I will not be getting a word tattooed on my inner wrist this year. Or inked in cursive script just above my arse.
Despite sometimes feeling like I have learned nothing in my considerable years, I am sufficiently evolved to know that about myself.
I would change my mind.
Because if time has taught me anything, it’s that everything changes. All. The. Time. I am not a creature of certainty.
The other reason I won’t be going there is because those are both areas of my body that I am not desperate to draw attention to. You see, I am in my 40s, and there are parts of me that reflect that more than others. My arse? Let’s just say it needs well-meaning support, rather than celebration.
And my age, as well as my rear, has everything to do with the word I have chosen to be my touchstone in 2016. The word that I would get inked, if only I didn’t know better.
This year, I want to live a brave life.
Post continues after this video:
Not brave like a firefighter, racing towards a bushfire when everyone else is running the other way. Not brave like an assault victim facing her attacker in court. Not brave like a parent sleeping by their child’s bed in the ICU and summoning a smile every morning.
I am talking about finding the small courage, daily, to risk cosy comfort.
I have done plenty of things in my life that might be considered brave. I travelled far from my homeland and made a new life, alone. I’ve travelled solo, I’ve jumped out of planes, lived by myself, stared down childbirth (twice), swum with sharks – I have fallen in love.
But lately, I have chosen comfort over risk. It has, of course, almost everything to do with the three people in my home who depend on me. That sense that there is so much at stake every time you take a leap.
Grown-up women feel this keenly. We famously put ourselves at the end of lists and refrain from rocking the boat to ensure our people are safe.
We also know too much. Women live intertwined with loss. We have been the brave young things, shouting loudly, living large, and then, for many of us, loss laid a cold finger across our lips.