I Am Proof

While at work, a grey haired older gentleman asked what my tattoo said and I told him “courage is infinite”. He scoffed, “No, it’s not.” I turned my gaze completely to him and said, “I’m sorry, sir, but I have to disagree with you.” He smiled, quite amused, probably making a snide comment in his head about foolish women and my generation. “And why is that?” I took a second to think and answered something short like “you never truly run out of the ability to face your fears” because I couldn’t think quite so fast but here’s what I wish I would have told him.

Courage is infinite because no matter how many fears come your way- you never run out of strength to over come them. You can give up on anything you want in life and most people do this because of one thing. Fear. BUT, I’ve read about and looked up to leaders that are regarded as fearless. And the truth is, they aren’t fearless- they’re just really really brave. They muster up their courage over and over and over again just to push themselves to the next level of who they can become. And they love themselves for it.

Yes, courage can take time to rebuild but the more you use it, the easier it becomes to use. And that is why I put it permanently on my body. To remind myself that fear is conquered through the belief in your own courage, which is infinite. And when it comes to projecting this confidence in my courage to be myself, I find that I really enjoy my own company even though I am often terrified of it. And I started sharing things with people not to hear something back, but just to make sure they know. I don’t know, I’d rather tell someone I love them just so they know instead of not saying it simply because I’m afraid it might hurt if they don’t say it back.

I know that not everyone shares my beliefs or believes in who I am or what I do or what I share, but that doesn’t matter to me. What matters is how I treat myself in encouraging my will to share this with others. To be vulnerable and loving and 30 separate versions of Anna to a thousand different people. I’m a daughter, a best friend, a co-worker, an acquaintance, an ex-girlfriend, a leader, a stranger, a sister, an aunt, the love of someone’s life and a young crazy person in the midst of her twenties. I am all of these things to different people and have accepted these virtual realities of myself in others eyes. But most importantly, I am Anna. I am beautiful, fiery, determined as hell and most importantly- brave. I am so brave.

So when you go ahead and tell me that courage isn’t infinite, I feel so sorry for you. Because it is people like you who try to tear me down for my sheer will to conquer my fear and dream big. It is people like you who belittle me out of jealousy and make me question my faith in myself. It is people like you who I refuse to let me stop myself from being great. Courage is infinite because I believe it is. It is my courage that has gotten me through pain and fear and hatred. It is my courage that has allowed me to love so incredibly much. It is my courage that has pushed me to be inspired by my own belief to be better and work through the days I doubt my worth and value.

So sir, courage is infinite. You may not think so, you may not live that way, but I do. I will never stop believing in my ability to push through fear in order to become the person I know I’m meant to be. Because that strength will never run out. I will not stop sharing, loving or hurting. Because it helps me grow. Fear helps you grow. And that’s why I respect the hell out of those who have this quality too.

While it takes a special kind of human to believe in it, courage is indeed infinite.

I am proof.

Love,

Anna Marie

So you’re “A Lot” are you?

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I’m a lot.

Everyone is, in the sense of the word, however, they don’t quite display themselves as we who are “a lot” do.

There is no hiding who we are.

We will meet you, tell you our name and splash every story we have on the ground in front of you so we can piece through them together and find our connections.

We will catch your hand from touching the shards of words that have sliced our hearts open and let you hold the warm light that comes from our proudest moments.

We will gently skip over some of the darkened pieces that you’re not ready for and guide you to the largest corners where our core being resides.

We’ll help you sift through the confusing pattern of pain and pleasure.

We’ll help you understand what makes up this light we have.

It’s easy to shine bright when you’ve held so much darkness.

You’ll understand how we built the raft that saves our lives.

Why we’re so confident in our ability to dream.

Why our biggest fear is relying on someone else.

Why our independence has terrified the people around us.

We’re a lot.

We’re a lot of courage, a lot of bravery, a lot of vulnerability.

We’re a lot of love, all at once.

We will push you.

We will dive right into your story the first time we meet you.

Not the gory details, not the life-changing moments, just the food you can’t live without and if you take your coffee black.

We will constantly push and support you.

Because we are constantly growing.

Our competitiveness will never be seen when it comes to our idea of love.

You see,  we don’t believe in games unless you have piece characters, dice and pink money.

And for the love of God, we do not chase a human being.

Why do you need to tell someone the reasons they should stay when they should see it on their own?

Adults make their own decisions and we will not make one for you.

When you’re “a lot”, people expect just that from you.

So you stretch and wither until you’re transparently floating, unnoticed by those who need you.

But honestly, WE need OURSELVES.

So when we’re told we are simply “a lot” to handle, know this.

We display ourselves differently.

The reason you see “a lot” is because we’re fearless.

We don’t hide ourselves from the world for fear of being hurt because we already have scars to prove we heal quickly.

We love ourselves and fight to do so everyday and we’re not going to hide that struggle just to make you feel comfortable.

Just to make you feel like you aren’t overwhelmed.

We are a lot because we’ve been through as much, we fight for as much, we inspire to be as much.

So, thank you.

Thank you for telling us that we’re “a lot”.

Thank you for telling us that we’re fearlessly vulnerable and open.

That we’re not afraid to be ourselves with someone immediately.

For telling us that we know what we want and am not scared to say so.

Because, believe me, we already knew all of these things. 

We’re incredibly smart human beings.

 

Love,

Anna Marie