these.

It was getting married.

Marriage is strange. You meet someone awesome, sparks fly, you hang out for two or three years, and then you promise to keep doing that until you die. Strange, right? But so important.

My husband and I had both spent a lot of time thinking about marriage before we got married. We are both on the same page about the meaning of marriage and why it is important, which is because it makes both of us better people than we could be on our own. That doesn't mean that marriage is for everyone or that being married is better than other vocations, but for the two of us, it's exactly what we need. Our strengths and flaws mesh together in such a way that we can grow, alone and together through our relationship. It will be the struggles that help us grow, just as the good times, but the most important thing about marriage, and I think the truly brave thing about it, is that we vowed it would go on, till death do us part.

This marriage has no exit strategy. There is no out. Marriage forces you to stop being selfish, to give of yourself, sometimes until it hurts. Marriage is hard. It is work. And that is good. That's how we grow, how we become someone better than we were when we started. And that takes bravery, because at the end of the day, we don't always want to change for the better. It doesn't always feel good. But bravery helps us go on.

I met an elderly couple once, married well over 50 years and I asked them if they had ever considered divorce. "Heck no!" the man said. His wife smiled and added, "Murder, maybe, but never divorce!" That's my goal for my marriage. A felony, maybe, but break this promise? Heck no.

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 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!


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