I love women.
Let me rephrase that. I love the female spirit. I mean, yeah, I love Elizabeth Banks and Kesha and also that woman who plays Jack’s wife in the Jack in the Box commercials, but I am also an appreciator of the work and substance of woman.
X is for xenogenous, which means, of an outside cause.
Writing on courage – that’s what I’d like to do now, and I’ve considered spelling courage X-C-O-U-R-A-G-E so I can get down to it. Instead, I’ve chosen an X word – xenogenous – which I bet no one else has, and I’ll use it like a rebound romance to get to where I want.
My status as a man means that I must appreciate the courage of a woman from a xenogenous perspective. (see what I did there?)
Are we done here? Is that connection enough? Because I’d like to get on to courage.
Advocation for women’s courage
It’s a week in February in which insightful bloggers convene on a topic – the Beauty of a Woman. (Here’s my post).
Kate Wood wrote a post as part of this blogfest that resonated with me, as a dad and a coach, and, hell, just as a human. She wrote of the courage her sister conjured by the simple act of belly dancing, and advocating for other women’s courage.
(Good thing I had a post ready for B back at the beginning of this challenge – and didn’t write about me trying out belly-dancing.)
Kate experienced the kind of pride we take in those we love who venture with love into uncharted territory. I decided after I read her post back in 2015 that if I were the bucket list type, belly dancing would make the list.
(As a spectator, not a participant – I belly danced enough involuntarily when I took Zumba classes.)
When we watch someone we love crush a challenge, that lifts us. It sparks a flame in our souls, to do something like that. Or something the total opposite of that. When I’m feeling particularly Zenned up, I’ll even be happy to see a total stranger hit the jackpot.
Even if it’s just after I’ve sunk a fistful of quarters in a claw game, only to watch some dinkeldorf win after me, on his first try.
Courage in class, auditions, tryouts
I nearly recapped stories I’ve already told about how courageous my girls are. Yes, they are. On the soccer pitch and in sociology class, at club tryouts and singing auditions. In eating some of the creations I concoct in the kitchen.
I love their stories. But you’ve heard them.
What if I could try to crank out a how-to guide to courage? I’ve had it, once or twice. I asked a girl to a dance in eighth grade, while we read Romeo and Juliet in Language Arts class. Right when Juliet asked, “wherefore art thou, Romeo?” (She said yes.)
1. Recognize your mastery of everyday courage
Courage isn’t always punching a lion in the teeth or rushing into a burning building to rescue orphaned baby seals.
Speaking up takes courage. Writing in this A to Z Challenge definitely, does. Courage arrives in small doses, such as taking a chomp of fried eel or interrupting that guy who dominates all dialog during meetings. (You know the one.)
2. Remember the cause you’re couraging for
My girls’ entry into this world came from a mother who cared so about their health that she mastered childbirth – all three times – without drugs. That’s badass. Courage on behalf of someone you love can grow exponentially when you recall the cause.
3. Radiate confidence
Confidence is the pico on the fish taco of life.
Courage can’t be easily conjured in times bereft of it, but it can be cultivated. Ignore ruminating dialog that says you can’t. It begins in things you can do easily, and can build in things you learn to conquer. Whether you think you can or you can’t – you’re right.
4. Rely on discipline
Create a method to courage, like you do for leg day or giving up poptarts for Lent.
Talk to one new person every day, or hold yourself to a bedtime before 3 a.m. or morning jog. Conquer as you go. It’s in your posture and it’s in your stride. It’s in moments lived on your terms, and it builds for those moments you’ll learn to not fear.
5. Rally behind core values
Courage doesn’t go on every sandwich. (Yes, it’s usually about food.)
What values beat the drum of your heart? Is it fulfilling lives for you and your kids? Is it cleaner living or brighter health, or a job you don’t want to shred with a cheese grater? Courage isn’t about picking all the fights – it’s knowing which fights to pick.
How are you courageous? And does anyone remember the X word I hung this post on by a splinter of a thread in the first place?
The rest of the A to Z to this point:
A is for Addiction to Devices
C is for Interview with a Cat
D is for Do What I Do and Eat What I Eat
E is for Eight Things I’ve Left Behind
F is for Foods That Bring Me Comfort
H is for Halfway There
I is for Ice Cream
J is for Justification for the Blog Life
K is for 7 Women I’d Sing Karaoke With
M is for Men I Forgot to Be
N is for the New Plan
Q is for Quote Challenge
R is for Blogger Recognition
S is for Six Words
T is for Teenagers
U is for Unconventional Loves
W is for What Fatherhood Did