I Dared

I daredThis month, I am following along with the daily prompts posted at write alm. I do this the old-fashioned way, with pen and a plain notebook, and while Amanda encourages sharing, most of my writing doesn’t seem like it would fit into this space for one reason or another. This one, though, I think I can share. The prompt: I dared.

* I dared to move in with a boyfriend at twenty years old, even though my mother and her family were so ashamed, my aunt did not acknowledge the relationship. My paternal grandparents, however, offered us furniture from their basement.

* I dared to move into an apartment by myself when that relationship ended. Not quite twenty-one years old, a senior in college, I dared to be the only person responsible for all the cooking, re-stocking the toilet paper, and my own happiness.

* I dared to head to Europe by myself for a month, also at twenty-one, with only a Eurail Pass, hostel ID, and what I could carry on my back. I dared to ignore everyone who told me a woman couldn’t and shouldn’t travel alone. I dared to talk to strangers in strange lands.

* I dared to fall in love with my best friend.

* I dared to start a family and trust I could do better than what I’d known. I dare every day to stumble, leaving my good intentions in my wake, and pick myself up. I dare to believe I can always do better.

* I dare to act out of love, not fear or hurt. I dare to be wide open, because closing down predetermines the outcome, and wide open means anything is possible.

* I dare to ask for help.

* I dare to say, “I don’t know.”

* I dare to stake my space and protect it. (I just closed the bedroom door to continue writing uninterrupted.)

* I dare to admit, “This is my passion,” and share it with the world. I dare to fail, because every effort carries the chance of failure, but not making an effort at all ensures a lack of success.

* I dared to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and hit “publish.”

10 thoughts on “I Dared

  1. Dawn Suzette

    “I dare to act out of love, not fear or hurt.”
    My favorite line.
    I have been writing long with the prompts but feel much too guarded to share my words.
    Thank you for sharing this!

    1. amy Post author

      Many of them I won’t share because they wander into other people’s stories, or I don’t feel they’d fit in this space–or both! I’ve been so enjoying writing by hand each day, carrying my notebook with me…it’s been a very good thing.

  2. donna lee

    I have never thought of myself as a daring person. I may have to change my opinion of myself after reading your list. I have never travelled alone or lived alone (mostly because I didn’t have the desire to do either) but I have dared to stand up for myself and my relationship in the face of much opposition and have dared to live my life openly and give my heart freely. It’s hurt sometimes but I wouldn’t (couldn’t) live any other way.

    1. amy Post author

      I hope my kids all live alone before living with someone else, if only so they always know toilet paper doesn’t magically appear in the cupboard. ;) But really, daring to follow our own path, especially against others’ wishes, is hugely courageous.

  3. karen

    loved this post. I too disappointed my mother in my boyfriend relationship who I did marry. She was wrong and I was right :) Seriously though, I love how you listed each strength in stretching towards living and learning for yourself. It’s what life is all about.

    1. amy Post author

      Thanks, Karen. It wasn’t the relationship so much as “living in sin,” and this was the early 90s! My mom was Italian Catholic all the way.

  4. amanda

    this is great, amy! i’m with you – i lived out of a backpack for months traveling the globe alone and it was such a wonderful experience, one that showed me i was braver and stronger than i thought.

    i most especially love that you dare to say i don’t know. i say that a lot, especially to my children when they ask the hard questions. it’s important for them to know i don’t have all the answers, some of them they’ll have to decide for themselves.

    so glad you shared – thank you.

    1. amy Post author

      Thanks for the prompts, Amanda. I’ve been enjoying the daily writing, even if I’m sharing infrequently.

      (Months! I wish I could have been gone for months. I thought I’d get back to Europe quickly, but I haven’t been back since.)

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