living the brave life

Long trips in the Brave always get me thinking.  I don't have a working radio, so it's lots of silence (or, rather, lots of loud road/engine noise) and my brain has all the time in the world to think and reevaluate life.  I've only been home for a couple hours and all my thoughts have already begun to fall back into their regular patterns, though I'm fighting to hold on to the lessons of the road, as taught by a wise, old mentor.

For an inanimate object, she teaches me a lot.  She's big and slow, she needs a lot of room to make any moves, but she's reliable and sturdy, and cute in a quirky way.  Driving around among regular cars can be stressful in a bigger rig.  I can't accelerate very quickly, I can't merge unless there's a large space available, and I'm generally slow, even getting passed by semi trucks going uphill.  Usually when I drive I'm hyperaware of other drivers, trying to be conscientious of where they're going and what they're doing, but in the Brave I can't really do much about being slow, or needing a lot of room.  In a way, I have to be a selfish driver, even obnoxious, because there's simply no other way to drive a vehicle that goes 55mph on highways and needs 50 feet of merging space.  So instead of worrying what everyone was thinking about us, I decided to accept that we were slow and bulky, and to realize that other drivers also needed to realize that, and act accordingly.  We don't expect semi trucks to drive like a Prius because we know they simply cannot.  The same goes with the Brave.  Prius she is not, and she has the gas mileage to prove it.

But I realized that a lot of times I go through life thinking I'm a Prius (or trying to act like it) when I'm a Brave. Trying to do or be things that I can't because I'm not built that way.  Worrying what other people think about things that I just am.  In a lot of ways blogging ties into that.  You want to appeal to lots of people so you can gain followers, so you can in turn show potential sponsors that they'll get lots of exposure.  And even without advertising as a consideration, bloggers typically don't want to alienate lots of people or say something that will draw out trolls or offend readers.  While I think that not being offensive and avoiding trolls is a good thing, as well as advertisers (if you're full time blogging, you've gotta eat!), there's also something to be said about throwing off all that expectation and saying, "I'm a Brave!  I'm big and slow and maybe I'll annoy you zippy little cars who are going 70mph when I can only go 50, but I'm me and I can only be the best Brave, not a terrible imitation of a Mini Cooper."  Okay maybe I lost you on the Brave/tiny car analogy.  If you're still tracking with me, sweet.

All that being said (and hopefully understood), I want to be more Brave.  Which is appropriate, because I feel like it takes courage to be yourself in a world that is desperately trying to make us all mid-size sedans.  You have to be brave to be a Brave... or whatever you are.  Maybe you're a VW Bug!  Maybe you're a Semi.  Maybe you're a Chevelle.  Either way, it takes courage to realize who you are and what you need in order to live your life the best wayyou can.  A Chevelle trying to be a Ford Taurus is the same as a Brave trying to be a Mini Cooper.  It's exhausting.  And it's not healthy.

I don't want to lose followers, but I'm at a point where I don't care.  If I lose so many followers that I can no longer blog full time, so be it!  Or maybe I'll end up starting a brick and mortar business and no longer have time to blog full time.  Or maybe I'll start blogging about novelty coasters from bars around the world and everyone will think I've gone totally Amanda Bynes on the blogosphere.  Okay I don't think that last one will happen.  Maybe the first two won't either, but either way I want more out of this blog than what it is now.  If you're a zippy little car who is annoyed by Brave me, feel free to pass me at 70 and move along.  I won't mind!  If you're freaking out wondering how the blog will change, I don't even know if it will.  I just want to approach my content from a place of honesty.  And it's not that I want to share every graphic detail about my life, and it's not that I have been dishonest in the past.  But there are times I've thought about writing something that I felt could possibly alienate readers or bring trolls out of the woodwork, and I refrained.  So who knows.  Things around here could change (likely in the direction of more life thoughts/faith thoughts/emotion thoughts.. thoughts in general.  Don't worry, I have little interest in novelty coasters), but they might not.  Or they may, but only in how I feel about what I do here.

If you are offended (or have been in the past), please know it is never my intention to be offensive or rude and I do try my best to be as clear as possible when I write because I know we take so much of our communication from body language and other non-verbal cues, which are totally lost here online.  If you disagree with me, that's totally fine and good.  No one is required to agree with everyone else, in fact that would be scary and bizarre, and rather unhealthy.  If you give zero shits about something I post, you're free to click on by without reading.  I do this with blogs I absolutely love.  Sometimes I skip posts because I know that content is of no interest to me, but I keep following knowing I do love most of their content.  You are not required to LOVE everything I post here.  And if the majority of stuff annoys/bores/enrages you, you are free to move along, no hard feelings.

I love that there are so many blogs out there with wonderful stuff to share with the universe, and I want my blog to be interesting to readers, but more than that, I want to share things that I feel are not only fun and inspiring, but also things that are important to me.  I know that I will never run a blog that will give you the scoop on what next fall's trends are.  I will never run a blog that can tell you how to make 20 crafts out of popsicle sticks.  Not because I don't like those things, but because it's not who I am.  This is not a Corvette blog, it's not a Jeep blog, it's not a Bentley blog.  This is a Brave blog, and it's about my Brave life.  Big, cumbersome, and slow, but also reliable, hardy, and a little quirky too.